In this permaskills Natural Building Workshop we are building an outdoor kitchen, an earthen oven and a rocket mass heater for Lotte and Floris’ in northern Portugal. There are no skill requirements. You will learn everything you need to build an outdoor kitchen from foundation to roof.

workshop students building a cob cottage in portugal
workshop students building a cob cottage in portugal

In Summer 2021 we will start another round of permaskills Natural Building Workshops near Benfeita in Coimbra district, central Portugal. 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 an outdoor kitchen for yourself. The highlights of these workshops are a Schist stemwall and foundation, a natural round wood timber frame and reciprocal green roof, wattle & daub as well as cob walls, earthen floors, earthen plasters and even cob sculpting, Tadelakt, an earthen oven as well as a rocket mass heater.

concept art of the Outdoor Kitchen to be built in this Natural Building Workshop
concept art of the outdoor kitchen to be built (roof structure not covered yet)
Certificationpermaskills Natural Building Certificate
Instruction languageEnglish / English & German
Certification Levels2 weeks: Beginner
3 weeks: Intermediate
4 weeks: Advanced
LocationBenfeita, Arganil, central Portugal
Building StyleOutdoor Kitchen, Earthen Oven & Rocket Mass Heater
InstructorRobert Brendler
HostsLotte & Floris

Project: an outdoor kitchen, earthen oven and rocket mass heater

In this year’s permaskills Natural Building Workshops we will build Lotte and Floris an outdoor kitchen, earthen oven and rocket mass heater. Two dreams they have with building an outdoor kitchen is to host pizza evenings for the local community and they want to get married on their land with a big feast made in the kitchen!

possible construction site for the outdoor kitchen

Workshop: Natural Building – Outdoor Kitchen

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

In order to properly bake pizzas, breads and other delicacies, we will add an earthen oven and to this outdoor kitchen

Thanks to Floris being a professional for rocket mass heaters, he agreed to teach us how to build one and make it part of the workshop.

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

  • Arrival Sunday, 4 pm: Opening Circle / Welcome Dinner / Introduction
  • 1st week: Foundation / Drainage / 1st Floor / Round pole timber Frame
  • 2nd & 3rd week: Walls / Windows / 1st Plaster / 2nd Plaster / Earthen Oven
  • 4th week: Green Roof / 2nd Floor / Tadelakt / Rocket Mass Heater
  • Last Saturday, 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 or contribute something to share with the group.

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

Being part of the Awakened Life Project, Floris and Lotte gained a lot of experience with meditation and Self-inquiry. Lotte and Floris are very happy to share their experience with you and would love to create an open atmosphere in this workshop. They will be meditating every morning and will be very happy if you would like to join them. If you don’t have any experience they are also very happy to guide you in that. 

Workshop Hosts: Lotte & Floris

Lotte and Floris would like us to come up with a smart design. The outdoor kitchen should include an earthen oven as well as a traditional schist stemwall so the building blends in with the surrounding ruins.

the little village of Pardieiros, Benfeita

Floris and Lotte would be happy to host families in this workshop as Isa would love some playmates! One partner could be participating in the workshop and the other can be a guest or volunteer. Please get in touch to discuss the options. 

Isa, Lotte and Floris and a part of the community of the Awakened Life Project

Read more about Lotte & Floris, their project and the workshop location: Pardieiros, Benefeita.

Workshop Instructor

Robert 'Cob-Rob' Brendler enjoying a cob mix at a permaskills natural building workshop
Robert ‘Cob-Rob’ Brendler

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

Registration & Payment


We always offer 4 work trade discounts, 2 in the kitchen making breakfast in the morning and 2 onsite in the morning before breakfast or in the afternoon between class and dinner. An ideal learning opportunity to get a glimpse on every detail of the build. Each work trade is 50€ off the tuition fees per week for one hour of help a day. To apply for these work trade positions please contact

MUDDY BUDDY DEAL: Register friends later, get the same discount. When the discount offer is ending soon, but your best friend isn’t sure yet. No problem, register now and secure the discount for the both of you.

Also please contact for more information. Optional via Whatsapp +4915158593588.


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