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Natural Building Workshops in southern ITALY, 2-5 weeks, April 26th - May 30th

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workshop students building a cob cottage in Portugal

In this Natural Building Workshop we are building an earthship inspired classroom for Christoph & Mario’s permaculture project in southern Italy.
There are no skill requirements. You will learn everything you need to build a house from foundation to roof.

From April 26th to May 30th we will start another round of Natural Building Workshops near Badolato in southern Italy.
These workshops will provide you plenty of opportunity to get hands-on experience in Natural Building, all the skills and especially the confidence you need to build a little cabin for yourself.
The highlights of these workshops are a natural rock stemwall & foundation, a natural round pole timber frame and roof, light-straw-clay, straw bale as well as cob walls, earthen floors,
earthen plasters, a rainwater harvesting roof and even cob sculpting, Tadelakt and an integrated greenhouse to make this building similar to an earthship.

Because this is an area with possibility of light earthquakes, we will talk about earthquake protection and apply what we learned on the building.

We will build a green house extension to make this building similar to an earthship, and passively heated even in winter. The green house will include grey-water planters that are fed from the sink and showers.

cozy earthship interior

Natural Builder Certification
You will receive a Natural Builder Certificate, all the teaching materials by email and the Sustainability Skills – Natural Builder’s Handbook, which is a summary of the workshop building steps, upon graduation.

Workshop Requirements
There are no skill requirements for these Natural Building Workshops! That said, it certainly won’t hurt if you know some things and put it to good use or share it with others. Nobody is perfect and we are always curious to learn other ways of doing things.

Workshop schedule
  • Sun Apr 25, 4 pm: Opening Circle / Welcome Dinner / Introduction
  • 1st week: Foundation / Plumbing / 1st Floor
  • 2nd week: Round pole timber Frame / Door and Window Frames
  • 3rd week: Walls / Electrical / Windows
  • 4th week: Walls / 1st Plaster / 2nd Plaster / 2nd Floor
  • 5th week: Roof / Green house / Tadelakt
  • Sat May 30, 10 am: Closing Circle

  • There is often someone who leads yoga or some other movement practice in the morning and/or the afternoon. We like to have one evening a week to show slides, videos or have workshop related debates. The rest of the time you can spend on your own, join a jam session around the fire or contribute something to share with the group.

    voluntary morning yoga session

    Workshop Hosts: Mario & Christoph

    Mario and Christoph on a hike at a permaculture workshop

    Christoph and Mario would like us to come up with a smart design. Although the primary purpose of the project will be to serve as a classroom where lectures or workshops can take place, it should also be usable to accommodate guests and workshop students.

    Badolato Borgo and Badolato Marina in the background, the location for this advanced natural building workshop
    Read more about Christoph & Mario, their permaculture project and the workshop location: Badolato.

    Workshop Instructor

    Robert ‘Cob-Rob’ Brendler

    Robert Brendler has been doing construction work since the age of 12 when he accompanied his grandpa on construction sites during his summer vacation. He’s a Jack of all trades, experienced in Masonry, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical Wiring, Home Automation, Cob Building & Sculpting, Green-Roofs, Non Violent Communication, Teaching and Team-Building and is bringing it all together to give you a complete experience from foundation to roof. Robert loves the Natural Building Community and bringing together the kind of people that are interested in it. He loves teaching and the look on faces when people succeed in doing things they never imagined they could do.

    Registration & Payment

    Registration and further information at https://sustainability-skills.org/natural-building-workshop

    The fees for the Natural Building Workshops (including Tuition, Camping and Meals) are:

    with EARLY BIRD discount until March 15:

    2 week course from May 11th - 23rd
    900€ 650€
  • Cob walls
  • Strawbale walls
  • Light-Straw-Clay walls
  • Rammed Earth walls
  • Electrical conduits / outlets
  • Earthen floors
  • Earthen plasters
  • Cob sculpting & inserts
  • Niches / Shelves / Arches
  • Lime Plaster

    3 week course from May 4th - 23rd
    1250€ 850€
  • All BASIC content
  • Round Pole Timber Framing
  • Wooden Frame & Roof
  • Wood connections
  • Wood protection
  • Power Tool Instruction
  • Hand Tool Instruction
  • Live Edge Shelves
  • Window & Door Frames

    4 week course from April 27th - May 23rd
    1600€ 1100€
  • All INTERMEDIATE content
  • Ground assessment
  • Foundation
  • Drainage
  • Natural Rock Stemwall
  • Plumbing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Earthen subfloor

    5 week course from April 27th - May 31st
    1900€ 1350€
  • All ADVANCED content
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Reciprocal, Shed or Saddle roof
  • Metal or Green roof
  • Passive solar heating
  • Greenhouse extension
  • Water recycling
  • Grey-water planters
  • Natural finishes and paints
  • Tadelakt

  • Registration is limited to 15 students. Registration deadline: April 11.

    We always offer 4 work trade discounts, 2 in the kitchen making breakfast in the morning and 2 onsite in the morning before breakfast or in the afternoon between class and dinner. An ideal learning opportunity to get a glimpse on every detail of the build. Each work trade is 50€ off the tuition fees per week for one hour of help a day. To apply for these work trade positions please contact robert.brendler@gmail.com.

    MUDDY BUDDY DEAL: Register friends later, get the same discount. When the discount offer is ending soon, but your best friend isn’t sure yet. No problem, register now and secure the discount for the both of you.

    Registration and further information at https://sustainability-skills.org/natural-building-workshop


    Aliona and Robert in Chile 2019 creating a new style of cob dancing!
    Forget this weirdo. You guys wanna see something really neat? I just have to take off my shoe .... (hint: it's a tiny ad)
    Devious Experiments for a Truly Passive Greenhouse!
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