Natural Building and Environment
Since 1996 DeaTech Research Inc. has been working to support the Natural Building Community (mostly behind the scenes). Over the years our activities have included various forms of activisim including public demonstrations of building techniques, web site design and/or hosting services for several organizations including Cob Cottage Company, as well as engaging in a variety of experimental projects to increase our understanding of what works, what doesn't, and what might be possible. These projects include everything from the conventional: experimental work in faster floors / walls and alternative foundation designs, to the "lunatic": mixing cob in pouring rain, building with cob in winter in a very wet climate, and our favorite, barefoot mixing of cob using ice water in freezing winter temperatures (it wasn't as bad as it sounds :-) We also created and continue to host, administer, and contribute to the "coblist" email discussion group for cob
We are not currently planning any natural building workshops. When we are teaching, workshops are posted on the Cob Cottage Company Workshops page.
If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please visit our Workshop Hosting information page.
Talks and Demonstrations
We also offer talks/slideshows and demonstrations of natural building techniques. To see the theme / general content of our current talk, please check out our last flyer. As I am currently spending a great deal of time in The Netherlands, I am available for talks in Europe. If you are interested in hosting one of these events, please visit our page on Hosting Talks, Slideshows and Demonstrations.
For many years we have provided Cob and Natural Building Workshops, talks, and demonstrations outside of the USA. We are particularly interested in providing these services in areas of the world where people desire to learn the techniques and do not currently have local access to this type of instruction. Cob in particular is much better suited to the poorer areas of the world which have a history of earthquakes than the often traditional mud brick techniques in many of these areas. No building technique is completely immune to the effects of earthquakes, but the straw reinforcement coupled with proper building design makes it a much safer choice than most alternatives. Lab and real world tests of cob have shown that cob can potentially withstand earthquakes of up to 9.0 without killing anyone (though at this level the building would need to be replaced afterwards). If you live in such an area and an adequate supply of straw or other similar fibrous plant is readily available at a cost (in money or labor) within reach of those who would most benefit, a switch from mud brick to cob could save many lives.
Note: we do not view it as being our place to tell people how they should build in a given area, that is up to the people who live there, and even if cob or some other technique might be a better choice structurally or environmentally, local culture may not make such a change viable for any number of reasons. Some cultures are pointedly trying to get away from natural techniques because they are associated with being "primitive" or "backwards" and they want a "modern" (i.e. modern American or European) alternative. While we believe cob and other natural building techniques are superior to most "modern" technologically based techniques when all issues are properly weighed (economics, accessibility, safety, environmental damage, pollution, etc.), and are happy to teach anyone who wishes to learn, we have no interest in trying to push these techniques on anyone or any culture.
If you are interested in bringing a cob / natural building instructor to your area, please contact: Shannon Dealy, email@example.com