Are you curious about cob homes and their unique approach to sustainable construction? Have you ever wondered what these dwellings look like and how people use them?
If so, then a few choice cob house tours are what you need to explore this sustainable building technique.
Virtual cob house tours are essential, especially if you want inspiration to build your eco-friendly dwelling. These tours provide an excellent way to see whether a cob house will meet your requirements — aesthetically, impact-wise, and financially.
This way, you won’t regret investing your hard-earned money in a home that doesn’t meet your needs.
In this article, I’ll take you through some virtual cob house tours.
By covering examples of cob homes around the world, you’ll be able to understand more about this sustainable building technique. Let’s get started!
1. The Cob Cottage, USA
The cob cottage in Oregon, USA, is a one-of-a-kind cob house.
Built by Ianto Evans and Linda Smiley, the founders of The Cob Cottage Company, the cob cottage is a masterpiece of sustainable building. They created this beautiful home with an eye-catching mixture of straw, clay, and sand.
The well-placed windows are designed to allow maximum sunlight into the home, and the wooden beams give it a unique rustic charm. Its sloped roof and curvy walls display the beauty of cob as a sustainable building material.
The cob cottage is an excellent example of a modern-day cob dwelling, featuring a low sill window space and pattern No.180, a language pattern for natural homes.
2. Kristen’s Cob and Straw Bale Home, Denmark
After visiting a cob building site, Kristen decided to build her own cob and straw bale home in 2000. She was inspired by the fact that cob houses are built with natural and breathable materials.
Here are the design aspects of the house:
- Foundation: Stone and rubble trench.
- Walls: Internal walls are lime mortared cob, while the exterior walls are straw bales.
- Roof: Thatch
The thatched roof acts as a greenhouse that traps the sun to keep the house warm when it gets cold.
Due to her strained budget, Kristen relied upon volunteers guided by Ianto to build the house. She uses a 12-volt solar electricity system for lighting and to operate appliances in the cob home.
3. Goatling Cob House
Tucked away in Somerset, England, Goatling cob house is a tiny cob home whose walls feature spectacular designs.
The walls were designed by two artisans; Lisa and Rich. These artisans used clay, sand, straw, and water to create the walls with artistic features.
Built with clay from the nearby stream, the house’s frame is made with pine and Hawthorne logs from local woodlands.
Its roof shingles are made from cedar, while the sides are made with straw bales.
The decision to use shingle roofs for this cob house was based on the fact that these roofs are long-lasting. With proper care, they can last between 50 and 80 years.
4. Cadhay Cob House, England
This is a 2,500 square feet (232 square meters) home in Devon, Southwest England.
Designed and built by Kevin McCabe, Cadhay Cob House provides a fantastic aesthetic space. It was designed to be a self-sustaining home with excellent thermal performance.
Featuring a ground source heat pump, the thermal performance of this cob home is better than most homes.
What’s more, the home is spacious enough for an entire family. It has the following:
- A kitchen.
- A spacious living room.
- A utility and ground-floor washroom.
- Four spacious bedrooms.
- A second-floor family room.
Due to its positioning on a southwest-facing site, this cob home receives plenty of sun throughout the day.
5. The Cob Cottage in Canada
This was the first fully permitted cob house in Canada. It’s a 600 square feet (56 square meters), two-story cob house that cost $56,000.
It was built through a collaboration between Tracy and Pat of CobWorks, Ianto from The Cob Cottage Company, Elke Cole, and some volunteers.
To reduce the environmental impact of construction, Pat intended to build this house based on the “10-mile strategy.” The strategy entails sourcing all the materials within a 10-mile radius of the building site.
The Cob Cottage Company highlighted the cob cottage in Canada for its sustainable building techniques. It’s an excellent example of how to build cob homes in compliance with local regulations and safety standards.
6. Hobbitowa in Poland
Built by Bogdan Pękalski, a Polish entrepreneur, the Hobbitowa cob house is ideal for family living.
Featuring two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a living room, the house makes a peaceful and comfortable home.
The house’s load-bearing structure was made with lime, clay, straw, and stones.
For protection against water, the exterior walls were rendered with a plaster made from clay, lime, and cob.
The house has excellent thermal properties, thanks to its cordwood floors. Moreover, cob’s high thermal mass helps keep the house warm.
Designed with a household sewage system, a water well, and several solar panels, the Hobbitowa cob house is a true definition of a sustainable home.
7. Sky Meadow’s Cob Cottage, USA
This is an idyllic sanctuary suitable for momentous occasions and magical events.
The cottage sits on a 115-acre land filled with beautiful hills, gardens, ponds, and woodlands.
It’s ideal for yoga retreats, wedding ceremonies, and family events. The cottage’s walls are made from cob, a mixture of clay, sand, straw, and water.
Being a garden, Sky Meadow produces its food organically and strives to be as sustainable as possible.
The cob cottage experiences the best thermal comfort due to its advanced ventilation system.
An added bonus? It has an integrated hilltop meditation gazebo with breathtaking views of Vermont’s green mountains.
