Cob Wall Figures Survey
Dear You,

This survey is to gather dimensions etc. of livable-size cob structures.

The biggest hurdle to normalizing earth architecture appears to be building codes. Cob is the most accessible building method worldwide, yet the hardest to codify so the attempts have not yet reached strawbale or rammed earth level. Our challenge is to prove the safety of cob buildings in a language that code officials can understand -- namely, numbers. My goal is to offer these numbers in a way that also leaves the creative spirit of cob building intact.

This survey will be used to convey basic information about what is happening with cob today. I need your help and data to move forward the notion that cob construction can be just as safe and viable as conventional construction. We need to convert the graceful nature of cob buildings into a language that code makers can comprehend. It’s a difficult task that requires many solid examples. Please share the benefits that cob has given you, to benefit everyone around the world.

Please take a few minutes with your tape measure and guesstimates to fill the survey below. Photos and rough sketches of the floor plan are extremely helpful and VERY desired. Please send them to . Below there is an example of a cob structure in Japan, and sketches, dimensions, etc.

Thank you very kindly.

Where is the cob structure located? *
Your answer
What year was it built? *
Your answer
Load bearing? *
Your answer
How many stories? (count loft as .5)
Your answer
What is the rough square footage? (inside space) *
Your answer
Roof type?
Your answer
Length *
Your answer
Height *
Your answer
Width at base *
Your answer
Width at top *
Your answer
Overhang length (roof eave) *
Your answer
Is there a window or door opening here? (preferred but not required) *
If yes to above, please share the dimensions, and note if it is a door or window
Your answer
Your email address
Your answer
Thank you very very much! Arigatogozaimas!
I am a plaster apprentice in Kyoto, learning Japan’s tradition of earth plastering. For visa purposes, I’ve become a PhD student at Kyoto Institute of Technology, and am using the opportunity to bridge the gap between earth building practitioners and academic research. I've been tasked with moving cob forward, for all the benefits that normalizing it can provide our current world.

Here is an example of a 100+ year old cob structure in Japan. It is a store house, built so long ago no one knows how it was done. Dimensions shared here are in centimeters. Feel free to share yours in whatever measurement you choose.
These are dimensions for the large wall seen here, with two window openings.

Location: Toyoura-cho, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan
Year built: unknown, perhaps 100~120 years ago
Load bearing: Yes
Two stories
15.75 square meters inner area
Roof type: Tiles on a bed of earth (probably, this is standard practice in Japan)
Length: 580cm Height: 386.5cm Width at base: 40cm Width at top: 40cm Overhang length: unmeasured, looks about 20cm (so tiny!)
Distance from wall to next interior support = n/a (no interior support, only exterior walls)
Two window openings. One is 77cm(l) x 30cm(h). One is 80cm(l) x 76.5cm(h)

Takano Storehouse
simple sketch of Takano Storehouse
what your sketch might look like
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