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Cob House Survives Falling Tree

Ray and Suzie Bruce built a beautiful cob house on Lesquiti Island in British Columbia (2006-2009), assisted by The Mud Girls. We had two pages planned on it in Tiny Homes — text written, photos selected — but in one of those flukes of happenstance, the folder got misplaced, and it never got into the book. (For sure it will go into our eventual second book of tiny homes.)
   Last month I got an e-mail from the Bruce's:
"Hi Lloyd,
Recently we had a big storm on the Island March 11-12th 2012 with wind speeds up to 150 kms an hour. On the morning of the 12th around 8.50 am a 185 foot Douglas Fir weighing about 4 tons fell onto our Cob House. It completely destroyed the upper level. The Lower level was virtually untouched — only a few minor cracks.
Our Tree Feller was amazed, saying if it was a conventional built house, it would have been totally destroyed by the tree.
Cob houses are strong!
We are planning reconstruction in the late Spring…
-Ray and Suzie Bruce"


Kay L. Davies said...

I've seen photos of cob houses on BC's offshore islands before, and wondered about them in the dampness, but never thought of the trees. This is fantastic! I'm so impressed with the strength.
I live in Alberta now and I do worry about our little old house (homemade over the course of 50 years by someone else) because we have trees three times the length of the house, four or five times its height, but we had them checked out last year by an arborist who says they won't fall in our lifetime. Guess than means I have no excuse for running back to the BC coast.
Just got back from San Diego and points south. Beautiful city, beautiful cruise, beautiful gardens.
Here our grass is just greening and the irises are poking out. Some of the trees have opened their buds, so spring can't be too far away.

Alex said...

Yet one more good reason to live in a cob house!

Stephanie said...

... poor house ... glad it survived ... poor tree! sad to see a tree fall ...

Jenny said...

FYI, that cob is only a foot thick and acts essentially as infill. It isn't the cob that saved it, it is the massive overbuilt timber post and beam surrounding the cob. Way to overbuild!

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