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20’x20’ COB Cabin WORKSHOP


April 27, 2014 - May 3, 2014 Contact


Cob meaning “a lump or rounded mass”.

Cob is one of many methods for building with raw earth, the world’s most common construction material. Cob building uses hands and feet to form lumps of earth mixed with sand and straw, a sensory and aesthetic experience similar to sculpting with clay.  In history of buildings the most ancient buildings are either made of stone or cob.  Earth homes are cool in summer, warm in winter. They are also very adaptable to a variety of climatic conditions around the world.

This ancient technology doesn’t contribute to deforestation, pollution or mining nor depend on manufactured materials or power tools. Earth is non-toxic and completely recyclable. In this age of environmental degradation, dwindling natural resources, and chemical toxins hidden in our homes, doesn’t it make sense to return to nature’s most abundant, cheap and healthy building material?

Our 20’x20’ Cabin Workshop  is designed to teach natural building techniques to anyone who is interested in discovering how to live more sustainably through learning how to build their own natural homes.  As well as an opportunity to learn, connect and grow with others that are looking to create a sustainable and community way of living.
The 7day workshop will cover:

• Considerations on picking a house site including passive solar design
• Discussions on rubble trench foundation systems (this part will be built before the workshop commences)
• Building cob walls and basic straw bale walls
• Putting in windows and doors
• Putting on a living roof

During the workshop, we will be creating a 20′ x 20′ COB cabin.

April 27th: Project overview, Selecting and testing soils, How to make cob using the tarp method, Making test bricks, Tools, Foundations overview

April 28th: Building cob walls, windows and doors overview

April 29th: Continue cob walls, installing windows and doors

April 30th: Continue cob walls, continue installing windows and doors

May 1st: Complete cob walls, window and door lintels, making wall niches

May 2nd: Roofing

May 3rd: Wrap-Up and Celebration

The intent is that we will complete the walls and roof.  Knowing that ‘stuff’ happens, weather, time, learning curve, etc… We will complete as much as we can.

We will begin each day with breakfast at 7:00am and begin work around 8:00am.  We will break for lunch around noon and finish working around 5:00pm each day of the workshop with dinner at 6:00pm.

Tuition:  $800.00 single   –    $1050.00 couples

If you are a group that would like to participate, please call #423-623-7543 and we will work something out.

This is a kid friendly event, we would love for kids to be involved with the build and will have someone to watch smaller children that are not participating.

**Early bird special: $695.00 if you register and pay before April 15th**

 The tuition cost covers:

  • Instruction
  • Hands-on building
  • Camp site (please bring your own camping equipment),  there is a bathhouse on site with showers
  • Breakfast before workshop and dinner in the evening after work is complete for the day.
  • A celebration on the last day of the workshop!

** There will be vegetarian options; please let us know if you have any food allergies or concerns.

**We also have lodging if you prefer not to camp, please contact us for details  423-623-7543


We are so excited to have  Alex Sumerall (Builder/Instructor) to lead our workshop!


Alex is an up-and-coming east coast Natural Builder with a focus on creating earthen structures that are healthy, aesthetically pleasing, and functional for modern life. He is the owner of the website www.thiscobhouse.com, an educational resource for teaching people about cob and natural building techniques. Alex has a background in business, advertising, and has been practicing NaturalBuilding since 2011. He graduated from the Aprovecho School of Natural Building in 2013 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and continues to teach, present, consult, and construct.


April 27, 2014
May 3, 2014
Event Category:


Meadow Creek Mountain Ranch
961 Browns Chapel Rd., Parrottsville, TN 37843 United States


Meadow Creek Mountain Ranch