10 Amazing Places to Learn Natural Building Skills in 2014

10 Amazing Places to Learn Natural Building Skills in 2014

By: The Houseplanologist

1. Ty-Mawr, South Wales, UK

If you’re crazy about those little chocolate box houses with thatched roofs in the UK, here’s your chance to learn about thatching at a picturesque location. Ty-Mawr, based in South Wales, is offering a one-day course in Thatching on July 16. The course covers the history and styles of thatching and includes practical hands-on experience. Cost: £115.


Image: via Ty-Mawr

See http://www.lime.org.uk/courses/thatching-1-day/ for more info.

2. The Yestermorrow Design/Build School, Waitsfield, Vermont, USA

There’s a massive range of hands-on training for budding builders at Yestermorrow, including certificate programs and weekend courses. Want to do Passive House training? Furniture Making? Beehive Design? If you’ve got the time, they’ve got the course.


Image: via Yestermorrow

Online brochure: http://issuu.com/yestermorrow/docs/ym_fw_2013-14
Website: http://www.yestermorrow.org/

3. Milkwood Farm, Mudgee, NSW, Australia

Milkwood specializes in permaculture training but they also have a Natural Building course covering cob, strawbale and earth rendering. It runs from April 5th to 8th and costs AU$990. There’s an early bird discount if you book and pay before February 24. For more info, see: http://milkwoodpermaculture.com.au/courses/details/183-natural-building-apr-2014-milkwood-farm

4. Earthwood Building School, New York, USA

The Earthwood Building School is holding a three-day course in Cordwood Masonry in New York from May 23rd to 25th. The cost is US$420 for a single and US$680 for a couple. If you can’t make this one, there are other dates for the course, both in New York and Mondovi, WI. See http://www.cordwoodmasonry.com/workshops.html


Image: via Earthwood Building School

5. Brighton Permaculture Trust, Brighton, UK

Brighton Permaculture Trust is a not-for-profit organization that promotes green living. They have a three-day course in self-building an earthship, running three times a year. Costs vary depending on your income, but start at £145 per person. There’s lots more infomation at: http://www.brightonpermaculture.org.uk/courses-conferences-and-events/courses/self-building-an-earthship.html

6. The Centre for Alternative Technology, Powys, Wales, UK

The Centre for Alternative Technology (also know as Canolfan y Dechnoleg Amgen) (don’t ask me to pronounce that!), has a course on how to build a green roof. It runs from Friday the 28th of March to Sunday the 30th. Course fees (including full board accommodation) start at £225. For more information about this and other interesting courses, see http://courses.cat.org.uk/sustainable-building/buildagreenroof-detail


Image: via the Centre for Alternative Technology

7. The SunDog School of Natural Building, California, USA

The SunDog School has a course called ‘Complete Cob Cottage in 9 Days’. There are two dates – June 6 to 15, and July 11 to 20, and the cost is US$880 including food and camping space. Discounts apply for advance payments. See http://www.sundogbuilders.net/workshops.html for more info.


Image: via the Sundog School

8. Permastructure, Victoria, Australia

Nicholas Jouin and Minna Seppala from Permastructure are offering a 7 Day Intensive Workshop in Earthbag Building from the 8th to the 14th of March near Castlemaine, Victoria. The cost is AU$800. See http://www.permastructure.com.au/

9. Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild, Fountains Abbey, UK

If you fancy a trip to beautiful Fountains Abbey (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild has a two-day non-residential course in dry stone walling. There are two dates to choose from – the 17th and 18th of May or the 19th and 20th of July. Cost: £99. There’s more information at http://www.ydswg.co.uk/courses

10. Rancho Mastatal, Puriscal, Costa Rica

Rancho Mastatal Environmental Learning Center & Lodge has a course in Earthen Plasters & Tadelakt (an ancient lime plaster technique from Morocco) from April 13 to 17. Costs range from US$400 to US$700 and include lodging, meals and instruction. See http://www.ranchomastatal.com/pages/programs/events2.php?Grouping=TopMenu&PageName=events#X194X


Image: via Rancho Mastatal

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