The European Union aims to reduce energy use by 20% by 2020 (2012/27 / EU). A major obstacle is reducing energy used by EU buildings and construction, which currently consumes 40% of generated energy (EU2010).

Besides cob, buildings are common in the regions of the world, the temperature is 0.7 W / mK, close to medium density concrete, close to 0.3 W / mK, close to lightweight concrete (Goodhew, 2005). The material’s thermal insulation value needs to be maintained while maintaining structural durability through the use of fibers.

Moreover, local planning requirements require new construction and renovations that are sympathetic to the historic built environment, much of which is cob and earth. By creating new inexpensive cob technologies that meet building standards (Construction and Housing Code, 2017; UK Building Regulations, 2016), local and national building firms and consumers can meet planning, environmental and financial challenges.

Thus, to help meet this challenge, CobBauge will develop, test and establish an innovative low carbon cob technology using local soil and agricultural fibers / waste fibers from industry. This technology will contribute to the reduction of CO 2 emissions, improved energy efficiency and cost savings over 10 years by:

  • Creating an inexpensive, well-insulated material, using less than half the heating energy to a cob house compared to traditional building methods (McCabe, 2017)
  • reducing waste by 16 tons, thus saving in landfill costs
  • Requiring minimal transport costs (using local suitable soil), reduced carbon embodied by 4 tonnes CO2 e per house (Li, 2012).

To do this, the CobBauge project involves five British and French partners with complementary expertise:

  • Plymouth University, Plymouth, Devon (UK): Lead partner of the project
  • BUILDERS Ecole d’ingénieurs, BUILDERS (FR)
  • Regional Nature Park of the Marshes of Cotentin and Bessin, PnrMCB (EN)
  • Earth Building UK and Ireland, EBUKI (UK)
  • University of Caen Normandy, LUSAC Laboratory (FR)
  • Hudson Architects, Norfolk (UK)

The CobBauge project was selected under the European cross-border cooperation Program INTERREG VA France (Channel) – England co-funded by the ERDF.

Duration of the project: 07/2017 – 06/2023

Total budget: € 4,127,365.09

ERDF co-financing: € 2,857,181.91 (69%)

Cob is a mixture of earth and fiber, such as straw, which is then mixed with water and used to construct buildings.