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building advice and climate advice

 
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I'm looking into building a new house. I live in Wyoming where -30 temps arent uncommon, high winds, and large amounts of snow. I am obsessed with cob houses but afraid that a solely cob house isn't practical where I live. I love the characteristics of both the exterior and interior of a cob home. I have done a ton of research on earth building and haven't found a lot of information for earth houses in my climate. I did read about someone who had some mold issues in his cob house who lived in a similar climate as me. I have been looking at straw bale houses lately and again can't really find any information on my type of climate. I am looking for a green, earth friendly home that my girlfriend and I could build together with help from other friends and family. A few requirements are that it has to be somewhat budget friendly and be able to sculpt it like some of the beautiful cob houses I see online.
 
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Location: NORTH Great plains (spit wrong and hit Canada)
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Max Guenthner wrote:I'm looking into building a new house. I live in Wyoming where -30 temps arent uncommon, high winds, and large amounts of snow. I am obsessed with cob houses but afraid that a solely cob house isn't practical where I live. I love the characteristics of both the exterior and interior of a cob home. I have done a ton of research on earth building and haven't found a lot of information for earth houses in my climate. I did read about someone who had some mold issues in his cob house who lived in a similar climate as me. I have been looking at straw bale houses lately and again can't really find any information on my type of climate. I am looking for a green, earth friendly home that my girlfriend and I could build together with help from other friends and family. A few requirements are that it has to be somewhat budget friendly and be able to sculpt it like some of the beautiful cob houses I see online.



Straw bales were used in North Dakota which is not very different from Wyoming.
Soddies were another typical form of building used.
I live in NE Montana and have a similar climate - I am intending an interior earthbag wall , plastered with a lime plaster on the inside, then an bit of foam insulation, then a vapor barrier, then a pest resistant mesh and stucco, then some sort of venting break (I am thinking just a little cardboard and wood) then some lime/clay stucco and pest resistant mesh coated straw bales followed by a breathable moisture barrier and a couple of inches of sod for facing. And an eve overhand of at least 18 inches.
Sure I will have walls more than two feet thick- but when it is -40 out for a week I hope to be able to keep the interior above 60 with minimal fuel, I also planned to partially bury the structure so these walls will only have to for the above ground portion.
 
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