The CobBauge project’s main aim is to create an economical, insulating construction material with low environmental impact and to reduce the volume of waste landfilled by using the earth already in place for the construction of the buildings. The other main challenge of this project is to develop the market for cob both by responding to a demand from the users and by expanding the network of builders able to utilise cob in construction.
To meet these objectives, the CobBauge project will be led in 2 steps, firstly (CobBauge 1) with the schedule of several lines of work:
- The development of new cob: materials and implementation processes
- The creation and mobilization of a network of professional practitioners in construction and in cob
- The communication on the objectives and main results of the project.
These actions will then lead to the training of builders and craftsmen in the production of cob buildings as well as the construction of a large scale cob building (CobBauge 2).
The planned work packages for the first phase of the project are:
WP1 – Management
Leader: Plymouth University
Coordination tasks cover administrative, legal and financial activities. Day to day management is structured to ensure communication between partners, organisation of and follow up to meetings, coordination, monitoring and control of activities, supervising technical developments along with quality assurance, and effective implementation of financial procedures.
WP2 – Communication
Leader: ESITC Caen
The partners will implement throughout the project a communication strategy to promote the project, its results and achievements and to demonstrate the efficiency and performance of cob as a contemporary and sustainable building material to builders and future builders (SOHO, SMEs, architects, engineers, academics, professionals, sectoral agencies), buyers and potential buyers, prescribers, scientific, press and the general public.
WP3 – Cob mixes formulation and evaluation
Leader: ESITC Caen
Currently, the cob compressive strength is too low and its thermal conductivity doesn’t reflect the comfort felt by the users. According to RT2012, thermal conductivity of cob needs to be around 0.3W/m.K. Four activities will be dedicated to this objective:
- Supply and characterisation of soils and fibres
- Test and selection of 4 most promising mixes with small scale thermal, moisture and structural measurements
- Set up of an innovative building method
- Medium scale tests of mixes to ascertain whether the properties at small scale are still valid, including the associated factors of cost and materials availability.
WP4 – The specification of demand and mobilisation of a professional network
The aim is to quantify demand for the product to ensure the new cob material meets the needs of the end users and generate interest in the product and future opportunities (training, construction, distribution). To this end, a network of potential stakeholders will be established. The network will be built on existing networks, developed by the partners for other European projects, and will be expanded with tailored communication and special events within government, the construction and insurance industries and the third sector. Using this network, the CobBauge project will apply quantitative & qualitative demand. The network will enable to share the challenges associated with traditional methods of cob construction and the expectations of potential users in terms of performance and technical improvements. The network will also provide a platform to explain, share and take advantage of improvements made by CobBauge and will form the basis of a continuity of CobBauge beyond the limits of the European project.