Cob, Straw Bale or Earthbag: Which Is the Best?


| 5/19/2016 9:23:00 AM


Tags: cob building, straw bale building, earthbag building, earth homes, natural building, Atulya Bingham, Turkey,

 

Cob house

I love mud and straw buildings for so many reasons. They are sustainable (unlike log cabins, trees don’t need to be felled), inexpensive and the maintenance is a cinch. Three popular mud and straw-based natural building techniques are cob, straw bale and earthbag. People often ask me which I think is better, or greener. Each has its pros and cons.

Strawbale house

Your climate, the topography of your land, and which materials you have to hand are crucial in choosing which technique to use. Building a straw bale house when there is no straw in your area means squandering fossil fuels to ferry the bales in. On the other hand, earthbag building usually involves polypropylene bags – not exactly bio-degradable. Cob is probably the greenest method, but takes time and not the most practical if you live on a flood plain.




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