Understanding How Does COB Work in a Sorority: A Comprehensive Guide

In a sorority, the concept of cob (continuous open bidding) operates as a means to ensure a smooth and inclusive recruitment process. It allows sororities to extend bids to potential new members outside of the formal recruitment period, creating opportunities for a wider range of individuals to join. Rather than a fixed duration, cob enables sororities to recruit throughout the year, fostering a more dynamic and flexible recruitment environment. By employing cob, sororities can adapt to the changing interests and schedules of potential new members, creating a more personalized and welcoming experience. This approach serves to break down barriers and increase the chances of finding new members who align with the sorority’s values and objectives. Ultimately, cob enables sororities to build diverse and vibrant communities by embracing a more inclusive and adaptive recruitment process.

Cob Construction Basics

Cob construction is a traditional building technique that involves using a mixture of clay, sand, and straw to create strong and durable walls. This natural building method has been used for centuries and is still popular today due to its sustainability and affordability. In this subsection, we will delve into the basics of cob construction, including its materials, building process, and benefits.


The materials used in cob construction are simple and easily accessible. The main ingredients are clay, sand, and straw. Clay provides cohesiveness and strength to the mixture, while sand adds stability and prevents cracking. Straw acts as a natural reinforcement, increasing the tensile strength of the walls. Additionally, water is needed to moisten the mixture and make it workable.

It is important to note that the quality of the materials is crucial for the success of the cob construction. The clay should have a good clay-to-silt ratio, and the sand should be free from large particles or contaminants. Straw should be dry and free from mold or rot to ensure its structural integrity.

Building Process

The building process of cob construction starts with preparing the site and laying the foundation. The foundation should be strong and level, providing a stable base for the structure. Once the foundation is in place, the cob mixture is prepared by mixing the clay, sand, straw, and water in a large pit or trough.

Workers then use their feet or hand tools to thoroughly mix and knead the cob until it reaches a homogenous consistency. This is known as cobbing. The cob mixture should be well-mixed to ensure even distribution of the materials and to activate the clay’s cohesive properties.

Once the cob is ready, it is formed into large lumps or “cobs.” These cobs are then stacked and shaped to form the walls of the structure. The cobs are typically applied in layers, allowing each layer to dry and harden slightly before adding the next. This technique helps to prevent sagging or collapsing of the walls.

During the construction process, the walls can be shaped and sculpted to create unique architectural features such as curves, niches, or built-in shelving. It is a labor-intensive process that requires attention to detail and craftsmanship.


  • Sustainability: Cob construction utilizes natural and locally available materials, reducing the environmental impact of construction. It also has a low carbon footprint.
  • Affordability: The materials used in cob construction are generally inexpensive or even free. This makes cob a cost-effective option for building homes or structures.
  • Thermal Mass: Cob walls have excellent thermal mass properties, meaning they can absorb, store, and release heat slowly. This results in a more comfortable and energy-efficient living environment, as the walls help regulate temperature fluctuations.
  • Soundproofing and Insulation: Cob walls have good soundproofing properties, reducing noise transmission from outside. They also provide effective insulation, keeping the interior cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • Aesthetics: Cob construction allows for a high degree of artistic expression. The sculptural quality of cob walls can create visually pleasing and unique architectural designs.

These are just a few of the many benefits of cob construction. By embracing this ancient technique, we can create beautiful, sustainable, and comfortable spaces that harmonize with the environment and promote a healthier and more connected way of living.

Advantages of using cob in sorority houses

Cob, a natural building material made from clay, sand, and straw, offers several advantages when used in sorority houses. Here are some of the benefits:

1. Sustainability

Cob is an environmentally friendly building material that is sourced locally and does not require the use of energy-intensive manufacturing processes. By utilizing cob, sorority houses can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable campus community.

Additionally, cob has excellent thermal mass properties, meaning it can absorb and store heat. This results in more energy-efficient buildings, as the cob walls act as natural insulation, keeping the interior cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Incorporating cob into sorority houses helps promote sustainable living and educates members about the importance of eco-friendly building practices.

2. Affordability

  • Cob is a cost-effective building material compared to traditional construction materials. It is made from readily available and inexpensive ingredients, such as clay, sand, and straw.
  • By using cob in sorority houses, chapters can save on construction costs and allocate more funds towards other priorities, such as scholarships, philanthropy, or improving communal spaces.
  • Furthermore, cob structures require minimal maintenance and have a long lifespan, reducing future repair and renovation expenses.

3. Customizability

Cob offers endless design possibilities, allowing sorority houses to create unique and personalized spaces. The material can be sculpted into curved shapes, built-in benches, or decorative niches.

Since cob allows for on-site construction without the need for highly specialized tools, it enables sorority members to actively participate in the building process. This hands-on involvement fosters a sense of ownership and pride in their living space.

