Why Cob Straw Bale Hybrid?
Because I want to--Really, I can't think of a better reason. Well it does get cold where we plan to build and straw is a great sustainable insulator. Since we'd like to move into our house after one cobbing season the strawbale portion of the house should go up rather quickly. Now that we are using a Stucco sprayer cobbing will be much faster. Admittedly bale construction is rectilinear and conflicts with what I love about cob construction but it fits into my current plans excellently. Since after construction I'd like to have a sustainable mostly self sufficient homestead--energy cost should be cut to a minimum. Insulation is one of the best things to help us on the way to our goal. Cob has some insulative properties but mostly it is thermal mass that it has on its side. Given a passive solar design warmth from the sun only happens on sunny days. Since cold cloudy days stack easily upon themselves--supplimental heat will be necessary. Keeping that heat in the house will require insulation.
Straw will be on the north side and creeping around the east & west sides of the exterior. All of the interior walls and the southern exposure will be cob. We also plan earth plaster over the straw walls inside and out. A lime render will be prudent since driving rain will beable to get past the robust eves.