Natural Building Course: Materials and Techniques

Natural Building Course: Materials and Techniques

Take the first step to a sustainable future by learning hands-on natural building skills. Understand the alchemy of how different types of earth work, and do not work together, their potential and limitations. You will also explore questions around sustainable living based in Peter McIntosh’s experience living off-grid at Berg-en-dal.

Materials you will work with:

  • Cob
  • Mud brick / adobe
  • Rammed earth
  • Rock
  • Compressed Earth Brick
  • Straw bale
  • Light Earth (Straw clay mixes)

Building & Design skills you will learn:

  • Earth theory and Earth tests
  • Basic site layout and measuring
  • Passive solar design
  • Foundations, walls, openings & mud brick arches
  • Natural plasters
  • Off-grid solar energy design

The course is comprehensive and covers a range of materials and techniques based on Peter McIntosh’s professional and personal experience working with these approaches and from having lived off-grid since 1999. Although the course needs to be comprehensive in order to give a feel for the materials you may work with, you will be empowered to be successful and make rational choices whatever the given situation.

About the Facilitator:

Peter McIntosh has been building with earth since 1999 and as a result he has an exceptional level of experience and knowledge about the various natural building materials and techniques in South Africa. On a mission to spread the word about natural building, he has been teaching and running natural building courses since 2010 and has honed the craft of transferring the knowledge and practical skills so you leave feeling confident and empowered to start your own project. Visit for more information.

  • Natural Building Course: Materials and Techniques
  • Date: 8 – 14 October 2017
  • Venue: Jakkalskloof Bio-dynamic training farm near Swellendam

The 7 day course costs R4500 p/person. You will be provided with vegetarian lunches and two teas daily. Accommodation costs are not included; email the Natural Building Collective to find out about available options.
For bookings, please email

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View recommended Green Accommodation in Swellendam and the Western Cape.

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