new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Roof first? Or cob first?  RSS feed

 
Rose Steele
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have read where builders choose to either build their roofs in first before cobbling up the walls, and also where other choose to cob first and then put the roof on last. I realize that putting the roof on first would require vertical framing to hold the roof in place while the cob walls are constructed. I'm interested in this method because it would add extra protection from the elements while building, and wondering if anyone has some advice to help me decide which method would be best for me? Anyone have experience building in either way? Thanks!
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6685
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
252
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm on the wet, west coast. Most owner builders would be well advised to put up the roof first. Many projects experience delays. A roof with unfinished cob, will suffer no harm. Cob walls with no roof are vulnerable.
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 309
Location: Pittsburgh PA
11
chicken duck forest garden fungi trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roof first. The benifits far out weight wall first building. And there is no reason why load bearing, natural construction is not valid, but I like the idea of taking some weight off my walls. Plus wind, sun, rain, and snow protection. The other factor is, how much help do you have building? I know people who spent years, expecting months. Help looses interest, money disappears, priorities arise. Expect at least two years, unless you have boat loads of money, or your talking mini house.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Frame and dried in roof should always come first if at all possible in the logistics of a project...
 
Nicolas Ellis
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rose, this is Nicolas, I replied on my post.


I am a beginner, but I have always heard that if you are building in a moist environment you should build roof first.
 
Rose Steele
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the advice. My biggest challenge is understanding how to do the pole framing I suppose. I understand that the framing poles for the roof should be built separately from the cob wall....as in that the poles should never be encased in cob. Are there different applications for poles that are located inside the building verses outside of the building? How are the poles supposed to be mounted to the ground? I'm guessing like pier and beam houses...poured concrete? Anyone have some ideas?
 
Suzanne Cornell
Posts: 53
Location: Chemung NY
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am no expert but the guy in england Kevin McCabe, that builds huge cob houses uses a dead man and a wooden rim and then attaches wood to wood for the roof and then covers the joints in with cob, fills the cob up to the roof beams. Some of his pictures of builds show some of it at: http://www.buildsomethingbeautiful.co.uk
he built conventionally- roof last. Something to think about anyway.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Rose,

My biggest challenge is understanding how to do the pole framing I suppose. I understand that the framing poles for the roof should be built separately from the cob wall....as in that the poles should never be encased in cob.


Hmmm....I am not sure that is actually true in all cases, or even in most vernacular systems of this form going back several thousand years. "Encapsulating" or even "infill systems" is actual a standard practice in almost every from I know and teach. What lends you to believe this is not the case?

Are there different applications for poles that are located inside the building verses outside of the building?


I am not apposed to such modalities, yet these are more "reinventions" and contemporary "I think" methods, than actual traditional systems. Both can work, yet neither are a necessity. I to like the "inside" forms that I have seen, as they lend themselves well to creating stunning visual affects in the architecture. However, don't confuse these with "have to" one or the other.

How are the poles supposed to be mounted to the ground? I'm guessing like pier and beam houses...poured concrete? Anyone have some ideas?


Never "concrete" or any other OPC system...especially in traditional or natural building modalities. As for "ideas" I am not sure I would call them that per se, as these systems are well know, and documented going back thousands of years. If you just take a short review of some of what I have written here on Permies, (or feel free to contact me) we can discuss what systems appeal to your sense of aesthetic. Middle Eastern, African, and Asian methods are probably the most vast in orgin and type, yet others do exist. The U.K. and many other areas of Europe do have many examples of "structural" or "semi-structural cobb," yet I do not either recommend or design such forms myself, for many reasons.

Regards,

j
 
Rose Steele
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My biggest challenge is understanding how to do the pole framing I suppose. I understand that the framing poles for the roof should be built separately from the cob wall....as in that the poles should never be encased in cob.


Hmmm....I am not sure that is actually true in all cases, or even in most vernacular systems of this form going back several thousand years. "Encapsulating" or even "infill systems" is actual a standard practice in almost every from I know and teach. What lends you to believe this is not the case?


I'm not quite sure where I read "not to encapsulate" the framing. I've read The Hand Sculpted House as my primary introductory research for cob, also The Cob Builder's Handbook (PDF online), Dig Your Hands In The Dirt-Manual for making art out of Earth, and scoured as much info & videos online as possible in my free time over the past 5-ish years. Somewhere among that, I read that encapsulated framing can crack the cob over time as the house settles.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rose,

I figured that you had put a lot of time and energy into studying this topic. That alone can often lend itself to a certain level of confusion. It could be thought of as a condition of...too much information...too soon. It is really hard to digest all this information and then make cohesive connections of context with that same information. Those cohesive connection of context are what separate the artisan professional from the DIYer who is trying to understand it all.

Many of what I call the "new age" books of natural building are written by well intended, yet very novice folks themselves. Many do not have any architectural backgrounds in either historical architecture or structural engineering. They do have motivation, artistic creativity and drive, yet the advice...or what appears to be advice...isn't often grounded in solid contextual type...and more grounded in "I think" or a living experiment of projects. Some is a "regurgitation" of what some other "I think" experimenter has done. I can go on writing for many more paragraphs of folks that have traveled a little, seen other cobb structures (old and new) and then think..."I can do that."

I too "think" they can "do that." However, not often the way they "think" they can. Too much is taken out of context, or even good understanding, and this leads to compounded issues of regurgitated bad (or not so good) information. That is why you will see me often writing about "vernacular forms" and understanding them completely and fully before trying to emulate what one "thinks" is happening.

I got your email, and will be glad to be of service at any level you wish. As your project develops, I (et al) look forward to following along...

Regards,

j
 
Hey! Wanna see my flashlight? It looks like this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!