Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Cob barn deconstruction

In 2014/15 we hosted a series of workshops on sustainable building here on the farm, over the course of which a new cob barn was built in the northwest corner of Home Field, primarily as an agricultural building. Unfortunately, the roof had issues from the start, which lead to it sagging and becoming unstable, so we had to stop using the building. The damp from the roof then got into the walls. Periodically we tried to resolve these issues, and in 2019/20 we even shored up the collapsing walls with reinforced concrete (as part of a Rebuild Southwest training programme) in a last desperate attempt to prevent total collapse, but none of this was enough. So we took the very painful decision to deconstruct the building, which happened over the course of last week, and sort the materials into piles for further use or disposal. 

The best part of the cob barn prior to deconstruction, showing the patched-up roof.

Inside the cob barn prior to deconstruction.

The north side of the cob barn prior to deconstruction.

Half down.

The last wall standing.

Showing the huge lumps of reinforced concrete in the walls, which didn't stop further deterioration, and caused problems during deconstruction/disposal.

Almost there on day 4.

The site afterwards.

Part of the cob barn deconstruction team - Joe, Paul, Jo and David.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who assisted during this unfortunate but essential exercise.

We are now in the first stages of discussion and exploration about if/how/why to replace the barn with a longer-lasting "community structure" of some description.

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