The South West has long been a hotbed for green building, with local experts in everything from cob, straw bale and timber building, to eco-design and low-carbon planning regulations. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the first national qualification should start here, bringing together a full spectrum of expertise in traditional craft skills that use local and sustainable materials.
“For individuals, families and modern society at large, there is a growing movement to find our place on the Earth” says local craftsman Robert Somerville who will be leading the Certificate in Natural Build run by Schumacher College in Devon. “This is part of the inspiration for this extraordinary introduction to Natural Building which is for beginners and established building professionals alike”. Opening its doors for the first time in January 2012, it’s a forerunner of what will eventually be a nationally recognised certification with a linked MSc programme in Eco-Design and Natural Build.
“The challenge of our times is to build low energy homes and here in Devon we have a wealth of natural materials – all the ingredients we need to do it” continues Robert as he explains how participants will get hands-on experience on real building projects using materials harvested from the local environment. “And this is a great chance to learn first-hand from people who really know what they’re talking about”. There’ll be some fun too. Participants will be building their own coracles from local wood and floating down the River Dart at the end of the course.
This certificate consists of seven week-long modules which can be taken together or as stand-alone courses. The fees are £425 per module, including food, and if you book all seven, you get one free. For booking see www.schumachercollege.org.uk or contact Lou.Rainbow@schumachercollege.org.uk; 01803 847238
Schumacher Certificate in Natural Building
This unique programme consists of seven week-long modules spread over six months from January to June 2013. Each one tackles a different subject area and can be taken either individually or as a series which will provide a comprehensive appreciation of the key components of Natural Building. The Schumacher Natural Building Certificate is for beginners and established building professionals alike.
For individuals, families and modern society at large, there is a growing movement to “find our place on the Earth” which is part of the inspiration for this extraordinary introduction to Natural Building. What distinguishes these courses is the hands-on learning on real building projects.
The types of techniques include cob work, clay plastering, dry stone walling, lime plastering, straw bale walling, hempcrete insulation, round-wood framing, hewing and cleaving, post and beam carpentry, shingle roofing and the making of turf roofs. This list is not exhaustive, and varies according to the seasons.
For more information, please go to http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/schumacher-certificate-in-natural-building-2013