May 15-17

Natural Building Wall 

Straw Bales, and Cob; Materials Selection and Soil Analysis 

Instructors: Michael G Smith and Colin Gillespie and Blair Phillips

This is part two in a four part series that covers practice and theory of structural systems (timber framing), insulation (straw bales) and thermal mass wall systems (cob, adobe, wattle and daub). The weekend Intensive (Friday through Sunday) will include the bulk of theoretical and practical training, followed by a 4-day Practicum (Monday May 18th through Thursday, May 21) focused on hands-on building experience. Participants are encouraged to attend both the intensive and practicum for the full learning experience. 

Workshops fees include an all organic, local as possible lunch and dinner as well as camping/housing options. We will also be offering a breakfast of oats, peanut butter and bananas, students are invited to bring snacks to supplement their additional needs. Fee also includes optional guided early morning yoga class.

For friends interested in going deep we are inviting a small number of spots to do an 8 week immersion through the Natural building series. Starting April 20 and concluding June 12, this immersion allows participants to attend workshops for a discounted rate and have all meals provided in exchange for joining our workshop support team in which most of your hours will be spent on the building project, but also on other supportive tasks for workshop prep and facility maintenance. ​

Description: This workshop will focus on clay and straw, two of the most versatile natural building materials.

In the first part of the workshop, you will learn to:

• Build a highly insulating and fire-resistant straw bale wall

• Mix clay soil, sand and straw into cob 

• Sculpt cob into beautiful, durable walls

• Sustainably harvest and test clay soils 

• Determine the best cob mix for your soil

• Understand best practices for site work, drainage, and foundations

source and evaluate bales for construction

The extended practicum will focus on faster ways to mix and build with cob using machines, as well as preparing materials for earthen plasters.

Three-day Intensive Fee:  $400 before April 15th  $500 thereafter  (discounts if you apply for multiple workshops)

Weekday Practicum Fee: $120-$160 sliding scale

Interested in doing our 8 week immersion for a discount?

                   Click HERE to contact us!


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