Spring Natural Building Series

Spring Natural Building Series

April 6th– May 17th

student financing available!

This six week program provides professional training for beginners and contractors alike in the use of natural materials and simple techniques that add energy efficiency and beauty to your home.  During this series students will be taught by Aprovecho’s team of natural building professionals covering topics from earthen floors and plasters to natural insulation and high-mass.  The course is designed to serve homeowners desiring to make changes to their existing home using non-toxic, naturally durable materials or contractors interested in offering their clients more diverse, green alternatives.  This course is also relevant to beginners looking to jumpstart their natural building experience with a high-density, comprehensive education program. Take the course as a whole or choose week-by-week based on your interests.

Week 1: Earthen Floors for Existing Homes (certificate course )

4/8 – 4/11

Earthen floors are rapidly being recognized as a desirable, natural alternative to conventional floor systems.  Not only do they capture heat (or cool) increasing the energy efficiency of your home, but they are pleasing to both the eye and the soles of your feet.  Come learn the design and implementation of earthen floor systems in multiple interior applications.

Taught By: Sukita Crimmel

Week 2: Adding Mass for Solar Gain: Cob, Adobe and Rammed Earth

4/14 – 4/18

Mass acts like a thermal battery in the home.  By adding mass to an interior space one resists large fluctuations in interior temperature while providing an opportunity to absorb the sun’s energy.  During this week students will learn the techniques of cob, adobe and rammed earth.  Though taught in the context of an interior remodel, this week will review the use of these techniques in load-bearing walls, garden walls and interior accents.  In addition to the performance characteristics of mass, students will also become familiar with the sculptural potential for cob, adobe and rammed earth.

Taught By: Eva Edleson

Week 3: Insulation with Natural Materials

4/21 – 4/25

How do you insulate a natural home?  Today there are a variety of ways in which you can insulate using locally available materials to either retrofit or build your existing home.  Join us and learn how to use straw, clay, lime, hemp and other natural materials to provide a tight natural blanket for your home.

Taught By: NB Team

Week 4: Home Heat: Rocket Mass Heaters and More

4/28 – 5/2

Existing homes are often plagued with inefficient wood-burning stoves wasting up to 50% of the useable heat energy available in wood.  The rocket mass heater is a simple energy efficient technology applicable in existing structures, saunas or outdoor seating areas.  During this week students will learn how to design and construct a mass heater based on their (or their clients) needs.  This week will also examine the use and construction of masonry heaters and Rumford fireplaces.

Taught By: Max Edleson

Week 5: Home Water: Catchment, Greywater and Solar/Wood-fired Hot Water

5/5 – 5/9

Water is the lifeblood of the home.  It quenches the inhabitants, washes the dirt, and carries away the wastes.  This course will teach the participant how to use water as an opportunity to integrate the home into a broader permaculture landscape from catchment to dispersal.  As well, we will be demonstrating how to make your own solar/wood-fired hot water system, making use of local energy sources for your home’s energy needs.

Taught By: NB Team

Week 6: Natural Plasters and Finishes: The Craft of Lime and Clay

5/12 – 5/16

Most people do not realize there are simple, natural alternatives to drywall and latex paint that are less expensive, just as durable and, sometimes, right under their feet.  This portion of the course focuses on the use of clay and lime-based plasters and paints in a variety of indoor applications.  Whether you simply want to add a homemade clay paint to existing drywall or you want to start from the stud with a lathe and plaster, this week guides the student through the steps and skills necessary to finish interior space with natural materials.

Taught By: Erica Ann Bush

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