Natural Building and Green Design

The Aprovecho Natural Building Department is taking a break for 2018

After seven years of continuous programming and over a hundred alumni served the Natural Building Dept. is taking a breath to reflect on the past and look toward the future.  The NBD is committed to continue to serve the growing pool of student builders seeking vocational pathways and/or the skills needed for the owner/builder.  We look forward to offering new and refined educational experiences in 2019 so check back if you are interested in our future programs.  Below are some program descriptions and links from the past that you may find enriching.  Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Aprovecho’s Natural Building Program is a design/build school offering educational opportunities in the design and construction of energy efficient structures using locally-sourced, non-toxic materials. Trainings are offered both for the do-it-yourself home-builder as well as students pursuing a career as a designer/builder. Class topics cover all components of home construction as well as skills associated with drafting, design and business development. Whether you are just starting out in natural building or already have experience in the construction field, there are many diverse educational opportunities offered throughout the year.

Sustainable Shelter Series

Watch this short video to get a feel for the program and hear from the teachers and past students.

The Sustainable Shelter Series is a seven week intensive designed to empower participants with the ability to build and renovate their own home using simple techniques and natural,  low-carbon materials.  During this course we will start from the ground and move up teaching the art/science of natural building and green design.  Read more…


Natural Building Practicum

The Natural Building Practicum (NBP) is an eight week program focused on the practice and implementation of natural building techniques.  Designed for natural builders with pre-existing experience, each week is split between instruction, hands-on application and independent study.  Read more…

Natural Building Semester

(Sustainable Shelter Series + Practicum)

Aprovecho’s Natural Building Semester includes the Sustainable Shelter Series, a seven week intensive covering home construction from the ground up, followed by a practicum where students put their new training into practice building confidence through experience with different natural building techniques.  Basic drafting and design classes are also offered during a semester as well as sustainable livelihood training for the student considering a career as a designer/builder.  Students attending a semester are eligible for student financing.  Read more…