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Natural Building Workshop: 17 Apr – 22 May 2022

In this permaskills Natural Building Workshop we are restoring a Shale-Stone-Ruin for Ronja and Alessandro in Central-Portugal. There are no skill requirements. You will learn everything you need to build a PermaHome from foundation to roof.

workshop students building a cob cottage in portugal

From April 17th to May 15th 2022 we will start another permaskills Natural Building Workshop near Benfeita in Coimbra district, central Portugal. This workshop 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 PermaHome for yourself. The highlights of this workshop is building on a slope, recycling and restoration of an existing ruin, a Shale (xisto) stemwall and foundation, cob walls, earthen floors, earthen plasters and even cob sculpting, as well as passive heat management.

Certificationpermaskills Natural Building Certificate
Instruction languageEnglish / English & German
Certification Levels5 weeks: Master (incl. Batch-Rocket)
4 weeks: Advanced
2 weeks: Beginner
1 week: Batch-Rocket Heater (only)
DateApr 17 – May 22, 2022
LocationBenfeita, Arganil, central Portugal
Building StyleRuin Restoration / Off – Grid / PermaHome
+ Batch-Rocket Mass Heater
InstructorRobert Brendler & Floris Winkelmeijer
HostsRonja and Alessandro

The fees for the permaskills Natural Building Workshops (including Tuition, Camping and Meals) are:



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BASIC
2 week course

May 1st - May 15th 

899€

749€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

Hand and Power Tool Instruction

Cob walls

Wattle & Daub walls

Cob sculpting & inserts

Niches / Shelves / Arches

Earthen plaster

Lime Plaster

Tiled Roof + Insulation

ADVANCED

4 week course

 Apr 17th - May 15th

1599€

1299€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

All BASIC content

Ruin assessment

Ground assessment

Drainage

Foundation

Natural Rock (Schist) Stemwall

Window & Door Frames 

Earthen floor

Live Edge Shelves

MASTER 

5 week course

 Apr 17th - May 22th

1999€

1599€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

All BASIC content

All ADVANCED content

BATCH-ROCKET heater

Finishing work

Electrical wiring

Final Plaster

Final Floor

Tadelakt


BATCH ROCKET HEATER 

1 week course

 May 15th - May 22nd

399€

349€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

SEPARATE course

Calculation for sizing

Material selection

Material preparation

Bell Design

Core insulation

System optimization

Heated bench

Plastering

Registration is limited to 15 students. Registration deadline: April 10th.

EARLY BIRD discount + 3% PayPal fee
Email

By paying the workshop fee you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions. For simple payments we are using PayPal as our provider, but have to add ~3% of transaction fees for that. If this is too expensive for you, please check our alternative payment methods.

Project: Ruin – Recycling / Restoration / PermaHome

In this year’s permaskills Natural Building Workshop we will restore a Shale (Xisto) Stone Ruin into a PermaHome for Ronja and Alessandro . They would love to have a comfortable, passively heated guest room.

possible building site for the PermaHome

Workshop: Natural Building – Ruin Recycling / Restoration – PermaHome

This permaskills Natural Building Workshop 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

Extras

Restoration – For this workshop Ruin – Restoration will include assessment of the existing foundation the walls and the roof. In case of insufficient structure we might demolish and renew part of the ruin before building on top of it. We will use materials that match the historically used techniques to restore the ruin as it was and then add to it.

Slope – The ruin we will be working on was built on a slope, so we will take care of sufficient moisture management and drainage from the slope faced wall. There won’t be extra measures against landslides, because it is supported by another attached ruin downhill.

Passive heat management – In central Portugal the days are hot and the nights cold, an ideal climate to regulate the room climate with passive heat management.

Batch-Rocket Mass Heater – In collaboration with our friends at Batch-Rocket, we are offering a separate mass heater in week 5 to round off the Natural Building concept. With a Batch-Rocket mass heater, even the coldest days can be comfortable with minimal resources and modern, efficient heating technology. Fire it up once, put in a stack of wood, sit back and doze off the heated bench without having to worry about topping it up. The mass battery keeps you warm for the rest of the day.

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

Workshop schedule

  • Arrival Sunday, 4 pm: Opening Circle / Welcome Dinner / Introduction
  • 1st week: Foundation / Drainage / 1st Floor
  • 2nd & 3rd week: Walls / Windows / 1st Plaster / 2nd Plaster
  • 4th week: Green Roof / 2nd Floor
  • 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

Workshop Hosts: Ronja & Alessandro

Ronja and Alessandro emigrated to Portugal in 2020 from the outskirts of the Ruhr area in Germany, with the dream of living more sustainably. First, they gained experience living in a larger community in a nearby yoga community. A year later, they bought their own olive farm in Benfeita.

On this olive farm are ruins that we are allowed to use and restore for our workshop. Ronja and Alessandro would like us to come up with a smart design. The guest room we are building should get a traditional Shale (Xisto) stemwall so the building blends in with the surrounding ruins, but it should retain heat at night unlike the rest of them.

the little village of Pardieiros, Benfeita
Ronja and Alessandro on their land

Read more about the workshop location: Pardieiros, Benefeita.

Workshop Instructor

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.

Theory lesson with Rob

Registration & Payment

The fees for the permaskills Natural Building Workshops (including Tuition, Camping and Meals) are:



Accounts

Accounts

Free Trial

Projects

Storage

Domains

Sub-domains

Your Text

Your Text

Your Text

Your Text

BASIC
2 week course

May 1st - May 15th 

899€

749€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

Hand and Power Tool Instruction

Cob walls

Wattle & Daub walls

Cob sculpting & inserts

Niches / Shelves / Arches

Earthen plaster

Lime Plaster

Tiled Roof + Insulation

ADVANCED

4 week course

 Apr 17th - May 15th

1599€

1299€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

All BASIC content

Ruin assessment

Ground assessment

Drainage

Foundation

Natural Rock (Schist) Stemwall

Window & Door Frames 

Earthen floor

Live Edge Shelves

MASTER 

5 week course

 Apr 17th - May 22th

1999€

1599€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

All BASIC content

All ADVANCED content

BATCH-ROCKET heater

Finishing work

Electrical wiring

Final Plaster

Final Floor

Tadelakt


BATCH ROCKET HEATER 

1 week course

 May 15th - May 22nd

399€

349€

EARLY BIRD discount
until Mar 20th, 2022

SEPARATE course

Calculation for sizing

Material selection

Material preparation

Bell Design

Core insulation

System optimization

Heated bench

Plastering

Registration is limited to 15 students. Registration deadline: April 10th.

EARLY BIRD discount + 3% PayPal fee
Email

By paying the workshop fee you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions. For simple payments we are using PayPal as our provider, but have to add ~3% of transaction fees for that. If this is too expensive for you, please check our alternative payment methods.

Discounts

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 robert.brendler@permaskills.org.

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 robert.brendler@permaskills.org for more information. Optional via Whatsapp +4915158593588.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU!!!!

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