17th-19th May 2013: Natural Building in Casa Gaia

Renders, plasters and mineral paints made with lime and earth.

Efficient, easy, cheap and ecological solutions in reach of everyone.

with Laurent Coquemont

If you already live in a house made with natural materials, or if you plan to build one, or even if you are planning to make changes to your existing home made with conventional materials, this workshop will be useful and – as always – fun: find out just how much fun it can be by watching this short video from our course last June:   www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Bt5cgqH2o

Natural building uses tried and tested, durable and easy building techniques, which make use of materials like local clays and soils, lime, sand, straw, stone, cane, and other cheap abundant and recycled materials. Natural building is also a powerful tool for social and environmental change, because it offers  solutions to some of the major problems that we are faced with: the building of sustainable and affordable housing; the appropriate use of natural resources; sustainable earth care; maintenance of local life and harmonious and beautiful construction; the survival of traditional culture and community. Together with permaculture, natural building offers long term solutions which are accessible and last generations.

Last year we built various structures from earth and straw – it could be that you were here with us. This year we plant to finish what we started, with some lovely details and protecting the exterior walls from the winter weather.

Laurent Coquemont shares his long experience and enthusiasm for natural building with us, teaching us many different techniques for the finishing of buildings. Of course these same techniques are useful for fixing walls inside your house, or for finishing off your own structures. During this practical weekend we will recover some of the old knowledge about lime, including its many uses in mortars, renders, plasters and finishes in general. You will also learn how to make your own natural paints, free of toxins, so your home will be healthier, more beautiful and more ecological. and on top of this you will save money. We will also explore the rich variety of colours available through traditional pigments and the possibilities offered by lime in the creation of living textures inside your home.

Workshop contents…

  • Introduction to lime as a building material, its properties, advantages and diverse applications in natural building.
  • Preparation of surfaces for the application of lime plasters.
  • Making and applying lime and clay paints.
  • Basic principles of pigmentation and fixing colour.
  • Decorative plasters.
  • Community: The global natural building movement, the good company of local people.
  • Joyful fun: Good food, music and celebration.

Accommodation – camping, bring your own tent. The facilities are basic: cold water shows, compost loo… Food is included in the cost of the workshop: vegetarian food, local organic produce where possible. (It may be possible to sleep in a local hostel, let us know if you would be interested in this option.)

Workshop cost: 120€ per person (100€ students, unemployed, couples). Children don’t pay for the workshop, 25€ per child for food.

If you would like to participate, but it would be hard for you to pay the costs, please let us know, There are a few places for volunteers, paying 25€ to cover costs of food.

Limited places! Reserve yours paying 50€ now, the rest can be paid on starting the course. To sign up, send an email to joanna@casagaia.co.uk. Or call 652 126849.

Course Leader – Laurent Coquemont

Laurent Coquemont has worked in natural building for many years: he is a researcher, trainer, consultant and technical advisor as well as a builder. His passion for natural building has led him to specialise in building and preserving our earth building heritage, applications of lime in building and in the creation and application of lime cement and mortars. Laurent is also an active member of many associations, amongst them “ASTERRE” (French national association of professionals in building with earth), “TIERRACTIVA” (Andalusian association for the development of building with earht and natural materials) and “PROTERRA” (Iberian-American network of specialists in earth architecture). He is the Technical Director of training for the Museo de la Cal in Morón de la Frontera.

Casa Gaiais the home of the first modular course leading to the Permaculture Design Certificate in Spain, which ran during 2011/12. It is a space of personal transformation which receives volunteers from many parts of the world and which offers a diverse programme of events in the areas of permaculture, spirituality and personal development. With all the excitement of this new stage, Casa Gaia is taking its first steps towards new design, based on permaculture principles. Come, lend a hand, have some fun and learn with us!