Furthermore, cob can easily incorporate artistic elements, such as mosaics or sculptural details, providing sorority houses with a distinctive and visually appealing aesthetic.

4. Acoustic Performance

The thick walls of cob structures act as natural sound barriers, providing excellent acoustic insulation. This is particularly beneficial in sorority houses where social activities and study sessions often occur simultaneously.

By using cob, sororities can create quieter and more peaceful living environments, enhancing the overall comfort and well-being of their members.

5. Health and Well-being

Cob is a breathable material that helps regulate humidity levels within buildings. This natural ventilation reduces the risk of mold growth and improves indoor air quality.

The use of cob in sorority houses can contribute to a healthier living environment, minimizing the potential for respiratory issues and allergies among members.

6. Connection to Nature

Cob’s natural and earthy aesthetics create a sense of harmony and connection to the surrounding environment.

By incorporating cob in sorority houses, chapters can create living spaces that inspire a closer relationship with nature, promoting well-being and providing opportunities for outdoor engagement through features like earth benches, cob pizza ovens, or green roofs.

This connection to nature can enhance the overall sorority experience and foster a deeper appreciation for the environment among members.

In conclusion, using cob in sorority houses offers numerous advantages including sustainability, affordability, customizability, acoustic performance, health benefits, and a greater connection to nature. These benefits make cob an excellent choice for sororities looking to create sustainable, unique, and comfortable living spaces for their members.

The Process of Building with Cob in a Sorority Setting

Building with cob in a sorority setting can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Not only does this construction method create a unique and beautiful structure, but it also fosters a sense of teamwork and collaboration among sorority members. The process of building with cob can be broken down into several key steps.

1. Designing the Structure

The first step in building with cob is designing the structure. This involves determining the size and shape of the building, as well as considering any unique features or elements that the sorority would like to incorporate. It is important to involve all sorority members in this process to ensure that everyone’s ideas and preferences are taken into account.

  • Brainstorming ideas for the design
  • Creating rough sketches or blueprints
  • Gathering feedback and making revisions

2. Gathering Materials

Once the design is finalized, the next step is gathering the materials needed to build with cob. Cob is made from a mixture of clay soil, sand, and straw, so sorority members will need to collect these materials. This can be done by sourcing clay soil from the surrounding area, purchasing sand, and obtaining straw from local farmers or garden centers.

  • Identifying sources of clay soil
  • Purchasing sand
  • Finding local suppliers of straw

3. Mixing the Cob

Mixing the cob is a crucial step in the building process. This involves combining the clay soil, sand, and straw in the correct proportions to create a workable mixture. Sorority members can use a tarp or large mixing pit to mix the cob by foot, stomping on the ingredients until they are well blended. Mixing the cob can be a physically demanding task, so it is important to rotate members and take breaks as needed.

  • Measuring the correct proportions of clay soil, sand, and straw
  • Creating a mixing area using a tarp or pit
  • Stomping on the cob mixture to blend the ingredients
  • Rotating members and taking breaks to avoid exhaustion

4. Building the Structure

Once the cob mixture is ready, sorority members can begin building the structure. This is done by layering the cob onto a foundation or base, such as a stone or brick wall. Sorority members can use their hands or specialized tools to sculpt the cob, creating walls, arches, and other architectural features. Building with cob requires patience and attention to detail, as each layer must be allowed to dry before the next one is added.

  • Applying the first layer of cob onto the foundation
  • Sculpting the cob to create walls and architectural features
  • Allowing each layer to dry before adding the next one

5. Finishing Touches

Once the structure is built, sorority members can add finishing touches to enhance its aesthetic appeal. This can include smoothing the cob walls, adding decorative elements such as mosaic tiles or glass bottles, and applying a protective finish to the cob to ensure its longevity. Finishing touches allow sorority members to personalize the structure and make it truly their own.

  • Smoothing the cob walls to create a finished appearance
  • Adding decorative elements such as mosaic tiles or glass bottles
  • Applying a protective finish to the cob

Building with cob in a sorority setting is a collaborative and fulfilling experience. From designing the structure to adding finishing touches, each step requires teamwork, creativity, and dedication. Through this process, sorority members not only create a unique and sustainable building but also forge lasting bonds and memories.

Cob Building Techniques and Tips

Cob building is a traditional construction technique that involves using a mixture of soil, sand, and straw to create strong, durable walls. It is an affordable and sustainable method of building, and it has gained popularity in recent years due to its environmental benefits. In this article, we will explore some cob building techniques and tips to help you successfully undertake your own cob building project.

1. Selecting the Right Soil

Choosing the right soil is crucial for cob construction. Ideally, you should use a sandy-clayey soil that has good cohesion and compaction properties. Avoid using soils that are too sandy or too clayey, as they can affect the structural integrity of your cob walls. Test the soil by making small test batches of cob and observing how they hold together before proceeding with the construction.

