Constructing a Timber Frame

An all inclusive 5 day course covering every aspect of timber frame construction.
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Building with
Straw Bales

An all inclusive 5 day course, learn how to prepare and build with straw bale.
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Lime Rendering

An all inclusive 3 day course, a perfect render to your eco build, breathable & natural.
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Grass Roof

An all inclusive 2 day course, We take a look at living roofs: how to build and maintain.
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Why build a
straw bale house?

Besides the obvious that you are building an eco-friendly house firmly based in green architecture, there are many other benefits of having a house constructed using this easily obtainable sustainable material. By using straw you are able to build something very quickly, you are contributing to a cleaner way of building, you are building an energy efficient home as the thermal qualities are very good, and aesthetically, the finished product looks pretty damn fine! But best of all, you can build your own house a lot easier than if you were using bricks and mortar.


Energy Efficient
Testing has shown the insulating performance of straw bale walls to be between R35 and R50, or roughly twice to three times the real life performance of typical frame wall systems. This significantly reduces heating and cooling bills and the life-cycle cost of a straw bale home.

By doubling as structure and insulation, a straw bale wall system reduces material costs. Most conventional wall systems require specialized tools and specialized skills to build whereas the simplicity of straw bale building permits the do-it-yourselfer to significantly reduce the labour component cost to a new building.

Organically grown straw and earthen or cement-lime based plasters provide a potential solution for the health-threatening paints, glues and toxins embedded in manufactured building materials. Straw bale homes have been built and praised by asthma and allergy sufferers and individuals with acute environmental sensitivities.
Ideal for the do-it-yourselfer
Straw bale building permits the average person to actively take part in creating their home and incorporating their own ideas and values into the process. A large number of women are managing their own straw bale projects. It’s proving to be an equal opportunity material!

Architectural beauty
Straw bale building is easily adapted to suit traditional designs. It also allows for new and creative custom designs. Sweeping curves, rounded edges, deep sills and built-in window benches are just some of the features commonly seen in straw bale homes. It makes for a unique aesthetic to every building.

Community Involvement
Like old fashioned “barn raisings”, straw building is ideal for bringing together friends, family, neighbours and colleagues for a straw bale wall raising party. It is equally ideal for groups requiring community centres, churches, garden sheds, picnic shelters or other buildings that can be financed and built by that same community.

Traditional Timber Framing Courses

A traditional timber frame (sometimes called a post and beam frame) involves the jointing of large size timbers with mortise and tenon joinery to form houses and other structures. These frames are then left exposed internally (often externally too) within a building and are an incredibly strong, honest and beautiful form of construction. Traditional timber framing is one of the oldest forms of construction and several historic buildings still survive from the 12th century and before. In modern times, traditional timber frames are more relevant than ever and are extremely adaptable for use in modern buildings. The use of ethically sourced timber is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of construction we have available and traditional timber framing has further benefits even when compared to other forms of timber construction. These frames generally use unseasoned locally grown timber, which don’t require kiln drying, chemical treatments, international shipping or excessive machining or metal. This means the embodied energy within a traditional timber frame is minimal and carbon is locked away from the atmosphere for the life of the frame. Despite the common misconception that the large size of timbers used is excessive, when you compare the overall timber and other material requirements of a well-designed timber frame and employ it in conjunction with other environmental building systems and principles, a traditionally timber framed home is a truly sustainable, adaptable, ethical and beautiful form of construction.

Traditional Timber Framing Course.

An all-inclusive 5 day course:- Includes tuition, accommodation, all meals, snacks and drinks.
This Course will touch on all aspects involved in the design and construction of a traditional timber frame and how to incorporate it into a number of different building systems and housing types. This will be a largely practical course based around the construction of an outdoor timber framed structure with a mind to straw bale insulation, lime internal render and wood cladding with a grass roof. As well as theoretical information we will assemble a timber frame building on site.

• Timber frame design theory and structural considerations
• The different timber options available, timber sourcing and milling
• Joinery design and marking out systems
• Truss and roofing geometry and calculations
• Different tool and equipment requirements
• Hands on work marking and cutting joints and pegs
• The final assembly of a traditional timber frame and the different methods available
• Incorporating the frame into other building systems and cladding options.