Friday, June 28, 2013

How to mix cob, filmed in Summerland.

I have had lots of people asking me how is cob made, well here is some video I shop when I was up in Summerland a few years ago working on a cob recording studio. As you can see, we had a lot of fun while working hard. It is the sense of community that makes this way of building so special.

Thanks to all the participants for letting me film them.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Mentors Featured in a Cob Homes Article in the Vancouver Sun

Cob construction makes a comeback  is a great article in the Vancouver Sun today written by Megan Cole.
I was working on my Building Permit application form, finding all my paperwork and emailing the appropriate office to get my title search documentation and the  Homeowner Protection Office to get my  Builder Declaration and Discloser Notics etc. This is not particularly fun.  I am excited to be getting it done as it means I am one step closer to building.
While on the computer doing the emails, I saw I had a message from Doug Stanger, a wonderful supporter and steward of the environment.
I am so grateful to Doug for letting me know about this great article in the Sun today. I was excited to read it as it features Patrick Hennebery of Cobworks, who taught me everything I know about building in cob and also OUR Eco Village on Vancouver Island, where I met Elke Cole who designed my house for me. I went to a Design Your Natural Home workshop there two years ago.
Elke Cole leading the Design Your Natural Home Workshop at OUR Eco Village

Patrick is leading a Cob and Community in the Village - Skillbuilder Internship this summer at OUR Eco Village.  He is also my consultant as I build my home and I am thrilled to be working with him.  His time and wisdom are invaluable to me. 

So this is the serendipity of life. I am just putting together my submission for my building permits and I go to facebook and I find this link to information on cob houses growing in popularity. 
I thought I would take this opportunity to share a video of Patrick speaking about his work, specifically the Summerland project that I was a part of. 


By the way Building Permit applications are not that much fun.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beautiful Cob House Pictures on the Natural Homes Widget.

There is a wonderful website out there called Natural Homes. They have a widget that shares images of natural homes and I selected cob as it suits this blog. I hope you enjoy seeing all these fabulous buildings.  I encourage you to visit their site if you are interested in Natural Building.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Plans and Planning

This past week my official plans arrived from the engineer, after many months of anticipation. This is very exciting for me. I have several copies in various sizes and I can see all the side and rear and front elevations. The structural plans and foundation plans are there. So this weekend I managed to come to Mayne Island and meet with the very important people who are helping me put my plans into action.
Elliot is going to organize and coordinate putting in the foundations. I gave him a copy of all the plans in the big format and we went over them together to check how many post supports there will be and how the beams will go etc. There is lots to do.
Now I have the plans I am filling in my form applying for the building permits and hopefully this goes smoothly and we begin the work in mid July.
The septic field and tank should be in by then.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Septic Field Plans

As the summer approaches I am happy to announce that I took the step of hiring someone to put in the septic field/tank. It is something I dragged my heels on as I really do believe that on an island that needs to conserve water that top of the line composting toilet systems would be a much more sane way to go.
I did a research project on composting toilet systems and there is much evidence that they are safe and a workable sanitation system. There is a community in New York State that has been using one for over ten years to protect their water shed. I will post more on this research later. But here is what a modern day composting toilet looks like. :-)

I fully intend to put in a two toilet composting toilet system from Sancor. These toilets use only 1/2 cup of water per flush. 

However, I realize that such changes if they ever occur to the bylaws will be slow in coming and that I will have to conform and put in my septic system in order to build this summer.

I am happy that Matt Taylor has agreed to put it in for me.  I have yet to meet him, but he and Andrew Money, the engineer, are in the process of designing the system and I hope to hear it is going in soon.