The Natural Building Practicum (NBP) is phase two of the Natural Building Semester. The NBP is an eight week program focused on three primary learning objectives:
- Build confidence through experience with natural building and design techniques learned during the Shelter Series.
- Provide Sustainable Livelihood training helping students interested in pursuing a career as a designer/builder understand the basics of starting and marketing a business.
- Develop design/build leadership abilities through student determined design/build projects. More information below:
Student Design/Build Projects
During the Natural Building Semester each student is expected to design and build a project using skills and techniques learned earlier in the semester during the Sustainable Shelter Series. Design/build projects are an important part of Aprovecho’s educational model based on the belief that only through practice does one acquire the knowledge of a new skill or technique. By taking the leadership role in a project’s design and implementation students are able to witness the entirety of the building process while gaining confidence through experience in specific skill areas chosen by themselves.
The design/build process includes guidance and practice in the areas of:
- drafting and modeling
- developing timelines and budgets
- material acquisition and processing
- client communication
- crew leadership
- and a variety of natural building techniques
Support for the design/build projects is provided by Aprovecho’s staff giving students a safe place to make mistakes, learn new techniques and discover new ideas. Students are expected to present their design/build projects at the end of the course adding an important installment to their personal portfolio. Below are just some examples from students of past design/build projects:
The Natural Building Practicum is primarily for students attending the Natural Building Semester. This program can however serve students with the appropriate amount of pre-existing experience.