Centre for Alternative Technology

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Building with Straw Bales

  • Building with StrawbalesBuilding with Strawbales

    Mon 19th - Fri 23rd Aug 2019.
    Course starts at 5pm and ends at 2pm on the last day.
    Course fee including full board accommodation:-
    Waged £650, Low waged / Concession £600.

  • Dates, Times & Fees

Course details

Join world-renowned straw bale builder Bee Rowan here at CAT to learn how to build with straw bales. This hands-on, practical course on a real life house build will give you the experience, knowledge and confidence to embark on your own project. Practical sessions will be supported by straw bale theory presentations and plenty of discussion. Plus you’ll tour the straw bale builds at CAT to help you imagine and design your very own structure.

Lectures will include:
• Straw bale building and the main principles of the building method and design.
• Foundations theory and low impact foundations design and use.
• Principles of clay use as a finish: differences in properties of clay, sourcing clays and assessing the correct mix.
• A look at wider design issues that work with straw bales super insulation.
• History of lime use and introduction to different limes and their properties; how to make lime and understanding what type of lime to use where. Aftercare and maintenance of limework.

Practicals will include:
• Preparation – coppicing and shaping hazel from hedgerows; principles and practice. Hand tool and shave horse use.
• Straw bales, timber and coppiced hazel. Load-bearing method and timber frame (infill method) covered. Roof plates and roofing.
• Clay plasters and different mixes – mechanical mixing and ‘hand’ mixing.

Things you need to know

Due to the nature of this course some practical work will be done outside. We strongly advise you to bring waterproof clothing and steel toe-cap boots are mandatory.

You must be over the age of 18 years when this course starts.

Booking, Fees and Cancellation policy

To book a place on a course, please choose one of the following options:

• Book Online- the “Book online” button is either below, or in the top right corner of the screen and follow the instructions.

• Call the Courses Department on 01654 704 966 with your bank card details.

Please note: a £250 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place.

The balance of the course fee is due 28 days before the start of the course.

Our course fees include full board accommodation, tuition and materials, unless otherwise stated.

Please also note our Cancellation & Refund Policy
a) The £250 deposit is non-refundable.
b) For courses of 2 days or more when you give us notice that you wish to cancel:
• 28 days or more – refund minus your £250 deposit (if applicable).
• 27 days notice or less – no refund.
c) CAT reserves the right to cancel any courses. Deposits and fees will be returned in full should this happen.


Course Fees.

Start Date

Bed & Breakfast the night before the course starts

Book Now!

Email courses@cat.org.uk
or phone 01654 704 966

There are places available on this course.

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