The cob shed is built using soil dug from our garden. So it is entirely recyclable and sustainable with almost zero embodied energy. The shed has been built by us and our 3 year old son, and over 200 other people from around the world who have come to learn how to build their own cob sheds and homes too.
The building of the shed has empowered hundreds of people from around the world to go and build their own homes from cob. People who can't afford to buy a home or a massive mortgage have learnt how to make a cob home for themselves, thanks to this shed! People came from the UK, Japan, US, Bali, Canada, Australia, Ireland, France, Croatia, Bulgaria and many other places, to learn to build their own affordable and eco cob shed or house.
The shed has a turf roof, reclaimed windows and doors, and is finished internally and externally with a lime render. It also has a cob floor finished with a clay plaster, beeswax and linseed oil. The cob walls and floor act like a storage heater - soaking up the sun's heat and slowly releasing it back into the shed to keep a warm and even temperature. A stained glass roof panel allows more sunlight to flood into the studio and land on the cob floor.
There cob shed has lots of sculptural detail inside. We have dug out little holes and shelves in the cob and set tiles into the cob window seat to make a beautiful mosaic.
The shed over looks the idyllic and remote Filby Broad in Norfolk - you can see rare birds and animals whilst relaxing in the shed. Bitterns, kingfishers, otters, deer. The shed also has a cob pizza oven sculpted into one of the external walls so we can cook mouthwatering woodfired pizzas which we enjoy with friends and family.
Every material in the shed has been chosen for its natural beauty and eco credentials. Curvaceous chunks of elm has been used for the fascia, the top soil dug out to make the floor has been put on the roof to pay the turf on. Reclaimed bricks and doors are used. The shed is a wonderfully peaceful and inspiring place to relax and think. We use it for songwriting, art work, creative writing, reading, a quiet thinking space, bird watching and socialising.
Our home is an ancient earth cottage and we extended it in cob/ earth recently - so the cob shed complements this perfectly, using the same ancient methods for building it. We have mixed all the cob by foot and applied it all by hand. Our home/shed/garden is at the end of a mile long track on marshland and as you come down the track there are several other thatched earth buildings. Our cob shed is continuing the ancient tradition of earth building and fits the local vernacular perfectly. With no pylons, no noise, no sign of modern life - the location of the cob shed is as if in a time warp.
The shed over looks the beautiful and remote Filby Broad where we are surrounded by kingfishers, wild geese and otters.
We have built a cob pizza oven next to the shed for outdoor cooking - we will use the shed for entertaining and as a home office.
We have built a cob bench outside the shed too.
The shed is unique in the fact that so many people (over 200) have learnt how to build their own cob shed too through the process of building it on our cob building courses.
It is also as eco as it can possibly be - being made of mud from the garden. Our 3 year old Wilf has alss played a big part in building the shed.