I have been working on my kid's playhouse since early summer. It has been sort of an expermimental project to see if I could make a living-roof
, but during the building process I decided to try my hand at cob as well. Rather than doing the full cob walls, I wanted to just plaster the walls with cob, inspiration coming from this blog.
After I had the roof stable, and a good base of rock and dirt around the base of the house, I put a layer of tar-paper over the wood that would be mudded, and then added a layer of fencing raised just a cm or two:
Since the earth where we live is largely orange clay, it was easy to find a spot to dig up the dirt I needed, mix it with sand and hay and plaster the walls up:
Needless to say, this small playhouse has a lot of thermal-mass to it; meaning I have dug up around 20 to 30 wheel-barrows full of dirt and rocks to go on the roof, around the base, and now on the walls.
Where we live, the summer tempertures are extremely hot and dry. Shade and thermal-mass make a lot of difference to how cool a building stays.
This playhouse has stayed a very nice temp all summer. The windows are positioned to catch breezes. The plants on the roof also help absorb heat (although all of the plants died when we were away for a week and were not watered.
The next project will be better shelters for our animals. Very similar buildings but slightly larger, and better access doors for cleaning out.