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[Cob] Could "light clay" be load bearing if baled, and would it mold?

Don Jackson homesteadpower at
Tue Dec 30 13:05:09 CST 2008

I would like more of an insulation value to my walls than cob offers.  I would build with straw bales, but the mold issues concern me.  My questions are:

1.  If "light clay" (straw dipped in clay slip) was tightly compressed and securely bound into bales, would this idea ever result in bales strong enough for load bearing walls that would support the weight of a living turf roof?

2.  If "light clay" was tightly compressed, would it still be insulative?

3.  If "light clay" was tightly compressed and covered with earth plaster, could it ever mold?

4.  Would any of your answers be different if a larger amount of clay was used, but the mix was still substantially straw?

Thank you very much for your reasoning and your answers.

Don Jackson
Azalea, OR

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