permaskills natural building workshop students, building a cob cottage in portugal
workshop students building a cob cottage in Portugal

In this permaskills Natural Building Workshop we are building a PermaHome guesthouse for Kim, Lucas and Robert’s community project in southern Italy. There are no skill requirements. You will learn everything you need to build a house from foundation to roof.

From September 6th to October 17th we will start another round of permaskills Natural Building Workshops near Badolato in southern Italy. These workshops will provide you plenty of opportunity to get hands-on experience in Natural Building, all the skills and especially the confidence you need to build a little cabin for yourself. The highlights of these workshops are a natural rock stemwall & foundation, a natural round wood timber frame and roof, light-straw-clay, straw bale as well as cob walls, earthen floors, earthen plasters, a rainwater harvesting roof and even cob sculpting and an integrated greenhouse to make this building something like an earthship.

Certificationpermaskills Natural Building Certificate
Instruction languageEnglish / English & German
Certification Levels3 weeks: Intermediate
6 weeks: Master
Date3 weeks: Sep 6th – Sep 26th
6 weeks: Sep 6th – Oct 17th
LocationBadolato, CZ, southern Italy
Building StylePermaHome
InstructorRobert Brendler
HostsKim, Lucas & Robert (
a cozy earthship building interior, with a greywater planter, clay plastered walls and natural rock floor
cozy earthship interior

Project: a PermaHome guesthouse

In this year’s permaskills Natural Building Workshops we will build Kim, Lucas & Robert a PermaHome guesthouse for their newly founded tribe patiki. They would like a room that can house 4-5 guests, maybe a little kitchen area to prepare snacks. Showers and Toilet will be created in a communal bathhouse next door.

Workshop: Natural Building

These permaskills Natural Building Workshops consists of theoretical instruction (in English or English & German) with lectures & graphics as well as hands-on construction for 7 – 8 hours a day. The successful completion of these Workshops gives you a Natural Building Certificate.

In this permaskills Natural Building Workshop you can build a complete building from foundation through floors and walls to the roof with your own hands. We are trying to use only natural materials, so you know exactly what you are working and surround yourself with.

a group of graduated natural builders on a reciprocal roof
a group of graduated natural builders on a reciprocal roof


This PermaHome will get a reciprocal green roof, that we will build from locally available wood, and cover with the soil we find on the land.

Because this is an area with possibility of light earthquakes, we will talk about earthquake protection and apply what we learned on the building.

We will build a green house extension to plant some snacks and have a thermal buffer zone and passive heat in winter. The green house will include grey-water planters that are fed from the sink and showers.

Natural Builder Certification

You will receive a permaskills Natural Builder Certificate, all the teaching materials by email and the permaskills – Natural Builder’s Handbook, which is a summary of the workshop building steps, upon graduation.

Workshop Requirements

There are no skill requirements for these permaskills Natural Building Workshops! That said, it certainly won’t hurt if you know some things and put it to good use or share it with others. Nobody is perfect and we are always curious to learn other ways of doing things.

trimmed cob wall in a permaskills natural building
trimmed cob wall

Workshop schedule

  • Sun Sep 5th, 4 pm: Opening Circle / Welcome Dinner / Introduction
  • 1st week: Foundation / Plumbing / 1st Floor
  • 2nd week: Round pole timber Frame / Door and Window Frames
  • 3rd week: Walls / Electrical / Windows
  • 4th week: Walls / 1st Plaster / 2nd Plaster
  • 5th week: Roof
  • 6th week: Green house / 2nd Floor
  • Sat Oct 16th, 10 am: Closing Circle

There is often someone who leads yoga or some other movement practice in the morning and/or the afternoon. We like to have one evening a week to show slides, videos or have workshop related debates. The rest of the time you can spend on your own, join a jam session around the fire or contribute something to share with the group.

voluntary morning yoga session at a permaskills natural building workshop in Portugal
voluntary morning yoga session

Workshop Hosts: Kim, Lucas & Robert

Kim, Lucas and Robert would like us to come up with a smart design. The primary purpose of the project will be to serve as a guesthouse to accommodate workshop students, families of 4-5 or later permanent residents of their tribe patiki.

Badolato Borgo and Badolato Marina in the background, the location for this advanced natural building workshop
Badolato Borgo and Badolato Marina in the background

Read more about the workshop location: Badolato.

Workshop Instructor

Robert ‘Cob-Rob’ Brendler has been doing construction work since the age of 12 when he accompanied his grandpa on construction sites during his summer vacation. He’s a Jack of all trades, experienced in Masonry, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical Wiring, Home Automation, Cob Building & Sculpting, Green-Roofs, Non Violent Communication, Teaching and Team-Building and is bringing it all together to give you a complete experience from foundation to roof. Robert loves the Natural Building Community and bringing together the kind of people that are interested in it. He loves teaching and the look on faces when people succeed in doing things they never imagined they could do.

Robert supporting on the roof at a natural building workshop
Robert supporting on the roof


Aliona and Robert in Chile 2019 creating a new style of cob dancing!
Aliona and Robert in Chile 2019 creating a new style of cob dancing!
marie, permaskills' youngest student
marie, our youngest student