A Happy Home

Written by Sven Eberlein

A Resilient Community issue

The Fall issue of Yes! Magazine features an article I wrote entitled Resilient Ideas: A Hand-Built Home about a cob house built from scratch by Brian Liloia at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeastern Missouri. It’s a pretty cool story about how to build your own home for a song, all with natural materials (mostly straw, clay, and sand), with no experience. (but plenty of passion).

Here’s an excerpt:

It’s easy to imagine Liloia’s creation on the cover of a modern home-design magazine. The massive walls shut out noise and help keep the space at an even temperature year-round. While cob and earthen building techniques aren’t new—cob houses in Europe more than 500 years old are still in use—natural building is gaining momentum. People are interested in treading more lightly and relearning traditional skills, and you don’t need a mortgage to build a cob house. Liloia figures Gobcobatron, which measures a little under 200 square feet, set him back a whopping $3,000 plus labor.

It’s a quick read, but if you’re interested in more I highly recommend Brian’s blog A Year of Mud in which he chronicled the whole process. This may not be ready for mass duplication (yet), but I think it’s an important example of what’s possible with very little.

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Sven Eberlein

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