At the end of August, we are offering an unique opportunity to learn and practice a combination of natural earth building methods. This is a unique hands-on, practical course designed to give the participant a working knowledge of using cob, compressed earth bricks, dry-stone foundations and rammed earth as building materials. A sound basic theoretical knowledge will be imparted and all participants will be given a notebook containing all the theory discussed in classes to take home as reference material.

ABOUT NATURAL EARTH BUILDING

Building with locally available materials is a beautiful and environmentally friendly approach to construction.  Some of the oldest structures in the world were built using natural materials such as rammed earth – for example the Mosques at Djenne in Mali and parts of the Great Wall of China. Natural materials can improve quality of life by keeping living spaces cool in the hot season and warm in the cold times – saving money (and reducing your carbon footprint!). When building with locally available resources we also support the local economy and create an incentive to conserve nature.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

This is a unique hands-on, practical course designed to give the participant a working knowledge of using cob, compressed earth bricks, dry-stone foundations and rammed earth as building materials. A sound basic theoretical knowledge will be imparted and all participants will be given a notebook containing all the theory discussed in classes to take home as reference material.

This course is targeted at anyone who is interested in learning more about green building. Participants will ‘get their hands dirty’ building a semi-circular, fuel efficient open air kitchen to include a bread/pizza oven, wood stove with hot plates, braii, hot boxes, cupboards and wood storage space.

TOPICS COVERED

  • Broad overview of natural building
  • Sourcing, analysing and preparing materials for cob, compressed bricks and rammed earth
  • Building with cob, compressed brick, rammed earth and dry stone wall
  • Physics of earth buildings – structural integrity
  • Foundations and Flooring
  • Arches, windows, doors and dome
  • Chimney with integrated hot water boiler
  • Considerations for roofing
  • Rendering

COURSE LANGUAGE

The course will be conducted in English with a Chichewa translator if needed.

FACILITATION TEAM

HOPE THORNTON is the manager of NGP and holds a master’s degree in International Education as well as being a qualified permaculturist. She teams up with WILL MORKEL who has many years experience in commercial and natural building and also recently completed a Permaculture Design Course.

COURSE DATES

  • 30th August – 4th September 2010

COSTS

Listed below in USD, and also payable in ZAR, GBP, or MK at bank rates of exchange.

  • US$ 440.00 include course fees, daily lunches and two tea breaks with snacks.

ON-SITE ACCOMODATION OPTIONS

(All quotes are for 6 nights, arriving Sun 29th Aug):

Kumbali Cultural Village

  • Camping (US$ 5.00 per night) US$ 30.00 p.p. for 6 nights (participant must bring all camping equipment; hot water is provided)
  • Traditional Hut (US$ 20.00 per night) US$ 120.00 p.p. for 6 nights (hot water, electricity in the evenings, mosquito nets, towels and bedding provided)

Food: Add US$ 10.00 for each dinner and US$ 7.00 for each Breakfast

Kumbali Country Lodge

  • Single Occupancy (US$ 150.00 per night): US$ 900.00 p.p. for 6 nights (breakfast included)
  • Double Occupancy (US$ 180.00 per night): US$ 540.00 p.p. for 6 nights (breakfast included)

Food: Add US$ 22.50 for each Dinner

PLEASE NOTE: We aim to provide training to anyone who wants it and do not want cost to be a prohibitive factor in participation on the course. Please contact us if you wish to donate money to sponsor someone or if you need sponsorship for this course.