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We really don't have to worry about the code too much, here in the UP of MI. The inspector has been out three times during the building process and stayed for a total of about 10 minutes. Never even raised an eyebrow. Just the way I like 'em.
Very nice project Andrew. A lot of thought and research before hitting the launch pad. And your workmanship looks fantastic. This is interesting to me as I have just finished reading one of Rob Roys cordwood books and am currently into a book on natural plasters so this is a very timely topic for me. Prior to these two readings I was into a book on stone masonry. I have an abundance of stone so it would be a natural for a foundation. I have been looking at different options to make best use of the available natural materials on my site. The two things I seem to be missing are a souce for sand and I don't own a manure factory. :-/ And perhaps the biggest drawback is the time required for such labor intensive construction. On the positive side my soil has a very high clay content. And since I just finished assembling my little bandsaw mill sawdust will soon be abundant. The trees I have are smallish and would be more suitable for cordwood construction than any other form of log building. Now for my one nagging question. Do you feel like the cob will be as durable as a concrete based mortar mixture? Living 250 miles from my building site my construction time could stretch out for a couple of years and be real incremental.
I think DEFY would work for both the wood and to protect the cob, but then you are getting into a commercially produced product. It does not support fungal growth and is a 98% waterproofer. It is not made for cob but is pretty hard to get off of anything it hits. Another thing is styrofoam dissolved in laquer thinner. I haven't tried it but it leaves a waterproof clear plastic coating - works on cob and would work on the wood - the laquer thinner dissipates soon. Once again - probably a material you are trying to stay away from but it does recycle styrofoam into something usable. Reported to me by Shelley.