katie’s cob sauna

I’ve been having great fun working with a couple good friends this summer to design an infrared heated cob sauna.  It is actually more than just a sauna, it will also serve as a play space, or a quiet place to sit and knit.  I’m really excited to see how it turns out, and so far it has been wonderful collaborating with other families on the project.

Here is the site where the cob sauna will sit.  We chose this site because it is close to the house, so it will be easy to bring electricity over to power the infrared lights.  It was also important to us to make the design passive solar.  We oriented the sauna to the south in a location that was free from major obstructions that might block the sun’s rays.  This way the winter sun will shine into the sauna and soak into the earthen floor and cob walls and create a cozy little hangout.

Here is our little work crew getting into the project.  I was really impressed by how interested the boys were in the process.  They wanted to understand the how’s and why’s of everything, it was great.  And they actually really did help out with the job, even if it was in small spurts.

Our trench is starting to take shape.

Esme, taking precise measurements.  She occupied herself in a washtub filled with water nearby, so she was naked most of the weekend.

Scrambling around in the trench was great fun for the boys, they were oh so dirty!

Now we have lined the trench with an old worn out tarp and filled it with gravel.  After we filled the trench and tamped it down we folded the tarp over the top.  This will hopefully filter out the soil as any rain water moves through the trench and away from the sauna.

By the end of the three day work party we had a nice start on our rock stem wall.  We will add a couple more courses of rock, continue harvesting our materials, and start cobbing at the end of August.  We are all looking forward to that part.


~ by beautifulgreenlife on August 11, 2010.

One Response to “katie’s cob sauna”

  1. Cool! I found your photos with a Duckduckgo search for “cob sauna.” I’m doing the design work for my own cob sauna, here in the Puget Sound area. I;m thinking of using a rocket mass heater, so it will probably have to be a bit larger. Sadly, my workers have all grown up and stopped doing nude photography. Happy cobbing!

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