Check out the photos from our latest natural building course. Materials and techniques covered included, mud brick, cob, light earth, rammed earth, compressed earth brick, rock, natural plasters, foundations, walls, openings, passive solar design, basic site layout and how to test your earths.
These photos were taken during our CPD accredited natural building course in November 2020, held at Sandveld Fynbos Reserve in Baardskeerdersbos. Sandberg Fynbos Reserve is a 700 hectare property near the Southern Overberg villages of Baardskeerdersbos and Elim. The reserve is owned by the Van Deventer Family Trust and
managed by Gerhard van Deventer with advice and help from partner, William Stafford. The property is a CapeNature Stewardship site and dedicated to the preservation of the natural, highly biodiverse and unique Fynbos vegetation.
The building project is a small mud brick farmers cottage dating back to the end of the 19th century and the oldest building at Sandberg Fynbos Reserve. The cottage is being renovated as income generating accommodation for the reserve. The cottage is named “Elimense”, which refer to a very rare conebush, Leucadendron elimense subspecies elimense. In the previous century, it served many people as a home. During these years, fixing and upgrading of the cottage was done in a haphazard way which included a lean-on with a flat roof and built with cement bricks. The original roof was either thatch or sink, but was at some stage replaced with asbestos. The cottage was also re-plastered with cement over the original mud brick structure. The rebuilding of the cottage started in 2019 with the one week Natural Building Collective courses during April and October. During 2020 the building process will continue with subsequent courses. During these courses, a lean-on at the back of the cottage is being built to accommodate a kitchen/living room and bathrooms. It is envisioned that the building and redevelopment of the cottage will take several years to complete. The courses will also be attended by workers of the reserve who will use the newly acquired skills to complete the renovations and restoration of the building.
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Our courses are designed to teach participants how earth works, allowing them to make an appropriate choice based on materials available to them on their own site.