2. Preparing the Cob Mixture

  • Start by sifting the soil to remove large rocks, debris, and organic matter.
  • Add sand to the sifted soil in a ratio of approximately 3:1 (soil to sand).
  • Next, mix in straw or other natural fibers to enhance tensile strength. Aim for a ratio of about 10% straw by volume.
  • Add water gradually and mix the ingredients thoroughly until you achieve a workable consistency. The cob should be moist enough to hold its shape when squeezed, but not too wet to form slumps.

3. Building the Walls

When building cob walls, it is important to follow a few key techniques:

  • Start by laying a foundation, preferably made of stone or concrete, to ensure stability and prevent moisture from seeping into the walls.
  • Create a cob mix and form it into small, manageable balls called “cobs.” Place the cobs one at a time on the foundation, pressing them firmly together.
  • Continue adding cobs layer by layer, ensuring each layer is well bonded with the previous one. Use your hands or tools to sculpt and shape the walls as needed.
  • As you progress, periodically test the strength and stability of the walls by tapping them gently. If they feel solid and produce a satisfying sound, you can proceed to the next layer.

4. Protecting and Finishing the Walls

After completing the cob walls, it is essential to protect and finish them to ensure longevity:

Step Description
1 Apply an exterior finish, such as lime plaster or earthen render, to protect the walls from weathering and water damage. These natural finishes allow the walls to breathe and prevent moisture buildup.
2 Consider adding a roof overhang or eaves to shield the walls from excessive rainfall, minimizing water exposure.
3 Maintain regular check-ups and maintenance. Monitor the walls for any signs of cracking or erosion and address them promptly. Applying a fresh coat of exterior finish every few years is also recommended.

By following these techniques and tips, you can successfully build cob walls that are not only beautiful but also durable and environmentally friendly. Enjoy the process of creating your own cob building and revel in the unique charm and warmth it brings to your space.

Sustainable Features of Cob Sorority Houses

Cob sorority houses are known for their sustainable features that promote eco-friendly living and reduce their environmental impact. These features not only benefit the environment but also provide a healthier and more comfortable living space for sorority members. Here are five of the sustainable features commonly found in cob sorority houses:

1. Efficient insulation

One of the key sustainable features of cob sorority houses is their efficient insulation. Cob, a mixture of clay, sand, and straw, is a natural and highly insulative material. The thick cob walls provide excellent thermal performance, keeping the interior cool during hot summer months and warm during the winter. This reduces the need for excessive heating and cooling, saving energy and resources.

2. Natural ventilation

Cob sorority houses are designed to maximize natural ventilation, reducing the reliance on artificial cooling systems. The thick walls of cob structures help regulate the temperature inside by naturally moderating heat transfer. Additionally, strategically placed windows and vents allow for cross-ventilation, encouraging airflow and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. This natural ventilation system minimizes the energy used for cooling and enhances air quality.

3. Rainwater harvesting

Many cob sorority houses are equipped with rainwater harvesting systems. The large roof surface area of these houses allows for the collection and storage of rainwater. This water can be used for various purposes such as irrigation, toilet flushing, and laundry. By utilizing rainwater, sorority houses can reduce their reliance on municipal water sources and conserve precious freshwater resources.

4. Passive solar design

Cob sorority houses often incorporate passive solar design principles, maximizing the use of natural sunlight for heating and lighting purposes. Large south-facing windows and skylights allow for ample daylight to enter the interior, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. Additionally, thermal mass, provided by cob walls and floors, helps absorb and store heat from the sun, releasing it gradually in colder periods. This passive solar design reduces energy consumption and promotes a sustainable and comfortable living environment.

5. Green roof

Another sustainable feature commonly found in cob sorority houses is the green roof. A green roof is a layer of vegetation planted on top of a building, providing numerous environmental benefits. It helps insulate the building, reducing energy needs for heating and cooling. The plants on the roof absorb carbon dioxide, improving air quality. They also reduce stormwater runoff by absorbing rainwater and releasing it gradually, preventing flooding and relieving strain on local drainage systems. In addition to its environmental advantages, a green roof adds beauty and aesthetic appeal to the cob sorority house.

Cob maintenance and upkeep in sorority buildings

Maintaining and preserving the cob structures in sorority buildings is crucial to ensure their longevity and structural integrity. Cob, being a natural material, requires regular maintenance to protect it from weathering and potential damages. Here are some key aspects to consider when it comes to cob maintenance and upkeep:

1. Cob Cleaning

Regular cleaning of the cob walls is necessary to remove dirt, dust, and any organic matter that may accumulate over time. This can be done using a soft brush, sponge, or a gentle jet of water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the cob surface.

