What is Natural Building or Eco-building?
We use local materials wherever possible. When we build with cob 85% of our material is our own sub-soil. We use wood from the community woodland here on site. When we can't use something local we try to source it from as near to us as we can. And we try to make it as sustainable as possible.
For example straw bales: we buy these from within Wales or England if they aren't available here. Lime we buy from a supplier in Wales they get it from England. And why straw? It is an amazing insulative material, it is cheap to build with, quick and non-toxic. Why lime? it is a breathable, naturally occurring material, ideal for use with straw and cob. And although it's not perfect (lime must still go through an industrial process) it's much better than concrete production for example. And lime is lovely to work with too!
So what do we make? We have made a nine metre reciprocal framed roundhouse, painted with limewash pigmented with iron oxide to make it pink! We have built a glorious cruck frame barn. We have built a cob bath, cob floors, cob stairs and a cob greenhouse. And we are going to build more ...
On our building courses this year we are creating another cob greenhouse and a little 'eco-hut'. Our courses are experiential, using a 'learning through doing' method to help you discover more about designing a structure, choosing materials and creative problem solving. They also offer insight into what the quest for self-reliance is really like. Suitable for novices and those with some experience.
The full list of courses for 2013 is on our Courses page.