I live in a zone where the weather is said to become more extreme each year, putting us at ridk for hurricanes. I STILL want to build a cob house- or perhaps a house that combines certain techniques- with the added criteria that it be SUPER-strong. Can anyone help or point me in the right direction as to where i can get info on how to confidently build a structure that wont have me crossing my fingers every winter?
Hi Karl, this is just a quick reply to jump start your project plans.
First off, in nature round is the strongest shape, and round buildings do diffuse strong winds much better than squares or rectangles.
That being said there are practical reasons for the shape of our houses such as best fit for furniture, so look into octagon shapes to have the best of both.
You'll want to design a system of securely tying the roofing structure to the walls and the walls to the foundation and foundation to the ground.
Next is the extra strength of round/whole wood used in building vs milled lumber. Research round wood construction for the benefits of round wood.
And lastly, I'd say you want a strong and flexible mesh inside your walls. Repairing damaged cob isn't a big deal as long as you can keep wall from compromising altogether.
Consider covering your walls in a strong fiber netting before covering with the final external plaster. (welded wire can interfere with electronic signals in the building so stay away from metals if possible) consider a natural rope fishing net, or heavy duty plastic animal netting.
I hope this sparks some ideas.
posted 7 years ago
Your reply helped a lot, thank you! I have a much clearer idea now of what to keep in mind and aim for when building and im even more set on incorporating curves than before, which i was already excited about. And round wood is super common here so thats a plus!
Round homes are much stonger and wind resistant , agreed. Also incorporate hurricane ties to the roof and walls connection, check out designs by deltec homes.
Also geodesic domes are great, but there are problems with the shingles. Myself i would prefer a round home with a metal roof. The metal will help in insulating the solar gain you get through the roof. And will be stronger for high winds , if properly secured. Plants will have to be carfully placed if you need to get a breeze into your home , since round homes do not allow wind to stop and flow through windows as square homes do. Also if you incorporate sliding window shutters on the out side of your windows you can protect your windows much better. ( i cant think of the correct shutter term, think of roll shutters,) also there is much less wood needed for the framing of round homes. With proper planning you will have a great solar gain and an effcient home.
I would also look at the earthships design for economical cold air drafts for cheap natural airconditioning from the ground up through the top.
Another possiblity would be steel grain bin conversions. Just not as tall and wider bins.
It all depends on your building codes and permits, as to what you can do!
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