8. The Cob Herb Roundhouse, Wales
A team from the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award decided to revive the use of indigenous herbs by putting up a wild pharmacy and community herb garden.
Due to its location in rural Felin Uchaf, Wales, cob was the most abundant construction material.
The cob walls are lime-plastered to make them weatherproof.
The house has a reciprocal turf roof with decorative slatted eaves.
Part of the research done here is on how to use honey to eradicate hospital superbugs. The research emanates from the coding of the DNA of indigenous herbs in Wales.
9. Cob Castle in East Devon
This extraordinary castle was featured on Grand Designs twice (2011 and 2018).
Designed and built by Kevin McCabe, the 1,250 square meters (13,455 square feet) cob castle took nine years to complete.
As much as the castle is a celebrated work of art, it came with misfortunes for McCabe. Besides contributing to McCabe’s divorce after a 30-year marriage, the castle drove him into bankruptcy and homeless, as he had to sell his house to finance it.
Despite the setbacks, the castle is an excellent example of an imaginative cob construction.
Featuring a 650 square meter (6,997 square feet) main house, six bathrooms, and four bedrooms, the castle has an eclectic mix of eccentric designs.
It’s a unique piece of art in its own right and is made with cob, slate, and lime plaster.
Other facilities in this magnificent cob castle include:
- A kitchen and a dining room.
- Study room.
- A greenhouse.
- Two sunspaces.
- A workshop.
- Cedar shed.
- A 150 square-meter (1,615 square feet) annex.
10. The Tiny Summer Cob House, Bulgaria
This is Ivan’s simple one-room cob house built with a stem wall.
Built on a shallow rubble trench, the Tiny Summer Cob House has an earthen floor sealed with linseed oil and wax that makes it waterproof.
The house was designed with a stone-based stem wall to prevent runoff water from coming into contact with the cob walls.
Due to its round shape, window, and door frames were installed on the go. This was necessary to create a seamless and aesthetically pleasing monolithic wall.
As for the roof, the roofing timbers were anchored into the cob walls to be strong enough.
The interior walls are finished with lime plaster, while the exterior walls are finished with clay and sand.
In most cases, Ivan uses the house as a summer home, but it can also be used as a permanent home due to the overall design and structure.
Although the house looks smaller, its small stature packs a powerful punch when it comes to sustainability and affordability.
11. Ornee Cottage, Ireland
This is one of the oldest cottages in Ireland.
Built in 1810, the Ornee Cottage sits on a family-owned working farm with chicken and ponies.
The cottage has an open-plan living space and three bedrooms, making it ideal for family vacations.
Since the cottage is designed with Roundwood pillars, its frame is strong enough to hold the weight of cob walls.
The walls also have advanced thermal insulation, which keeps the house warm during cold winters and cool during hot summers.
Besides the walls’ natural warmth, the house has a wood-burning stove for extra warmth during cold weather and summer barbecues.
The cottage also features several cob elements, including a cloakroom and archway entrance made with stones.
In addition to its natural beauty, Ornee Cottage offers guests an opportunity to relax in a serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
12. Istoria Casutei, Romania
This is a tiny cob house built by architect Ileana Mavrodin in Romania.
The architect intended to use this house to promote building eco-friendly structures from natural materials.
It was also a means of helping the Romanians to rediscover their local construction skills and community spirit.
The architect used cob as the structural material. She blended the cob with stone to strengthen the walls.
The doors and the roof were built with Roundwood.
Ileana started by building the main house before extending it with an additional room and a guesthouse, both built with cob.
13. Michael Buck’s Cob Cottage
Michael Buck, a retired art teacher and farmer, built a small cob cottage that cost him $250.
The farmer spent two years collecting the necessary building materials for the house. He gathered floorboards from a neighbor’s boat, window glasses from a truck, and roofing thatch from the surrounding fields.
Buck’s cottage is off-grid — no running water or electricity.
The house has a wood-burning stove that provides sufficient heat for the entire home, thanks to its smaller size of 300 square feet (28 square meters).
The home has a well for storing food and a composting toilet for waste.
Buck intended to build this off-grid cob cottage to prove the possibility of building a house without breaking the bank.
14. The Cob Guest House, Mayne Island
Built in 2005 by Shanti McDougall and Don, The Cob Guest House took only nine weeks to complete.
The house features wide roof overhangs to prevent erosion due to rainfall and flooding.
Shanti and Don designed this house with a green roof to blend into its surrounding landscape filled with natural and cultivated plants.
Featuring a stone floor, customized furnishings, and a wood-burning stove, the cob guest house boasts a cozy and creative atmosphere.
Cob House Tours – Final Thoughts
There you have it, cob house tours for inspiration and ideas.
These examples of cob homes around the world demonstrate the potential of natural materials and their ability to create beautiful, sustainable homes.
Whether you’re looking for a unique house design or a softer impact on the environment, cob house building is an ideal way to go.
With their thoughtful design and architectural elements, these cob houses prove that creativity doesn’t have to be expensive or wasteful.
Before you leave, it’s worth noting that cob houses require insulation. That said, here is a review of Havelock insulation to help you understand it benefits.