UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into a cob and straw building for the proposed UBC Farm Centre Anand, Amit; Zeng, Nicholas; Hsiao, Mike


The following report investigates the viability of using cob and straw as the primary building materials for the new proposed UBC Farm Centre building. The new building is to be used for learning activities, community programs, and other similar activities. The location of the new centre is constrained to the current proposed location at the UBC Farm. In order to assess the viability, a triple bottom line analysis approach is used. This report is a meta-analysis of scientific data and case studies of previous cob and straw buildings. The environmental analysis reveals that embodied carbon from cob and straw is an order of magnitude less than traditional cement blocks. The economic analysis uses a case study to demonstrate the potential cost savings of using cob and straw as a primary building material over cement. The social aspect analysis finds the using of sustainable building material will have a net positive social benefit for the UBC community. The final recommendation is to use cob and straw as the primary building material for the proposed UBC Farm centre. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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