The One Day Cob House

On May 9, 2014, a group of roughly 60 people gathered in Reno, Nevada, to build a cob house in one day. To our knowledge it hadn't been done before. Barnraisings, yes, but a cob cabin? Cob is known and often celebrated as a slow process. It's labor intensive, and speed varies with materials used and limiting factors such as the weather. Taking one's time is enjoyable and meditative, providing space for thoughtfulness and creativity. But not this time! This was a speed community building project, drawing enthusiastic participants from around the country.

The weekend was hosted by Be the Change Project in Reno and led by builders from House Alive and Be the Change, the latter being an inspiring group of people living off the grid on an urban homestead, devoted to living an ethical life based on principles of nonviolence, service, sharing, unjobbing, unschooling, and gifting. They are a hub for the redistribution of food, used goods, and anything they can remove from the urban waste stream. I've had the good fortune to visit the homestead twice and have been blown away each time by the swirl of activity that surrounds their space and the level of community sharing that occurs on any given day. These wonderful people are great reminders that our time is our own and it is also our greatest gift, to be savoured and shared with others.

Below is a video of the event made by Kim Doyel and following that a slideshow of some photos we shot during that memorable weekend.

Video of Reno One Day Cob Build by Kim Doyel