Brick vs Cob Brick Testing
One thing that I have become increasingly interested in is natural building materials. One of type of building material is know as cob. Cob are bricks made from earth. The are made by combining clay, sand, and straw. They are cured by drying them out. It works best when it is hotter out and you can use the sun to cure them. There are many articles on them and seem to have a ton of benefits. Some of those benefits include:
Can be locally sourced and great reduce cost and energy required for brick
- Do not require high heat ovens/kilns
- Help regulate temperature of the building because they absorb moisture well
- Reduce waste related to production of blocks b/c waste is earth
Hypothesis and Experiment Design
- Compression Strength:1900 psi
- Cost:0.90 USD/brick
- Control: Regular Brick in ground by itself
- Variable 1: Cob in ground by itself
- Variable 2: Regular in ground with plastic film between brick and earth
- Variable 3: Cob in ground with plastic film between brick and earth
- Variable 4: Regular brick in ground with a water drainage system surrounding it.
- Variable 5: Cob in ground with a water drainage system surrounding it.
the red brick will be the control because I have seen the results of a brick being in the ground a long time. That is pretty much nothing except getting dirty. I am just really interested to see how well the cob holds up. How will it hold up in heavy rain? The plastic film is based on a recommendation from the book mentioned above and I want to try it out because Mike Oheler was a pioneer in underground living. If this ends up working out it will be a huge win. Making bricks from site materials for essentially only the cost of labor would be amazing!
I invite any of you reading this to try this yourself and share your results in the comments below or hit McCormick Growers on any of the social media platforms below. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!