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Natural House-building Workshop - Alachua - Early warning announcement

braja - Thu, 04 Aug 2005 20:49:33 +0530
We are looking at holding a workshop on natural house-building techniques sometime in early January '06 in Alachua, Florida. The workshop will be run by some experienced cob builders and will likely be over 2-3 days (probably over a weekend). Although the primary technique being covered will be cob (earth--not corn), the workshop might also be useful for those interested in other techniques, solar energy, etc. I don't have any details at present and will post as they become available but I thought I'd post now in case any visitors here had a particular interest.

As the first building will be for a certain gentleman from Vraja with a darkish complexion, we might call the project "Habitat for Divine Humanity."

SriKrsnadas - Thu, 04 Aug 2005 21:12:22 +0530
My favorite building although i was not able to fullfill the desire yet, is the Straw Bale Building. When i first got going on it, and was prepared to build it, i signed up for a energy effeciant home rating. I was very surprised to hear that my home would be the most energy effeciant home in my county and the only other home that would have compared would have been the other 3 homes built by Straw Bale.

My favorite straw is Rye, reminds me of Radharani's complextion!

Braja prabhu, i noticed that you are from "upstate ny" is there any temples around there, i am also from "upstate". I go through albany often.
braja - Thu, 04 Aug 2005 22:23:55 +0530
I've collect info and books on straw bale for years and that was always my goal but Florida is too damp it seems and my wife is set on cob (so long as the clay content of our property is sufficient.)

"Upstate," yeah, I was a bit vague there, mainly for the purpose of indicating that we're not in The City. We're about 20 minutes south of Albany in a small hamlet with five other devotee families. There is a also a small center in Albany run by disciples/followers of Radhanatha Swami. They've just moved into a nice place with a view toward preaching to westerners. (Most of them are students/graduates) And then there are a couple of families in Saratoga also.
braja - Thu, 04 Aug 2005 22:25:46 +0530
QUOTE(SriKrsnadas @ Aug 4 2005, 11:42 AM)
My favorite straw is Rye, reminds me of Radharani's complextion!

And her name, of course--Rai! flowers.gif
braja - Fri, 07 Oct 2005 20:34:35 +0530
Sorry for not updating this sooner but everything is "official" now. This is the info from the cob trainer running the workshop:

Into to Earthen Building: Cob Basics
December 29th - January 2nd Alachua, Fl

In this hands on workshop you will learn all the basics of earthen building as we work together to hand sculpt a small structure. The workshop will cover foundations, walls, windows, roofs, plasters, and creative detailing. Camping, meals and morning yoga classes are included. Indoor accommodations may be available.

There is a discount for families and friends attending together and children are welcome. Workshop fee is discounted to $290 if paid in full by November 28th or $350 after that date.

Worktrades and discounts may be available.
Instructors are Christina Ott and Craig Sommers
Contact: (850) 982-2597 or cobdance {at}


More info and photos are available on their site: has some photos of a "garden chapel" that are somewhat close to what we are trying to build, e.g.

user posted image
Attachment: Image
DharmaChakra - Fri, 07 Oct 2005 23:14:44 +0530
How northern can you go with cob building? What are the site requirements, etc? I'm presuming you want to make it from materials in your own land, so how much land to you need? How can you tell if you have the right soil, etc?

Its an interesting idea, even for outbuildings. I just didn't find all that much info on their site.

Kulapavana - Sat, 08 Oct 2005 02:16:19 +0530
Looks pretty neat. One devotee here built a straw bale house. I even helped him with plastering. I was a bit sceptical first, but the idea kinda grew on me...

I have built our house with Polysteel (steel reinforced concrete pumped into styrofoam forms) and love it. We have built the temple here in the same way. Very solid and energy efficient.
DharmaChakra - Sat, 08 Oct 2005 04:49:03 +0530
For those seeking information about Cob, especially appropriate locations, I found this site very useful.

I would def. consider at least an initial cob outbuilding.