Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) Do I need any building experience to take a cob workshop?
Absolutely no building experience is needed, but those who
have some will probably pick things up faster but also may
need to adapt to new ways of doing things. You will be
taught everything you need to know how to do to build a
house, that is part of the workshop.
2) Do I need to be in good shape?
Somewhat. You don’t need to be a marathon runner or rock
climber. What is more important is that you are in good
health and in physical shape to do physical work. You will
get stronger and more fit with each day of the workshop.
Cob building in general is demanding, that being said there
is something for everyone to do from moving rocks for the
foundation to making cob and building to cutting straw for
the cob. People who come to the workshop are usually
ready to participate in the building, but once in a while some
people may need to focus on easier tasks due to
physical issues before the workshop or during the workshop
that make it hard for them to participate in the
more demanding building part. Everyone usually takes a
little time off here and there and there is always a break of
1.5 hours after lunch and on weekends (28-day workshop)
as well as before and after Course hours.
People will find that they are in excellent shape by the end of
3) Do I need to participate every day?
Yes. That is the expectation since you are completing an
educational and practical Certification. Each day presents
new information and new steps in the building process that
may not be repeated and that are required for your equal
participation in the following days without holding the group
back. The workshop group is a family from day 1 to the last
day and when someone is missing or not actively
participating (unless injured or sick), their absence is felt.
That being said, if someone needs to take some personal
time during the Course hours they should talk with the
Instructor and inform them and/or seek support. It is
always preferred however that this personal time is taken
outside of Course hours if possible.
4) What are my accommodation options?
Each Course is different. We try to offer free camping at each
Course for those who want it and then paid shared rooms
and private rooms if possible onsite or very close. If there is
nothing nearby the Host can speak with you about other
options in the area and transportation to the site. Each
workshop page presents the information specific to that
5) What if I’m not a vegetarian?
Most workshops are 100% vegetarian with the intent to
provide local, organic produce and as much organic food
as possible within the budget limits. Our vegetarian meals
are very varied and abundant and usually carnivores will find
they do not even miss meat or fish. Some workshops
may offer some meat/fish options a few times a week
if requested by students, otherwise students can get their
needs met during the weekends or by bringing snacks to the
Course like jerky or canned sardines, etc.
6) Will there be alcohol?
The Hosts do not serve alcohol regularly but may do so on
Fridays or on another celebratory day. The students are
responsible for their alcoholic needs but it is recommended
to try to keep to a healthful regime during the Course days,
going to sleep early and waking up early and being in
maximum condition each day to benefit from the workshop.
One or two beers or a glass of wine with dinner seems to
work best, if desired.
7) What will I take away from this Course?
It depends on which Course you take. The 21-day Course is
only for Cob walls and their connection to the foundation
and roof. You will know how to test soils to figure out the
ideal cob mix for your walls and how to build beautiful and
perfect cob walls with all the elements that go into it. And
you will know how to leave the wall ready for the roof.
You will be able to arrive on a site with the foundation built
and build the wall(s) and leave it roof-ready. Since most
builders do not know how to build a cob wall, you will
collaborate with foundation and roof professionals and you
will be the cob expert!
In the 28-day Course you will learn the above plus the
Foundation or the Roof. You need to check which one is
included on the workshop page specific to that Course.
And in the 35-day Course you will learn everything from
Foundation to Roof Completion (how far we get with roof
will depend on number and abilities of students, weather,
and complexity of roof design). However students will
understand the complete process through lecture and
8) How should I proceed after the workshop in order to be a professional cob
builder and instructor with CruzinCobGlobal?
In order to work professionally with CruzinCobGlobal or
another group or on your own you will need to complete the
35-day workshop. Then you will be eligible to assist in
future workshops. The main task in order to move forward
professionally is to complete a whole building for yourself
or for someone else. SInce you will be new and
inexperienced it is suggested you do it as a trade or for a
basic pay since you will be putting alot of time and energy in
but do not have the experience to ask for a high pay. This
will provide you with the significant experience you need to
move forward to the next level which is teaching 3-4 day
workshops (after assisting at least 2 workshops) and
continuing to build professionally. Each building project will
be different and will present you with new learning
experiences due to materials, design, location and client.
After a few builds and a few workshops as assistant and
instructor you will be eligible to take on longer workshops
with CruzinCobGlobal if you choose as well as lead builds.
9) How should I continue training?
It depends on what your goals are. If you want to be a pure
cob builder then I would continue training by learning
Permaculture principles and all the parts of a Zero Carbon
Footprint Sustainable Building and Site so that you can offer
clients a full package, with various helpers of course. You
will bea Cob Contractor but more like a Sustainable Lifestyle
Contractor. I like Cob because of its utter simplicity and
economy and universality. As well as its Beauty and Health
and Freedom. You can also learn Straw Bale Building as well
as the many other earthen building techniques just to know
them and to build hybrid buildings if asked.
10) What about the legality of Cob?
Cob will be part of the building code in the next few years in
the US and everywhere. Sign up on our email list to stay updated of this process. It will be inserted into the
International Residential Code. Therefore you are in a good
position to benefit from the upswing of interest and demand
that will result all over the US and elsewhere. Still there are many ways to build cob legally now which we go over during the Course.
11) Are kids allowed at workshops?
Being a single mother of 3 bright boys who I brought with me everywhere has really paid off. My 3 boys can build a cob house, plant and grow food, cook well, have strong Spiritual awareness and an openness to other cultures and lifestyles and living the nomad life as well as many other qualities that were enhanced by joining me in my own educational pursuits. Thus, I welcome families and young people however, each case needs to be addressed individually. Each child is different and I have had workshops where kids blended in smoothly and learned and participated in ways that did not disturb and even contributed positively to the flow of the workshop and I have had the other extreme where I have had to ask a family to leave. Thus while I am open to young people learning cob building at an adult workshop, my focus is on teaching the adults through lecture and hands-on building and will ask the parents to help their kids if/when extra support is needed. It is also important that the adult students who have signed up can focus and learn without feeling a need to care for other people’s children. So I ask parents to make a realistic judgment of how their children will fare in this kind of adult learning environment and then we can make the best decision.
12) Will the work trade be too much with the workshop hours?
We have just reduced the work trade offered to 1.25 hours per day focused on breakfast preparation, service and clean-up so that work traders have the rest of the day for uninterrupted cob learning. They will be missing the early morning yoga session but will be able to participate in the after-class session. They also have the option of waking up real early and stretching before 6:30am. This seems to work best that way the cook can focus on lunch and dinner. It may be possible that a workshop structures kitchen work trade differently. Other options are always possible.
The workshop site work traders will need to work before breakfast in order to complete their tasks which will be posted by 6:30am. They can start work at anytime so that they get their breakfast in before 8:30am. The instructor will meet with them either the day before or at 6:30am to give them instructions which will also be posted on the white board. Work traders will also be asked to stay after for 15 minutes at the end of the day to finish up anything more and talk with instructor.