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[Cob] New to cob; particular question re: bringing electricity to a cob structure

Ocean Liff-Anderson ocean at
Sat Nov 22 10:41:57 CST 2008

you rock!

go solar!

On Nov 22, 2008, at 7:41 AM, Jill Hogan wrote:

> Hi I have built a cob house in South Africa with load bearing walls  
> and a light straw/clay roof which we have lime rendered. I have  
> been off the grid for 12 years and this email is sent by solar  
> power. We are about to add a wind generator. All my lights are 12v,  
> so is this laptop, plus my fans, radios, even operate a car vacuum  
> cleaner off my 12v system. My inverter operates a little washing  
> machine, my sewing machine, juice extractor, my big PC, printer and  
> scanner on 220. In all the energy crises I am like a beacon on the  
> hill the only lights to be seen. you can see more on
> Regards Jill
> McGregor Alternative Technology Centre
> "MAT"
> 023 625 1533
> We are sponsored by Cape Lime Robertson
> If you do not want to receive these mails please reply with  
> unsubscribe as your subject. Thank you.
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: philmoulton at
>   To: Andrew John Martinson
>   Cc: coblist at
>   Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:37 AM
>   Subject: Re: [Cob] New to cob;particular question re: bringing  
> electricity to a cob structure
>   Please keep us in the loop on your progress.
>   We are planning on the same direction.
>   Currently have a cabin in Otis we have relocated to but the site  
> is not healthy and not sunny so are planning another move to Eugene  
> or Bend areas.
>   Have found that the few Cob structures that are houses that are  
> "legal" have a post and beam structure and has to be signed off by  
> a structural engineer and quite a cost. Even cob cottage has not  
> "yet" built one but I understand they are planning to do so in 2009.
>   Have also found no help or replys from Cob Cottage and find that  
> this coblist is probably the best we can hope for. There are a few  
> people who have cob knowledge but most of those we have attempted  
> to contact have not replied either. Seems there is more interest in  
> building cob houses in Africa then here.
>   Best option is to find property with existing power and septic  
> and "remodel" it without telling anyone.
>   There was a bill that did not pass that would have allowed any  
> "remodel" less then 35k to NOT require a permit and the problem is  
> to connect power you Need to have a electical permit which of  
> course requires a building permit.
>   There are permit requirements on the books for strawbail but they  
> too require a post and beam in most cases.
>   We are still hoping to do cob but it may end up to be a "garden  
> room" that we happen to sleep and cook in a lot.
>   Phil and lilpony
>   philmoulton at
>   -------------- Original message --------------
>   From: "Andrew John Martinson" <andrew05 at>
>> Hello,
>> My wife and I are researching alternative living/building with the  
>> aim of
>> building a small cob cottage in Oregon's mid-Willamette valley.  
>> She has
>> experience building with cob at her school in Portland, and my  
>> intention is to
>> take some classes in cob construction (to augment what I've been  
>> learning from
>> books, the web, etc) through Cob Cottage Company.
>> Of the myriad questions I have, one has to do with bringing  
>> electricity to a cob
>> structure. Though we are considering (and trying to learn more  
>> about) solar PV,
>> wind, microhydro, etc., we realize that we may want to have  
>> utilities to our
>> property. I believe that bringing municipal utilities such as  
>> electricity to a
>> building and site invites beurocracy and expense, but could anyone  
>> give me A) a
>> rough (or specific) charge for such a hookup, and/or B) anecdotal  
>> experience of
>> such an effort? Perhaps if we purchased land with a pre-existing  
>> structure that
>> was wired (and plumbed) we could renovate that electrical system  
>> to bring power
>> to the cob structure.
>> Thank you.
>> Andrew
>> _______________________________________________
>> Coblist mailing list
>> Coblist at
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