Learn to build – naturally – with Cob!

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Want to learn how to build your own house with human-power!?

Want to build with cheap, reusable, natural materials that are earthquake proof, fire proof, pest proof, and proven to last for centuries?

Look what community can build!Cob is the term for an earthen building technique that mixes sand, clay and straw and is sculpted on a wall. No forms or other wooden structures are needed to build with cob.

From June 29 to July 4th, I’ll be hosting a cob workshop on Lasqueti Island. The cost of $600 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic, vegan/vegetarian, delicious meals per day), on-site camping with running water, and expert instruction by Steve Lay. Barters or trades to reduce the workshop fee are welcomed.

Each evening, we’ll also have a discussion with hands-on activities. Topics will include sustainable and ecologically-sensitive transportation for individuals as well as builders (we’ll have a night of bike repairing) and how to build a roof with cedar shakes (we’ll learn how to make shakes, too).

Travel days are Saturday, June 28th (with a welcoming, organic and vegan dinner included) and Saturday or Sunday, July 5 or 6th (a farewell breakfast on the 5th is also included).

Everyday (Sunday to Friday), we start with an organic, wholesome breakfast, followed by an hour of interactive instructionals, then 3 hours of hands-on learning with a yummy snack break.

After a hot organic, vegan lunch, we have 3 more hours of hands-on learning and building, followed by a break to swim and/or wash up for dinner.

The host site provides examples of:

  • how to live off the electricity grid,
  • how to live well without internal combustion engines,
  • how to harvest and use rainwater, and
  • how to make it easy to harvest hu-manure.

The workshop buildings will provide opportunities to learn:

  • Cob makes it easy and cheappassive solar heating design,
  • how to install windows and doors,
  • how to wire your earthen building for solar electricity,
  • how to build a cedar shake roof,
  • how to sculpt earthen materials, and
  • how to design beauty and function right into the walls of earthen buildings.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe place for anyone, including children, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure

Beautiful for humans, beautiful for the planetThis workshop is family-friendly but space is limited. Reserve your spot soon by emailing bike@resist.ca.

You, too, can experience the magic of building with cob in community! See you there!

10 Responses

  1. The cob building workshop sounds fantastic. You must have had a great time. Are you planning to have another in 2009?

  2. Any plans for 2010 yet,?
    ( I know it’s a long way off but I’m trying to plan a trip to that part of the world next summer…)

    thanks 🙂

  3. Hi Zoe,

    Thanks for asking…I’ve been trying to email you but my emails keep bouncing back…grrr.

    I don’t have specific dates yet for 2010 but I expect at least two workshops, one of which could be 2 weeks in length.

    Please contact me again if you’d like to talk further about next year.


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