the lead partner

Plymouth University

The School of Architecture Design and Environment at Plymouth University has been researching the use of Cob in the South West of England since 1992. The School has a research group that focuses upon the performance of buildings. Is has a track record of earth related PhDs and has the facilities to investigate the structural, thermal and moisture related phenomena in materials at laboratory scale and in cob buildings. In the recent UK REF research assessment 59% of the School’s research outputs were classified as world class. Through the CORDIALE and ECOBEE INTERREG IV A FCE projects the Plymouth team has worked on the thermal performance of historic buildings (CORDIALE) and Eco-Construction in the France (Channel) / England area (ECOBEE). The Plymouth team will use its expertise in laboratory testing and the in situ measurement of earth walling to ensure the success of the CobBauge project. www.plymouth.ac.uk/research

the project partners

Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs des Travaux de la Construction de Caen (ESITC Caen)

The research laboratory of ESITC Caen develops partnership research with industrials and research laboratories in the field of sustainable construction and the eco-materials.  Through its research thematics (Materials for sustainable building, Environmental geotechnics, Energy and environment, and Maritime infrastructures), the research team supports industrials and local authorities to solve their technical issues in building materials: materials characterization (mechanical, geotechnical and microstructural), design of concrete and cementitious materials, reuse of waste and industrial and natural by-products, geotechnical engineering, environmental impact assessment (LCA). A PhD thesis on earth-fibre construction materials is currently ongoing to develop sustainable cob materials with optimised mechanical, thermal and acoustical performance and to adjust the practical application on site. Within the scope of CobBauge, ESITC Caen will develop and optimise cob construction materials with structural and thermal analyses. www.esitc-caen.com

Parc naturel régional des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin (PnrMCB)

The Regional Nature Park of the Marshes of Cotentin and Bessin (PnrMCB) has since its creation in 1991 inscribed in its charter the preservation and promotion of cob built heritage typical of its territory and its landscapes and has implemented a policy of development of local craft sector and financial support for the renovation and new earthen buildings. In the same time, the PnrMCB is involved in training on earth building and particularly cob for building companies, architects, in the training for adult of the National Education and in raising public awareness. Member of the National Association of earth builders (Asterre), it has also acted as a cob “expert” in the PIRATE European programme. Within the scope of CobBauge, the PnrMCB will bring its technical expertise in the development of new cob materials and building processes. Through its privileged links with local actors and its habit of transversal work, the PnrMCB will transfer researches from laboratory to the field and in cob techniques training, and will promote the contemporary outputs. www.parc-cotentin-bessin.fr

Earth Building UK and Ireland (EBUKI)

Earth Building UK and Ireland is a charity membership organisation for people and organisations interested in earth building and run by a group of volunteer project officers. It brings together builders, academics, researchers, architects, engineers, manufacturers to work in areas of common interest at national and local levels. The organisation has several objectives: i- conservation of vernacular earth buildings; ii- research and development in earth materials; iii- fostering the skills base, extending skills and knowledge and the development of new techniques; iv- creating networks to represent earth building interests both locally and internationally; v- promotion of earth building in contemporary construction through the development of new innovative products and techniques and appropriate standards and testing methods. Within CobBauge project, EBUKI will be involved in the production of cob materials, in the promotion of the project and its outputs and in training apprentices. ebuki.co

Caen Normandy University – LUSAC Laboratory

The LUSAC laboratory is a research unit of the Caen Normandy University. It has an active policy of developing partnerships with both public organisms and industrial companies: CEA, AREVA, TEMEX, DCNS, EDF, ACOM, Wibe, Orange, GEA-BTT, LEMASSON. The laboratory is structured into three research groups, among which one focuses on energy efficiency and heat transfer and its industrial application. The LUSAC has a good level of scientific production and cooperation. It also has a good overview on heat and mass transfer and on the microscale phase change. Within the scope of CobBauge, the LUSAC will bring its expertise in thermal management and analysis of thermal properties of building materials, in the assessment of their performances and in the study of phase change phenomenon (condensation/evaporation) directly linked with the water absorption rate of materials. www.unicaen.fr ; lusac.unicaen.fr