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Natural Building Workshop – Earthbag, Bottle Building and Rendering Workshop

October 1 - October 3


About the workshop

For thousands of years, ever since humans decided to build a shelter in which to live, earth shelters and natural building techniques have been used to construct homes throughout the world. Natural building structures are becoming popular again as a sustainable building choice

Bottles have been used to construct entire houses adding light, insulation and creativity, recycling locally available materials and minimising waste. Together with earth or daub the most beautiful structures can be formed.

Earthbag construction has also be used to create inexpensive, strong and long-lasting structures such as housing and bunkers that can be built relatively quickly. Unlike concrete, brick or wood, no energy is needed to produce the earthen fill other than gathering on-site soil. So, it uses very little energy compared to other durable construction methods.

These simple natural building techniques are versatile, sustainable, healthy and fun providing endless options for artistic expression to combine in your home and garden, as well as other projects around your house such as fences, tool sheds or animal housing.


The Project – Earthbag, bottle building and rendered bench seat

Over this long weekend you will be building an outdoor garden circular bench seat and bottle wall. You will be constructing the bench seat from earthbags and render then constructing the back wall of the bench seat with bottles and render. It’s a creative project that involves a range of different natural building skills and learning.



Workshop Outcomes

This workshop will provide you with basic natural building skills especially earthbag construction, rendering, working with bottles and other recycled materials, and bottle wall building. This workshop combines theory with practical hands-on sessions over three full days. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge to be able to make your own bottle walls, bench seats and other creative features in your home garden, school or community garden. The workshop also includes theory, evening discussions, presentations and films after dinner Saturday and Sunday. This allows for further information and theory on earth building to be gained.

You will be taken through the process from sourcing the materials from the land to construction and completion so you will be able to replicate the process yourself. You will also learn:

  • What natural and ecological building is, its terminology, concepts and principles
  • Choosing appropriate natural building technique suitable to place and situation
  • Rendering techniques and options for different situations.
  • Identifying suitable materials from your site
  • Building with earthbags and bottles
  • Soil testing, how to make render and different rendering techniques.

There will also be opportunities to see and discuss other inspiring natural buildings and on-site structures such as a straw-bale building, bamboo, wattle and daub and an earthbag dome building.

About the Trainer 

Dr RachelDr Rachel Goldlust PhD Environmental History

Rachel Goldlust has been the secretary of Earthship Australia since 2010. She is also a qualified town planner and historian. Rachel is highly trained and experienced in natural building, off grid living, self-sufficiency and sustainability. She has a PhD from Melbourne’s La Trobe University.  She is an environmental educator passionate about teaching and expanding natural building work across Australia and has run dozens of workshops both across the states and overseas. Her specialty is bottle wall building and she has helped create a number of structures from bench seats, to shower walls, internal room walls and splash backs. Come join her in learning how you too can recycle bottles into beautiful and practical features for your home, property or community space. As well as her expertise in the field, she brings enthusiasm and warmth to this workshop.

Onsite accommodation:

Workshop participants receive PSI rates for on-site accommodation. Rates include breakfast and dinner. See camping; twin share or private double accommodation options here.



October 1
October 3
Event Categories:
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Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
+ Google Map
(02) 4568 2036