2. Repairs and Patching

Over time, cob structures may develop cracks or areas that require repair. It is important to inspect the walls periodically and address any issues promptly. Patching up small cracks with a mixture of cob (made up of clay, sand, and straw) can prevent further deterioration and maintain the structural integrity.

3. Moisture Control

Controlling moisture is vital to prevent potential damages to cob walls. Ensure that the building has proper drainage systems and gutters to divert water away from the foundations. Regularly check for any signs of water penetration, such as damp spots or discoloration, and address them immediately.

4. Protective Coatings

Applying protective coatings on the cob walls can help enhance their durability and protect them from weathering. Natural finishes like lime wash or clay-based coatings can provide a breathable barrier that allows moisture to evaporate while safeguarding the cob from harsh elements. Regular reapplication of these coatings may be necessary depending on the specific conditions and wear.

5. Pest Control

Keep an eye out for any signs of pest infestation in the cob walls, such as termite activity or wood-boring insects. Regularly inspect the building and take necessary measures to prevent and eliminate pests. This may involve professional pest control services or implementing preventive measures like sealing cracks and maintaining a clean environment.

6. Education and Community Involvement

An essential aspect of cob maintenance and upkeep in sorority buildings is fostering a sense of community and education. Encouraging members to be mindful of the cob structures, educating them about the unique characteristics and needs of cob, and involving them in the maintenance process can help create a shared responsibility and appreciation for these eco-friendly structures.

The durability and longevity of cob construction in sorority communities

In sorority communities, cob construction offers several advantages in terms of durability and longevity. Cob, which is a mixture of sand, clay, straw, and water, has been used for centuries as a building material.

Here are some reasons why cob construction is known for its durability:

  • Strength: Cob structures are incredibly strong and resistant to adverse weather conditions. The compacted mixture of sand and clay in cob forms a solid mass that can withstand heavy loads and resist natural elements.
  • Flexibility: Cob walls have a natural flexibility that allows them to absorb the movements of the earth and prevent cracking. This flexibility is especially beneficial in areas prone to earthquakes or shifting soil.
  • Thermal mass: The high thermal mass of cob helps regulate indoor temperatures and reduces the need for heating and cooling systems. This not only saves energy and reduces carbon footprint but also contributes to the long-term sustainability of the sorority community.
  • Fire resistance: Cob construction is highly fire-resistant due to the absence of combustible materials. The thick walls of cob provide an excellent barrier against flames, making it a safe choice for sorority houses.

Furthermore, cob construction in sorority communities can last for generations if properly maintained. Here’s why:

  • Low maintenance: Cob walls require minimal maintenance compared to other building materials. With occasional repainting or resealing of the exterior, cob can remain in excellent condition for decades.
  • Renewability: Cob is a sustainable material that can be easily repaired or renovated. If any part of the structure gets damaged, it is relatively simple to patch or replace the affected area without compromising the entire building.
  • Adaptability: As sorority communities evolve and their housing needs change, cob structures can be modified and expanded. The pliable nature of cob allows for easy renovations and additions, ensuring that the buildings can adapt to the changing requirements of the community.

In conclusion, cob construction offers impressive durability and longevity in sorority communities. Its strength, flexibility, thermal mass, and fire resistance make it a reliable building material. Additionally, cob requires low maintenance, is renewable, and provides adaptability for future needs. By choosing cob construction, sorority communities can create long-lasting and sustainable living spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions about How Does COB Work Sorority

What does COB stand for?

COB stands for Continuous Open Bidding.

What is COB in sorority recruitment?

COB is a process where sororities can extend bids to potential new members outside of the formal recruitment period.

Who is eligible for COB in sororities?

Eligibility for COB varies among sororities, but typically it is open to undergraduate women who are enrolled full-time at the university and have not already accepted a bid from another sorority.

How does COB work in sorority recruitment?

During COB, interested women can reach out to sororities to express their interest. Sororities then review these potential new members and may extend bids. The process may involve casual events, conversations, and getting to know the sorority members.

Are there any requirements for joining a sorority through COB?

Each sorority may have its own specific requirements, such as minimum GPA or other membership criteria. These requirements can vary, so it’s important to check with the individual sororities for their specific guidelines.

Can you join a sorority through COB if you didn’t go through formal recruitment?

Yes, COB provides an opportunity for those who did not participate in formal recruitment to join a sorority. It offers an alternative pathway for individuals interested in becoming sorority members.

Is COB the same as informal recruitment?

COB and informal recruitment are often used interchangeably to refer to the same process of extending bids outside of the formal recruitment period.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how COB works in sorority recruitment. Whether you’re considering joining a sorority or just seeking information, we hope these FAQs have been helpful. Remember to reach out to individual sororities for more detailed information about their COB processes. We appreciate your interest and please visit us again for more updates and insights on sorority life!

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