Introduction to Natural Building – Straw bale wall raising

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Course Description

This year Hillcroft College is partnering with The School of Natural Building to construct a small (but perfectly formed) straw bale building which can ultimately be used as an intimate space for small meetings, one to one counselling, etc., or simply as a place to sit and relax in the unique ambience of natural materials.

It will be challenging. It will be empowering. It will be FUN! SNaB is dedicated to teaching all kinds of people, including those with no previous building experience, so this course is perfect for DIY beginners. No need to attend every module. Some subjects may overlap with others depending on progress. There will be a certain amount of 'working at height' from safe scaffolding towers, but no compulsion to do anything you are not comfortable with.

This is week four of an eight week series. We will be learning how to make the straw bales fit together in the best possible way to avoid air gaps in the walls and to make the walls strong and straight. We will be using an electric 'alligator saw' to trim and notch the bales. We will learn how to make custom bales using a 'baling needle'. Learn some very useful knots! Learn some 'tricks of the trade' for odd shaped windows, ie a round window and an arched window, which will be fitted at this stage. Hopefully we will end with 'dropping' the roof onto the straw and compressing the walls using ratchet straps.

The course takes place over three full days: Sat 9-5pm, Sun 9 - 3.15pm and Mon 9.30 - 5pm


Course runs from 2 Jun 2017 to 4 Jun 2017



Entry Requirements

No formal requirements just an interest in learning new skills

Method of Assessment

Individual Learning plans


This weekend will be part of the creation of a full sized building built by students with the support of the School of Natural Building.

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Hillcroft Student Application Form Hillcroft Student Information Form

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