In partnership with Low Carbon Trust

Rendering on straw bales course

This two-day course runs from 9am to 5pm in Stanmer Park, Brighton.
Straw bale rendering Straw bale rendering Straw bale rendering
Learn how to render with clay and lime on our straw bale Fruit Factory.

What will the Rendering on straw bales course cover?

This course introduces clay and lime rendering on straw bale walls. It offers the chance to learn about detailing and finishing of straw bale walls. The course is a practical course giving you a taster of both traditional clay and lime rendering. You will learn about the history of lime and clay and their use within the construction industry, their properties and use on straw bale buildings. This course would suit anybody who is looking to build a straw bale structure or has previously attended our straw bale course.

Who is the course for?

This course is open to anyone aged 16 or over. It will be of interest to architects, planners, builders and engineers, as well anyone thinking about building their own home. It is suitable for complete beginners, as well as those who are familiar with eco-building and want to know more.

Learning methods and outcomes

This is an intensive practical and theoretical course; expect long days of hands-on work with short theory sessions, but also lots of fun. By the end of the course, participants will have an overview of how to prepare straw bale walls for rendering and how to render them with clay or lime. Course participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate, which will be sent via email after the course.

Course tutor

Ian Brown is the main tutor and has been teaching low impact building and sustainable construction for many years. He currently teaches construction at City College Brighton. He has built various low impact projects and specialises in straw bale building.

VideoWatch Ian's presentation at Green architecture day 2015.


Stanmer Park (near University of Sussex)
South East England

Get directions to our meeting point in Stanmer Park.

If you intend to book accommodation, please check availability before booking a place, as accommodation in Brighton can be hard to find, especially over the summer months.

Get details on local accommodation and Brighton Permaculture Trust supporters who can provide accommodation in their homes.

Recommended reading

No prior reading is required, but here are some suggested websites and books:

Building with Straw Bales by Barbara Jones
Build It with Bales by Matts Myrhman and S.O. Macdonald
The Straw Bale House by Athena Swentzell Steen, Bill Steen & David Bainbridge


Fees include tuition, handouts and refreshments.

  • £225 - Sponsored/organisation rate
  • £225 - Individual income more than 25k/yr
  • £182 - Individual income 18-25k/yr
  • £139 - Individual income less than 18k/yr
  • £96 - Individual, concessionary rate (check eligibility)

We endeavour to make our courses and events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding for most of these and rely on large amounts of voluntary input.

See the cancellations and refunds policy.

Booking the Rendering on straw bales course

If you're interested in booking this course, click here to tell us you would like us to run this course again and to be informed by email when new dates are announced.

  • Vernon
    "Very good information and knowledge given to us, very friendly people and volunteers... Taking us to see the straw bale house was a nice touch. A very good course, will certainly be back for others and have signed up for volunteering. Thanks very much!"

    Vernon Lindon

  • Scott
    "Ian did an exceptional job, and his knowledge is fantastic to draw on."

    Scott Doane

  • James
    "Practical with great tuition from Ian. Thank you again to Ian and his team and everyone at Brighton Permaculture Trust."

    James Bloomfield

  • Caroline
    "The visit to the new build was an added bonus and inspiring. Lovely friendly atmosphere at Brighton Permaculture. Gathering together for coffee-time and lunch gives us all an opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss possibilities and solutions."

    Caroline Aitzetmuller

Contact Us

For further information or if you have problems with your registration, please contact us.