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Red Earth Building Services

Cob and Straw Clay Timber Frame Home



PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

When it came time for Adam and Kim Goode to build a house on their 15 acre parcel on the North San Juan Ridge, many decisions had to be made. Adam was an apprentice at East Wind, a Japanese style timber-frame company, and wished to incorporate that aesthetic into a naturally built home. The couple loved the look and feel of cob, but it seemed like too much for the one man crew (Adam). After being introduced to the work of Robert Laporte, Adam came up with a design combining light clay straw, cob, and a Japanese style timber frame.

 

LESSONS LEARNED

The combination of cob and light straw-clay is a great blend of thermal mass and insulation. It is also much quicker and easier than an all cob building. The light straw-clay also works well with a timber frame. The use of a tractor is essential for a natural building. There is literally TONS of mixing materials involved. Adam’s little orange friend, (Kubota tractor) was used to mix and apply cob, earthen floors and plasters. This project would not have been possible without it. The builder realized how difficult it is to be a natural building purist. Even with the greenest of intentions, he found it necessary to make some compromises in order to get the job done in an effective and timely manner.

ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Owner

BUILDER: Owner

OWNER: Adam & Kim Goode

LOCATION: North San Juan Ridge

SIZE (SF): 2,300 including covered porch and bath house

DATE OF COMPLETION: 2008

COST/SF: ~$50

 

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS:

Recycled Content:

  • Site Boulders for Foundation
  • Site Clay
  • Cob and Light Straw-Clay
  • Metal Roof
  • Blue Jean Insulation

Waste Diversion:

  • Timber frame construction milled from bug kill and utility salvage
  • Logs and Poles from Site
  • Straw leftover from another project
  • Renewable Resources:
  • Adobe Floor
  • Earthen Plasters
  • Biodiesel powered tractor used during construction
  • Site Clay, Sand and Rock
  • Eco-Mortar
  • 2nd & 3rd growth trees for Ceiling Board and Rafters

BUILDING ENVELOPE:

  • Low-E glazing
  • Blue Jean Insulation

WATER CONSERVATION & MANAGEMENT:

  • Low flow fixtures
  • Grey water Systems
  • Solar water pump

HVAC/INDOOR AIR QUALITY:

  • Passive Solar
  • Low/NoVOC BIOSHIELD finishes
  • Operable Windows for Natural Ventilation

LIGHTING:

  • Passive Solar for natural lighting
  • Compact Fluorescent

RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS:

  • Off-grid Solar PV

Tags: New Construction
Passive Solar
Solar Photovoltaic
High Thermal Mass
Insulation

Mail can be sent to: SiGBA P.O. Box 4245 Truckee, CA 96160

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