Earthen Forming System
The Earthen Forming System (EFS) was born out of the reality that cob construction is very labor intensive. It costs on average 3 times more than conventional construction when professionals are hired. After years of experimentation, the founder of Ecoheal created a simple yet efficient forming system especially designed for cob or rammed earth construction. The easily-assembled system relies on special metal plates, standard lumber, and fasteners. The Ecoheal Center is the first execution of this model of building and was approved by Orange County code officials. At last, cob construction is scalable, timely, and affordable all at once.
- Cob buildings are often referred to as being "dirt cheap." This is true only if you factor out time and labor. Many natural builders rely on workshops and/or community help to speed up the lengthy building process, otherwise they will be facing much longer building period compared to conventional construction.
- If we agree with the opinions of many experts that natural building costs 3 times (300%) more than conventional building when professional crews are hired – and if we agree that conventional building walls constitute 15% of the overall building cost of a conventional home, then the actual cost of the natural building walls cost become 215% of conventional wall construction. From here, you can extrapolate in principle the astronomical cost of a cob wall. In other words, in you consider that the cost of a modest home is $200,000 and you wish to replace the conventional walls with cob, then your walls expense will go from $30,000 (15% of conventional home cost) to $430,000 (215%) if professionals are hired.
- It is fair to mention that cob walls, financially speaking, offer many long-term direct savings, such as energy savings, maintenance reduction, durability, and indirect health-related and ecological savings. Hence there is a multiple value to earthen walls some of them yet to fully capture.
- The Earthen Forming System reduces more than 30 fold (3000%) the time and labor associated with the formation of these walls that allow for the first time cob-like building to cost less than conventional. Hence, the EFS provides you with the opportunity to harvest all the benefits that come with natural building while costing you less than conventional construction. Thus if we take the above $340,000(215%) cost associated with cob walls and divided by 30 folds (3000%) it will give up $14,333. when you add other advantages of the forming system, that will underline the break through of natural building costing below the conventional construction without accounting all other long term and indirect cost saving.