During my whirlwind trip last month, I had the opportunity to meet Alex Sumerall at one of his work sites. Alex is a cob home builder. I have been very interested in alternative home designs for quite some time, and specifically straw bale and cob homes. About six months ago, I came across Alex’s site, and we started talking a bit. When I found out I was going to be in Tennessee in March, I contacted Alex to see if we could meet him. As it turns out, he was going to be at a building site not too far from where I was going to be.

The Winter was still winding down, and the project had only just gotten started when I arrived at the building site. After reading about cob building for so long, it was great to see an actual cob home under construction, even if only the foundation was partly completed. I’ll share the photos I took, and I strongly encourage you to check our Alex’s site: This Cob House

Alex and I at the building site.

Alex and I at the building site.

This site had plenty of clay, so much in fact, that Alex was going to need to bring in some sand to make a good consistency cob.

This site had plenty of clay, so much in fact, that Alex was going to need to bring in some sand to make a good consistency cob.

Bathroom corner of the home. Note the drainage ditch that will keep rain and ground water from pooling at the foundation.

Bathroom corner of the home. Note the drainage ditch that will keep rain and ground water from pooling at the foundation.

Showing how the piping traverses the foundation.

Showing how the piping traverses the foundation.

I'm excited to see how the finished home turns out... here is an example of one cob home in the Pacific Northwest.

I’m excited to see how the finished home turns out… here is an example of one cob home in the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

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