Community Event

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Building with Earth and Straw

Saturday | June 14, 2014 — Thursday | June 19, 2014

near Davis | CA

Cob • Straw Bale • Earthbags • Earthen Plaster • Climate-Sensitive Design • Earth Sheltered • Passive Solar • Water Conserving

This hands-on workshop focuses on easy-to-learn, low-cost, environmentally-friendly building strategies especially appropriate for our climate. Beginning with an earth-sheltered steel shipping container, we will be attaching a straw bale wall on the south side for insulation, with windows for passive solar heating. We will also begin construction of a cob (sculptural load-bearing earth walls) studio, recessed into the ground with a low-impact earthbag foundation. Clay soil from the site will be used for cob and for plastering the straw bales and earthbags. About 6 hours each day will be spent building together, with an additional 2-4 hours of lectures, presentations, and a tour of local alternative buildings. Presentations include: evaluating and harvesting clay soils for building; effective use of natural materials for energy-efficient passive solar designs; household water reuse and composting toilets; and a visual tour of natural buildings around the world.

Instructor: Michael G. Smith helped found The Cob Cottage Company in Oregon in 1993. Since then he has taught over 100 hands-on natural building workshops and designed and/or helped build over 50 natural structures. He consults with owner-builders on using on-site and locally available materials to build efficient, low-cost, comfortable and beautiful homes. He is the author or co-author of 3 books on natural building, including The Hand-Sculpted House and The Art of Natural Building. For more information visit website.

The total size of the class is limited to 16, so register early. For more information or to register, contact by email.

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Cost: $3 - $650
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Please contact organizer for wheelchair accessibility information.

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