EcoNest Natural Building Workshops and Timber Framing Workshops

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Straw Clay Walls


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Foundations: Students will learn about WICFs (Woodchip Insulated Concrete Forms), why they are more ecologically sound and how they integrate with straw clay walls and finishing techniques used in an EcoNest.

Timber Frames: Students learn to integrate the straw clay ‘outsulation’ wall system with European and Asian style timber frames.

Matrix Framing: The matrix is the light framework of Larsen trusses that wrap around the timber structure and facilitates an energy efficient straw clay wall system. This light framing may be used with a timber frame or as an independent load-bearing structure. Students learn how to efficiently construct and erect the truss wall systems for 12" straw clay walls. Students learn when, why and how to use load-bearing, non-load-bearing and hybrid solutions.

Door and Window Framing: Students learn a systematic approach to constructing door and window frames within the matrix of a straw clay wall.

Coordination of People: It does not require previous experience to load straw clay walls but it does take people power and the skill to organize them. "Builders-in-training" learn how to safely orchestrate a group of people to produce, deliver, and compact thirty tons of straw clay.

Formwork: Students will fabricate and install the formwork used for building straw clay walls and learn how to recycle the formwork back into the finished home.

Staging: Moving material, erecting scaffolding and coordinating the set up of a project is a major undertaking for each home. Properly organized and executed, it saves time, money and effort while increasing safety. Students learn how to effectively stage a project for maximum efficiency.

Straw Clay Placement: The art of building a 30-ton wall system in less than 5 days is the result of good teamwork shepherded by good leadership. Like the barn raisings of our ancestors, when people come together to achieve this feat, both walls and community are built. "Builders-in training" will gain experience as team-players and as leaders in the straw clay wall building process.

Natural Building Science I: Students will be introduced to the principles of natural building and the relationship between the built environment and ecological impact.

The cost for Straw Clay Walls workshop is $750.

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