Xavier Allard from Koluba joined us in January for a few weeks on his way home from Malaysia and gave us some handy instruction for making cob and ecobrick from a straw bale earth builder’s perspective. We learned the basics of spacing for structural and not structural walls, also using glass bottles, the basics of lime/calcium plasters and timber/bamboo reinforcement in cob structures.

Here is a short video about the process…

We’re working on making a more detailed video and hope to make it available in other languages.

We also had CERES Global join us from Melbourne for a workshop making cob, bottle bricks and some bamboo basics with Supri Yanto – designer of Freyr’s Bamboo Home here. These guys have a sister village in the Sembalun area of Lombok – east of Mount Rinjani which was devastated by the recent earthquakes and were on their way there to learn more about the local ways and culture and share knowledge together. The participants were mainly Uni students from diverse faculties.

Together, we constructed an ecobrick bench seat with cob and rock/sand/cement in the bottom to keep it from eroding away in the rainy season. We made a formwork so that the entire bench could be made in one day (usually cob must be done in layers and left to dry so it doesn’t “slump”). I saw this idea on Youtube and it worked excellently! So here’s the video with the follow-up finishing to where it’s at now.

Currently we are experimenting with plastering it and growing grass on top to make a pleasant sitting area to recharge one’s mobile phone/torch with a small solar unit that will be placed on the alang alang (grass) and recycled tetra pack roof when completed.

The sweet sound of plastic saved from ocean life and landfill

We still have more cob work to do so if you’re interested in coming and learning with us, get in touch or register directly on our Workshops page.

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