Natural building courses

Take the first step to a sustainable future by learning hands-on natural building skills. Understand the alchemy of how different types of earth work, and do not work together, their potential and limitations. You will also explore questions around sustainable living based in Peter McIntosh’s experience living off-grid since 1999. This year, Peter will be hosting two CPD accredited courses at Jakkalskloof farm, in Swellendam. Jakkalskloof is an organic mixed-use farm which also provides training in Biodynamic agriculture.

Dates for 2017:

  • 19 – 25 March: Natural building course: materials and techniques (7 category 1 SACAP credits) ~ Jakkalskloof farm
  •  14 October: Natural building course: materials and techniques (7 category 1 SACAP credits) ~ Jakkalskloof farm
Building & Design skills you will learn Materials you will work with 
  • Earth theory and earth tests
  • Basic site layout and measuring
  • Passive solar design
  • Foundations
  • Walls
  • Arches
  • Natural plasters
  • Openings
  • Off-grid solar energy design


  • Cob
  • Mud brick/adobe
  • Rammed earth
  • Rock
  • Compressed earth brick (CEB)
  • Straw bale
  • Light earth (straw clay mix)
  • Glass bottle bricks




This 7 day course costs R4500 p/person. You will be provided with vegetarian lunches and two teas daily. Accommodation costs are not included; please email us to find out about the options available.

For more information about these CPD accredited natural building courses simply drop us an email at:

To see what previous participants had to say, visit the Testimonials page; or visit the gallery for photos from our previous courses.


Jakkalskloof farm Swellendam

Lying at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, the picturesque town of Swellendam is bursting with heritage, culture and architecture with excellent restaurants and accommodation on offer.

Our venue, Jakkalskloof is located 13km from Swellendam on the R60 towards Ashton and Robertson. Jakkalsloof is an organic mixed-use farm which also provides training in Biodynamic agriculture on a two year student apprenticeship programme. The farm offers a comfortable campsite with self-catering kitchen, three showers and separate flush toilets. With breathtaking views of the mountains and stars, and limited cell reception your stay will be sure to relax and unwind, with a swim in the farm dam to provide relief after a day’s building activities.



7 thoughts on “Natural building courses

  1. Pingback: Announcing natural building course dates for 2017 | Natural Building Collective

  2. Pingback: Understanding Earth: The beginnings of a Natural Builder | Natural Building Collective

  3. Hi 🤗 ,

    I’m super interested in joining your natural building course… I have experience in building and would love to learn more… please can I have some more information as well as some accommodation options?

    Sincere regards

  4. I would like to inquire about your next course and when you would be holding the next course, how long and what is the cost. thank you.

  5. Pingback: Natural building course at Khula Dhamma, Eastern Cape |

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