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9-Day Permitted Natural Home


May 17, 2014 - May 25, 2014 Contact

The 9-Day Permitted Natural Home
May 17th-25th, 2014
$1,000 [20% off for full payment 90 days in advance, 10% off for 30 days in advance, 10% for family and friends participating together]

Join us at the future site of the Mud Dauber School of Natural Building, in Central North Carolina, for a unique permitted natural building workshop. Instructors Greg Allen and Mike McDonough will guide participants through the creation of a stick-framed cottage, with strawbale and straw-clay walls, natural plaster finishes, and cob details. We will be building with rough-sawn lumber from a nearby sawmill, on-site clay, local strawbales, and as many salvaged materials as possible. The small building we construct will provide the necessary learning experience to go on and build your own permitted building of the size you want.

We will spend most of the week doing hands-on building, covering a mix of conventional and natural techniques: masonry foundation, carpentry, strawbale walls, cob mixing, plastering, roofing, and more. In addition to hands-on work, there will be plenty of time devoted to sit-down discussions and presentations. Each participant will receive a copy of the building permit application to take home as reference. There will be discussion about how to minimize the effect that your local codes/inspectors might have on your ideal natural design.

The building will have a concrete pier foundation, a wooden framework, and a metal roof. The walls will be insulated with straw, and the ceiling and floor with dense-pack cellulose. The finish floor will be earthen, and the walls and ceiling will be naturally plastered. There will be opportunities to sculpt cob into a window seat bench, around corners, and to create an arched doorway.

Some of the techniques you will have the opportunity to learn:
– plastering on bales, drywall (for ceiling), and cob
– framing a floor, walls, and roof
– pouring cement piers
– installing a metal roof
– building up strawbale infill walls (stacking, re-shaping, trimming)
– simple wiring
– installing windows and doors
– mixing natural plasters
– earthen floors (if we have time left)

*We will be focusing on the use of hand-tools for this workshop. Power tools will be used infrequently, and by instructors only. A handsaw can be as fast as a circular saw if it’s maintained and you practice!

Three meals a day will be provided, and will be mainly vegetarian, with a couple meat options throughout the week. Most any dietary restriction can be accommodated, and participants are welcome to bring their own snacks. Camping will be available on site, as well as toilet and shower facilities.

Both Greg and Mike graduated from the Cob Cottage Company’s apprenticeship program in 2008, and have teamed up to teach natural building skills on the east coast.

To sign up, or ask questions, e-mail Greg at risingearthbuilding@gmail.com, or call at 315-657-3980. Greg and Danielle are currently working on a website for the Mud Dauber School of Natural Building, at muddauberschool.com.

Cobandon.blogspot.com (Greg’s)
Risingearthbuilding.blogspot.com (Mike’s)
Earthenacres.wordpress.com (Danielle’s)


May 17, 2014
May 25, 2014
Event Category:


Snow Camp
Snow Camp, United States