Rethink Your Life!
Finance, health, lifestyle, environment, philosophy
The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art



Cob: Fence building w/ Cob

John Hall hallsoi at netvigator.com
Sat Mar 20 21:01:13 PST 1999


Internet Mail wrote:
> 
> I really want to build a fence on my property to increase privacy and to help block vehicle noise.  I've seen cob mentioned several times as a 
good fencing mat
> 
> I'm kinda fuzzy on some aspects, so my questions would be
> 
> 1) Exposure to rain - I guess painting and waterproofing would help preserve the structure, but what to use?
> 
> 2) Fence base - Level ground is needed, I'm assuming, but should the ground be lined w/ rock for stability, or is just packed earth stable 
enough itself?  Woul
> 
> 3)  Noise barrier - anyone have an idea how well the fence would absorb/reflect sound?  We live close to a 2-lane highway, and noise 
control would certainly ma
> 
> Thanks in advance for any advice!
> 
> jeff
> 
>     ---------------------------------------------------------------
> I really want to build a fence on my property to increase privacy and
> to help block vehicle noise.  I've seen cob mentioned several times as
> a good fencing material, but have yet to hear anything specific on
> this.  It certainly seems much, much cheaper and more effective than
> conventional fencing - chain link (yuck), wooden fences, etc.
> 
> I'm kinda fuzzy on some aspects, so my questions would be
> 
> 1) Exposure to rain - I guess painting and waterproofing would help
> preserve the structure, but what to use?
> 
> 2) Fence base - Level ground is needed, I'm assuming, but should the
> ground be lined w/ rock for stability, or is just packed earth stable
> enough itself?  Would the sod need to be dug up before plopping down
> the cob?
> 
> 3)  Noise barrier - anyone have an idea how well the fence would
> absorb/reflect sound?  We live close to a 2-lane highway, and noise
> control would certainly make time spent outdoors more enjoyable.
> 
> Thanks in advance for any advice!
> 
> jeff

Jeff,

Cob has been used as garden and boundary walling successfully.  It's 
normally built off a stone forndation (ideally 3' high to accomodate 
rising moisture) built off stableish stratum.  It's nomally capped with 
either thatch, or else slated.  If you have a good overhang, you 
shouldn't need to worry too much about waterproofing the cob, although 
a lime wash or similar might be good.  Consider sprinkling crushed glass 
in the first lift or two to deter vermin burrowing - always a problem 
outside.

John