Workshop Content

1.  Introduction

  • We always begin with icebreakers and exercises with participants to create open atmosphere and sense of trust. 
  • Introduce the norms, boundaries, and language that we will be using throughout the workshop
  • Review safety precautions
  • Introduce materials
    • Test and identify soils and other building materials
    • Introduce concepts such as structural properties, seismic resistance, site-specific considerations, etc. 

 

2. Building skills, including but not limited to: 

  • Site assessment and preparation
    • Leveling, footprint
    • What makes a good site?
  • Foundation
    • Possible foundation options commonly include earth bag or stone
  • Wall systems
    • There are a variety of natural building techniques we teach for wall systems, depending on available materials and whether the wall is load-bearing or non-load-bearing. 
    • Techniques include:
      • Adobe
      • Cob
      • Wattle and daub, or equivalent
      • Chorizo
      • Maya ciclon
  • Carpentry (if applicable-- typically reserved for advanced groups) 
  • Roofing
    • We typically base our roofing workshops off local practices, but offer a standard course using a basic corrugated roof 
  • Plasters
    • Interior-- reduces insect presence 
    • Exterior-- reduces deterioration and increases resiliency 
    • Plasters are made using clay-based soils or lime. 
  • Stabilized Earthen Floors
  • Rammed earth
  • Built-in furniture
  • Eco-fogon technology (improved firewood stove)
  • Clay paint
  • Artistic sculpting
  • Tadelakt (advanced only)