While I have heard from multiple sources that cow poo is a fine and admirable structural component for cob render mix, I never thought we’d try it.
But thanks to Harris, we have finally given the Earthbag dome we started building in February 2011 it’s first complete outer render, featuring mud, sand, silt and cow poo. And it seems to be working!
The completion of this earthbag structure has been a bit long winded and very experimental. If we build another (which we hope to) we will have the benefit of lots of hard-learned lessons to make the process quicker!
But it is getting there. Shane, the awesome bloke who is (slowly but surely) building our tinyhouse made up some beautiful window and door frames that fit snugly in the bagwork, made from recycled wood. They’re all in place and looking great.
Since the bag-work was finished on that first 7-day flurry of energy and enthusiasm, it’s been a bit of a slow road to get the earthbag dome finished… as always, it’s a matter of priorities, and this project, while awesome, just wasn’t up the top of the list.
But slowly we’ve got there. It’s been an experiment and a collaboration with many people pitching in ideas and techniques. Some we’d do again, and some we wouldn’t. But that’s ok. It’s bee a great learning experience in hands-on, radical building for everyone involved!
Many thanks to everyone who’s helped with our earthbag dome thus far! It’s been quite a learning curve… particular thanks to Neil and Stella that got us going and to Harris for initiating the cow-poo render sequence. And to Leigh Hegg for his photos.