Rethink Your Life!
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The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] NC permitted cob house

Samantha Swensen sammyjeans at
Thu Dec 4 19:56:07 CST 2008

The permitted house is just outside of Durham, NC. The owners (Stephen and
Rebekah Hren, who also wrote the article Damon referred to) were able to use
the building codes for adobe from the state of Arizona and their building
inspector permitted them. When we tried to get ours approved in similar
fashion, our county's (Burke) building inspectors basically freaked out and
were going to require us to have an engineer work with us to provide a full
work-up on the specs of the house, and they were going to require a
timber-frame with cob infill, not just cob. After being turned down by 2-3
different engineers for our project, we decided to go a different route and
buy yurts to get us started with a building permit (we have the first
permitted yurts in our county too, though!) and build other separate parts
of our house out of cob later as we need to expand. So I guess it depends
where you are in North Carolina, and overall NC seems to be one of the most
rigid states in terms of building codes and they have to have numbers,
numbers, numbers and diagrams to back everything up. We're doing our best to
educate folks and try to open some minds a bit though! Would love to hear
from any other North Carolina folks who are trying to do the cob thing now
or have in the past.
  Samantha Swensen
sammyjeans at

On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 3:00 PM, <coblist-request at> wrote:

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>   1. N.C. couple pdf (Damon Howell)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 15:36:16 -0500
> From: Damon Howell <dhowell at>
> Subject: [Cob] N.C. couple pdf
> To: coblist at
> Message-ID: <1BE969E2-641B-4029-B397-5EFEA3F926CC at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
> Hi,
>        Few days back someone asked about the couple who built a permitted
> cob home in North Carolina. I found it on the newspaper's website
> when they ran it and saved a copy of the pdf. If you'd like to have a
> copy, I can send the file to you. Just email me directly.
> Damon
> North Georgia
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Slow down and enjoy the journey.