May 10, 2012

Affordable Natural Homes

Affordable Natural Homes: Learn the Art and the Science

5 Day Hands-on Home-building Workshop at the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation, South Dakota, USA ~~ July 25th – 29th, 2012
Work with the team who developed the world's most advanced straw-clay construction system! Participants will help build a model live/work headquarters for Earth Tipi, a non-profit organization serving the Pine Ridge Community. Previous construction experience is helpful but not necessary.
In this hands-on workshop you will:
  • help build walls using an advanced, resource-efficient framing system
  • mix and install high-performance straw-clay infill
  • install an earthen floor
  • gain the skills to confidently plaster walls using earthen mixes
  • learn how to evaluate your raw materials
  • learn the details to make natural construction more durable & energy-efficient

Registration includes: professional architectural drawings and specifications, camp site, meals, hands-on training and class handouts
Lou Host-Jablonski, Principal Architect, Design Coalition, WI
Douglas Piltingsrud, Ph.D. P.E. Sustainable Housing Research, MN
Jim Hutchison, Mechanical Engineering, IL
Sue Thering, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Contact for more information and to register.

*Reduced fees limited to 2 builders per Nation. Program is limited to 18 participants.

EarthTipi Logo
visit Earth Tipi website...

left: Lou and scientist Douglas Piltingsrud confer with Don Smith of SmithWorks Natural Homes during a September 2011 crew training for straw-clay technology in Crested Butte, Colorado.
left: Roger pitches in during a May 2011 straw-clay training day with Alex Greene and the crew of Red Beard Woodworks, in Spring Greene, Wisconsin.

left: Lou teaching Earthen Plastering in November 2002 at Small Waters in
Harvard, Illinois.

Natural Home Building Workshops and Learning Opportunities

Straw-clay walls, earthen plastering, and earthen flooring are all ancient building arts that are being revived to complement modern natural homebuilding. Our workshop content often varies, and can range over topics including passive solar design basics, clay science & mixing technologies, low-EMF wiring tips, building science principles as applied to natural construction and more. During workshops we teach you the art and science, the tools and techniques.
In our hands-on workshops, you will:
• Learn how to evaluate your raw materials.
• Find out how natural ingredients affect the durability of your house.
• Design mixes to best suit your needs.
• Gain the skills to build confidently.
• Use a variety of tools & techniques and find out which ones will work best for you.
If you'd like to be on our workshop mailing list, or if you're interested in hosting a training at your site, contact
For more workshop photos and to visit The Affordable Natural House...