Two courses with places available:
Friday 5 - Sunday 7 April 2019
Friday 19 - Sunday 21 July 2019
This three-day course runs from 9.00am to 5.30pm in Stanmer Park, Brighton.
This course is for anyone interested in building with straw bales - a cheap, natural, healthy and low impact way of making your own house. This is a practical building course and involves lots of hands-on workshops.
What will the Building with straw bales course cover?
Learn how to build a straw bale structure. This intensive three-day course is designed to inspire you and give you the basic skills required for straw bale construction. The course covers building walls with straw bales and basic carpentry. We will try to avoid power tools and people of all abilities are welcome. You will also learn about the environmental and practical benefits of constructing buildings using straw bales.
During the course you will learn:
- How to build straw bale walls
- How to work with straw bales, including shaping, cutting & tying
- Learn about detailing for doors and windows, and how to construct roof structures.
- Examine existing straw-bale buildings, built using different methods
Learn how to render with clay and lime on our Rendering on straw bales course.
How Straw bale building supports permaculture principles
In permaculture, we aim to use renewable resources, and so building a house of straw makes perfect sense.
Many people are amused by the idea of straw bale buildings, but, when properly built and maintained, they can last hundreds of years and are less flammable than wooden structures.
Who is the Building with straw bales 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 straw bale building, know the basics of designing a straw bale building and have the practical skills to build a straw bale structure. Course participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate, which will be sent via email after the course.
What some of our course participants have gone on to accomplish
See photos of a building project completed by one of our participants, using what he learned on the course.
Another former course participant has gone on to build a straw bale house in Africa and credits the course for giving him the confidence to tackle the project. Read his blog.
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.
Watch Ian's presentation at Green architecture day 2015.
Stanmer Park (near University of Sussex)
South East England
Get directions to 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.
No prior reading is required, but here are some suggested websites and books if required:
Fees include tuition, handouts and refreshments.
- £340 - Sponsored/organisation rate
- £340 - Individual income more than 25k/yr
- £285 - Individual income 18-25k/yr
- £230 - Individual income less than 18k/yr
- £87.50 - Individual, concessionary rate (check eligibility)*
* Concessionary places are limited. If places are not available check back two weeks before the course/event as more may be available then.
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 Building with straw bales course
Booking is essential, as most of our courses/events are fully booked weeks in advance. However, if places are still available, then bookings can be made until midday the day before the course/event. A place is not secured until we have received the requested payment.
Please do not book unless you are able to pay for your place.
Paying for your place
Please read this section carefully.
When you complete the booking process, you will receive a confirmation email from us. If you haven't received that email within the next few hours, please contact us immediately, as this email contains vital information regarding your booking.
You can pay when you book your place using a credit/debit card or PayPal, or you can tick the 'Pay later' box (in the Event Fee section), which gives you the option to pay by BACS or send us a cheque after you have booked. If you choose to pay later, you will have 7 days to pay for your place. Bookings that remain unpaid on our system for longer than that will expire. You will receive notification of this expiration by email. If you then decide you want to come, you will need to contact us to see if there is a still a place available for you.
If you are booking within two weeks of the course, or the course is nearly full, you will not have the option to pay later. Instead, you will need to pay immediately at the point of booking using a credit card or PayPal.
Be certain that you understand ALL the information on this page, then:
For further information or if you have problems with your registration, please contact us.