A Recommended Cob and Natural Building Book List

by ziggy on December 15, 2009 -- 0 comments -- Follow

There are a few books that I referenced and relied on throughout the process of building my cob house. I’ve come up with a short list of books for aspiring cob builders to get inspired and get set on the path to actual construction of a small cob house similar to my own. Check them out!

The Hand-Sculpted HousehsCover
By Cob Cottage Company

This is the number one go-to book for cob building. It’s building philosophy, history, how-to, troubleshooting, and everything in-between. Written by the founders of the Cob Cottage Company, the book takes readers through the design process, digging a foundation trench, building walls, roofs, and pretty much all you need to know to build your own cob house. If you have this book, you’re going to be armed with most of the book knowledge you need to get started. Best of all, the writing is hugely inspiring, too!

 

Building a Low Impact RoundhouseBuilding_a_Low_I_48e627d6cf170
By Tony Wrench

Tony Wrench details the entire process of building his own hybrid roundhouse (with cordwood, cob, etc.) in Wales in this resourceful guide. Most important to me was the book’s detailed instructions on how to build a reciprocal roof – the only printed documentation anywhere! Worth the price of admission alone. Tony Wrench is a resourceful builder with a fine writing style, and the book includes plenty of photos and drawings. Unfortunately, the book is a little difficult to find outside of the UK. (I got mine here.)

Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves You Can Build (And Snuggle Up To)Rocket_Mass_Heat_48c87bf4df2c8
By Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson

This is pretty much the only book that documents how to build a rocket stove from start to finish, with a materials guide, proportions and dimensions drawings, and step by step instructions. I was a little frustrated that crucial construction details (and images) are absent in the book, but if you want to build a rocket stove, you’re going to want this book. You can get your copy of Rocket Mass Heaters here.

And strictly for inspiration… because photos and stories are priceless…

Shelter, Home Work, Builders of the Pacific Northwest
(All written by Lloyd Kahn)

Shelter Publications, home to Lloyd Kahn (author of the titles above), has put out these three incredible books chock full of amazing owner-built and vernacular homes across the globe. Great homes, great photos, and Lloyd’s storytelling style just seals the deal. These books are hugely inspirational.

Built By Hand
By Eiko Komatsu, with photos by Yoshio Komatsu

Again… another massive and greatly inspirational book documenting a huge range of traditional buildings across the planet. Every page features beautiful photos by building photographer extraordinaire, Yoshio Komatsu. The quality of the photos, and the number of them, is great. A fantastic book for browsing.

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