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One Day Cob House

May 9, 2014 - May 11, 2014 Contact

Instructor: House Alive and “Be the change”
Location: Reno, Nevada
Email: welcome@housealive.org
Phone: (541)899-3751
Tuition: $50 – $200 donation

What would it be like to try and raise a cob building in one day in an urban setting? That is exactly what we’re going to find out. We are bringing 40-50 people together for a 3-day event which will turn a pile of mud, straw, and salvaged materials (rescued from the waste stream) into a beautiful cob cottage. The finished building will benefit the “Be the Change Project” in Reno. It will serve as temporary housing for interns, visitors, and people transitioning into the community.

This will be one of the most spectacular natural building events in recent history. The cottage will be about 150 square feet, and built with cob, bales, cordwood-cob and salvaged wood. It will be finished with a straw-clay plaster and tamped earthen floor.

About the Workshop

Friday will be a day of preparation and training, Saturday will be the “barn raising” from dawn until midnight, and Sunday will be for celebrating and cleaning up. On Saturday, people will rotate between building, supporting, and resting in about 2 hour shifts. All meals will be provided for participants and there will be places to camp for out-of-town participants.

Besides careful design, good planning and hard work, the success of this project will be greatly enhanced by the festival atmosphere that we’ll create. We’re asking everyone who participates to fulfill a dual function: one of student-builder, the other of festival contributor. We’re looking for people with the following skills in order to make this possible:

Musicians who can offer a 1 or 2-hour set of energizing music
Cooks willing to make light, healthy snacks throughout the day
Coffee makers to provide caffeine and refreshments
Massage therapists, to soothe tired muscles
Story tellers
People to help with the young children (perhaps making a playhouse on the side)
People to bring and help create costumes, to make us all look silly
Experienced carpenters (The roof will be built on the ground while the walls are being raised)
Cinematographers: a DVD will be produced as a fundraiser for “be the change”
Experienced cob builders who can help teach and guide.
Anything that you can think of that would be helpful, fun, and festive!
As mentioned, this event will support the Be the Change Project. Be the Change (and the community growing up around them) is an urban homestead and learning center dedicated to radical simplicity and service. They raise animals, promote community art projects, teach natural building, and utilize a wide range of appropriate technologies on their urban property. The entire community lives without electricity or fossil fuels, just two miles from the neon lights and casinos of downtown Reno. They have become a source of inspiration for seekers, dreamers, and lovers of life – people who want to live well without selling their souls. The community members are overwhelmingly generous and fun to be with and offer a real and uplifting alternative to the consumer lifestyle.

Be the Change operates on the gift economy. We recommend a donation of $50 – $200 to help defray the cost of food, materials, and transportation. Additional donations of money, wholesome foods, materials, costumes, love, etc., are greatly appreciated.


May 9, 2014
May 11, 2014
Event Category:


Reno, NV United States


House Alive!
(541) 899-3751