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Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] building with shipping containers, straw bales, and cob

Ocean Liff-Anderson ocean at
Thu Jun 26 04:45:10 CDT 2008

I agree with Tim...this is the weirdest off-topic post yet to show on  
the cob list.  Come on, this is the COB-LIST, not the "container- 
list" or "steel-list" or "strawbale-as-insulation-list"

You should only post to this list if you want to discuss COB building!

On Jun 25, 2008, at 11:56 PM, Tim Nam wrote:

> Do you have access to free containers or something? I mean, why not  
> just stick with the strawbale and cob?  Just asking.
> I would use the containers for a basement, if at all.
>  Tim Kijoo Nam
> Corvallis, OR
> tkn317071 at
> "We are discussing no small matter, but how we ought to live." - 
> Socrates
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Selvoy Fillerup <selvoy at>
> To: coblist at
> Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 6:12:21 PM
> Subject: [Cob] building with shipping containers, straw bales, and cob
> All:
> I’d like to discuss the possibility of incorporating recycled  
> shipping containers with natural materials (such as straw bales and  
> cob) to create a natural/industrial blended home. I prefer the  
> organic look and feel of natural materials and would like to use  
> containers as a skeletal framework on which to build. Does anyone  
> have experience with both methods of construction?
>> From what I have seen, people building with containers tend to  
>> weld them together to form large, boxy structures. The containers  
>> always seem to be situated next to or on top of each other with  
>> the walls or floors cut away to open up the floor plan. The homes  
>> look nice and polished, but they frequently come off as a little  
>> too sterile for my taste and they’re downright repulsive to my wife.
> While I’m okay with an industrial looking home, my wife has  
> threatened to leave me if I ask her to live in one. She hates the  
> corrugated walls and boxy feel. This is where we agreed to  
> compromise. She’ll allow me to build with containers as long as she  
> gets 9+’ ceilings and doesn’t have to look at corrugated walls. And  
> therein lies the architectural challenge: How do I build an  
> affordable home given the fact that container walls are corrugated  
> and the height of most containers is between 8 and 9 feet high?
> What we have come up with are several designs that separate the  
> containers instead of stacking them together. Separating them adds  
> to the overall square footage of the house, but it also reduces the  
> number of containers required to create the same amount of living  
> space. I’m unsure of how best to make high ceilings, but copying  
> the boxy structures is one solution. I know of several ways to  
> cover the walls, but we both prefer the natural, organic look.
> As an architectural challenge, I would like to work within the  
> parameters of the containers to create a comfortable living space  
> using natural materials for insulation. I feel that both methods of  
> construction are environmentally responsible. Additionally, used  
> separately they are very cost effective in terms of construction,  
> maintenance, and longevity. But what about using them together?
> If anyone has thoughts on my wahoo ideas, please let me know.  
> Better to find out I’m in left field now than after I begin  
> construction. If anyone would like to visit on the phone, I’d be  
> willing to arrange a time to do so.
> Thank you for your time and consideration.
> Selvoy Fillerup
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