Friday, July 18, 2008

Why we're doing it

"Not satisfied or confident that life can be renewed, unwilling and afraid to grow old, to gradually become magnificent, treelike elders, or die into cultural humus, the modern man or woman demands the permanence of steel cities and immortality... such individuals are like cornered cats, frozen in the anxious void of modern communities... Violence is close behind when people won't come together to remake each others' houses."
(Martin Prechtel, native American shaman).

Of course, if we maintain it, this house will last long. But it has been built by a community and will be maintained by communal effort. This is the kind of building - houses and communities together - that South Africa needs - urgently!

2 comments:

Jaime said...

Could you tell me what sort of maintenance will be required and comment on the lifespan of cob?

Simric said...

A quick limewash every couple of years (like a one-coat paint job) has kept houses going for over 400 years so far in the UK. Obviously you have to do a bit more to start with as you figure out your water run-off issues and bolster certain areas with extra plaster. The maintenance is easily done by amateurs if you are doing the right thing i.e. not trying to stick cement plaster onto cob (disastrous!!)