Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


College of Engineering


Daniel C. Jansen

Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


This thesis investigates full-scale pipe stem reinforced cob walls under in-plane cyclic shear loads. Cob is the combination of clay subsoils, sand, straw and water that is built in lifts to produce monolithic walls. There is insufficient amount of information on cob as a building material in today’s age. The prior research that exists has examined varying straw content and type, water content, and mixture ratios to determine their effect on strength. There is currently one report that analyzes full-scale cob walls under in-plane loading. This thesis looks to iterate the full-scale tests and specifically studies the effect of reinforcement on cob walls. Concurrent to this research, another thesis was written that investigates a full-scale wire mesh reinforced cob wall under in-plane cyclic shear loads.

From the data collected, a shear failure was suggested for the stem pipe wall. There appeared to be a large amount of ductility from the data and the cracks formed. Ductility, a seismic response modification factor (R-Factor) and stiffness were calculated using the yield point and ultimate loads.Iterations of this research and those performed in the past can be helpful in integrating cob in to the California Building Code.