Earthen Homes Could Offer Sustainable Alternative To Stick-Built Houses

<p>Cob houses -- some of which have lasted half a millennium in Europe -- are gaining interest among homeowners looking for a sustainable, inexpensive, and long-lasting structure.</p>
August 6, 2007, 1pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Ann and Gord Baird's dream house has in-floor heating, solar and wind power to run appliances, a plug-in for an electric car and a wall of windows to capture the sun's heat from the south.

It's all very contemporary - except the house is made of mud.

Ann, a former financial manager, and Gord, an auto body shop owner, both quit their jobs to construct their 2,150-square-foot home of cob, a centuries-old construction technique using dirt, clay and straw."

"When completed, it will be the first code-approved, load-bearing, high-occupancy two-storey cob house in North America."

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Published on Monday, August 6, 2007 in The Globe & Mail
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