Events - in Africa


When: 24 April – 19 May 2017

Where: Delft Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre – Cape Town, South Africa

Cost: R12 000 (non-residential)


Take part in a month-long sustainable building course brought to you by Natural Building Collective in conjunction with LONG WAY HOME. We will be building a passive solar, earth sheltered building out of tyres, cob, compressed earth bricks, ecobricks and glass bottles at the Delft Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre.
The Delft community was established in 1989 in Cape Town. It has numerous social problems that are common in rapidly developing poor communities found throughout South Africa. The building will serve as a training centre for carers at ECDs across the city.

Sustainable building means designing, constructing and operating buildings to minimise the buildings’ impact on environmental and human health by increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment over the entire life cycle of the building.
Participants can expect to learn theory, building and design skills in conventional and natural building techniques including foundations, openings, roofs, arches, vaults and domes; alternative building techniques including tyres, ecobricks and glass bottles; passive solar design incorporating thermal mass and insulation; water catchment and management including black and grey water; and design of a customized off-grid energy system.

Materials you will work with
• Compressed Earth Blocks
• Adobe & Cob
• Tyres
• Ecobricks
• Glass bottles

Theoretical and practical building and design skills you will learn
• Earth theory and earth tests
• Walls, sills & lintels & plastering/ finishing
• Foundations & footings
• Floors & floor finishes
• Roof structure, roof finish & rainwater goods
• Wall finishes
• Ceilings & insulation
• Doors & Windows
• Recycling components
• Materials testing & safety
• Metalwork
• Power, water and sewage, waste



The Natural building collective’s vision is to nurture the creation of a more sustainable built environment. It is a collaborative project dedicated to educating individuals and organizations about sustainable building’s potential to stimulate the senses, connect people to their environment and awaken our inherent creative potential.

Founder, Peter McIntosh has been building with earth since 1999 and as a result he has an exceptional level of experience and knowledge about the various natural building materials and techniques in South Africa. On a mission to spread the word about natural building he has been teaching and running natural building courses since 2010 and has honed the craft of transferring the knowledge and practical skills so you leave feeling confident and empowered to start your own project.
Peter walks the talk and he’s been living off-grid and practising permaculture in community living for the same period. We grow as much of our own food as possible, and our home is designed according to passive solar gain with various green technologies that he installed and maintains himself… from solar energy, grey water harvesting, solar food drying and sanitation to name a few.

Long Way Home is a Guatemala-based NGO that uses sustainable design and materials to construct self-sufficient schools that promote education, employment and environmental stewardship.

Guy Williams is dedicated to pioneering self-sustaining food and shelter systems in Botswana by addressing eminent resource shortages and how to manage them. He engages with clients from industry to household to develop tailor-made solutions for water, energy, shelter and food production challenges.

For further information

For further information about the building course, visit the official website. 

To book email at


Delft Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre,Cape Town,South Africa
Starting on
25 April, 2017
Ending on
19 May, 2017

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