Posts tagged: tiny cob cottage

Check Out This Amazing Natural Home In Southern Finland

Check Out This Amazing Natural Home In Southern FinlandAmazing Natural Home In Southern Finland – Image To Repin / Share
Photo – heidivilkman.com

This is the story of a beautiful tiny cob cottage that was built by a young Finnish artist called Heidi Vilkman. Heidi has built her home using only locally sourced natural materials. It’s especially interesting from an “off-grid perspective” because it combines several natural building methods all in one small dwelling – including earth bags, straw bales, lime plaster, cob and cordwood! There’s even a natural birch bark damp-proof course below the north wall!

The cottage has given Heidi a canvas to express some of her creative talents too – it really looks magical, with sculptures emerging from the walls. It blends well with the landscape and adds a flavour of other-wordliness to her living space.

Southern Finland is typically snow-covered throughout the winter – from around December to April. Northern parts of Finland have an even longer winter, being snowbound from October until the spring. With winter temperatures often reaching -30ºC (and occasionally as low as -50ºC!) sometimes with strong, cold easterly or northeasterly winds, any Finnish home needs to be able to provide serious protection from the elements! Cob provides extremely good insulation, and a typical cob home will use up to 20% less energy to heat than a conventional build, so it is great choice. It is also suited to hot climates as it will help to keep you cool indoors in the summer and reduce the need for air conditioning.

Cob (made with clay, sand and straw) can be used to build load-bearing walls and must be finished on the on exterior surface with a breathable layer such as lime wash render, never with concrete or with a damp proof membrane – clay in the cob will shrink as it dries and other natural materials will be able to move as it does. For the same reason, damp proofing should never be added to interior walls as this also traps water in the wall. Well-maintained cob will never be damp.

The reciprocal roof provides a strong enough base for a turf covering. To find out more about how to make a reciprocal roof, please try this page (that also has some well-researched links): http://greenbuildingelements.com/2008/10/01/the-reciprocal-roof-beauty-strength-and-simplicity-in-a-roof-frame/

OK, here’s the link to the full tutorial: http://naturalhomes.org/treeoflife.htm. Looking at the featured article, I was left wanting to know more about the stages of the building process – I found the full story of the building of this cob house, which is told in Heidi’s blog, along with many photos and an inspiring story of how the build has improved her life. You can find it here: http://cobdreams.blogspot.co.uk/