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Straw bale or Cob building for cold wet British winters?

 
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Hello,

Intetested in building a quick and easy small building to use as our accomodation whilst we build a natural stone house.

With regards to cob vs straw bale ;

Is a straw bale better than Cob for the cold weather, OR will they actually use around the same amount of energy to heat as although the cob house is a weaker insulator, it will hold the heat better?

Presumably the lack of rigidity in straw bale house walls requires you to build a wooden frame structure and roof first?

Which of the two methods is quicker to build?

Thanks

 
pollinator
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Hello Mr. Bong,

Approximately what is the length, width and height of your intended temporary abode?

What is the duration you expect the temporary housing to last?

I've contributed to and watched a strawbale house be built. I've built a small adobe dome. It is my humble opinion neither is quick nor easy.

you might consider a WOFATI if you or your friends have access to earth moving equipment -it seem to be a faster method than what I've experienced with strawbale or cob.

Here's some info on wofati's:

Wofati intro

Here's a cheap micro doc to help you and the innovators who created wofati's.
 
gardener
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Cob is definitely not fast, and is very permanent (centuries if it has a good foundation and roof.) If you want a cheap, fast temporary house that is well insulated, you might be able to build a wooden frame and roof, then stack bales under the roof and plaster them. If you don't take the careful steps to make it long-lasting, it would probably be fairly fast. It will be cheap only if you have straw harvesting close by, and maybe not then, depending on the market. For a temporary shelter, hay bales would probably work and be considerably cheaper.

The size of building you want (including wall height) will influence this advice. The bigger it is, the more important it will be to build well and add the strengthening touches.
 
James Bong
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Thanks people.

Been having a think and have come to the conclusion that a camper van would be a better choice as you already have shelter, electricity, heat, and would just need some insulation.

Cheers.


 
pollinator
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I think this is a wise decision.

Putting the camper inside a structure or shelter of some sort seems to have worked well for a number of people.

I've seen several people augment an RV with a tiny cabin at the front door, with a woodstove. Safer than cramming a woodstove inside the RV, and provides a nice mudroom/drying area, priceless in damp cold climates.
 
steward
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At the moment, I am thinking straw bale might be quicker to build since the straw bales in the walls are probably bigger than loafs of cobb. I'm basing my guess on that if this was all done by hand than bigger volumes of material (with a lighter density) would probably go up faster than smaller volumes of material for the same size house.
 
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Would anyone out there have any experience in building a straw bale greenhouse?  That I hope will be my project this summer.  To build one in an existing barn.  So work will be nice and dry. I’m dreaming of having my citrus trees leave the house and have their own house this winter. Dreaming of lemons in the snow.
 
pollinator
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Straw bales go up quickly, but the plaster etc takes a lot of time.
Spray units can be obtained and they help a lot

Look at this for some quick info
basic strawbales
 
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