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Working on 2010 workshops!
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Workshops in Toronto
Reviews from past students:
"Having been a student in one of your Econest,
natural building workshops, I can state with confidence, that
your courses are worth every minute. Your mix of detailed instruction
and hands-on learning builds confidence and brings alternative
construction practices into the realm of possibility for participants.
The course also provided a great opportunity to meet other like-minded
people, from all walks of life, some of whom (including Josh)
have become part of my personal network of 'go-to' resource
people for natural building.
Thanks for the opportunity and keep up the great work."
- David Moses, PhD, PEng, PE, LEED AP, Principal
Moses Structural Engineers Inc.
From The Timber Framers Guild:
"Joshua, The Guild’s 23rd annual Eastern
Conference at Montebello was a great event; You helped make
it so! We appreciate your contribution to the learning, fun
and excitement, and on behalf of the TFG staff, Directors and
Members, thank you!"
- Will Beemer, Co-Executive
Get updates to our
Saubucks Accepted Here!
Up to 50% of costs can be paid by Saubucks. To learn more, follow
this external link:
Heard of the "100 mile diet"? Well, check out our
40 km house! 85% of last year's Martin House came from within
40 km of the build site!
Learn how we did it here>>
building is a style of construction which emphasizes the
use of local and benign materials (low processed) and technologies.
Methods include timber frame, straw bale, straw/clay, adobe, cob,
hemp, natural plasters and finishes, and stone masonry. These
methods of construction combine current, state of the art of techniques
with historical methods. These well constructed buildings such
as timber frames, can easily stand for 500 to 1000 years and more.
Other than longevity, other benefits include a healthier &
environmentally sustainable building, energy efficiency, support
of the local economy and social responsibility.
Join us in rediscovering this age-old style of construction and
Stay tuned by joining our Mailing List.
You do not have to have ANY previous building experience to participate
in our workshops! We encourage anyone and everyone to come - we
strive towards an open and accessible work-live place that is
free of any form of discrimination and bigotry.
~ April 12-13, 2010
w/ Paula Baker-Laporte & Steven Collette
Science for Natural Builders ~ April
w/ Joshua Thornton & Steven Collette
Building Code for Natural
Builders ~ April 15th
w/ Joshua Thornton
Turning Your Dreams Into Reality ~ April 17th
w/ Paula Baker-Laporte
Life-Cycle Analysis ~ April 19th
w/Wayne B. Trusty
Stove: The Evolution of Fire ~ May 3rd - 7th
w/ Erica & Ernie Wisner
Heaters: Hand & Kit Built ~ May
w/ Alex Chernov & Jon Sheaff
Plaster ~ May 17th -21st
Dry-Stacked Stone Foundations ~ May
Durisol Foundations ~ June 5th
Timber Framing: Square Rule ~ June 7th
Timber Framing: Plumb-line Scribe
June 14th - 18th
Straw/Clay Infill ~ June 21th - 25th
See our Archives section for images
of these past workshops.
Natural building differs from green building in that the materials
consume less energy from processing (machinery, glues, factories,
etc.), transportation, storage and marketing (pamphlet printing,
sample swatches, renting and heating of a marketing space, etc.).
Labour intensive conversion of local, natural materials into building
materials keeps money in the local economy. By contrast, highly
processed materials available at big box stores are fabricated
by large corporations in far away lands. Purchasing these materials
leads to "capital flight" from the local community.
Furthermore, local materials travel less distances and are often
processed by-hand or with very low energy methods. This means
that they have less “embodied energy” than highly
From a building perspective, local materials encourage the re-introduction
of vernacular architecture to a particular site. By contrast,
many homes built today look the same in Southern California as
they do in Northern Ontario. Natural buildings reflect the locale
in which it is situated, its immediate environment, the community
of skilled trades that inhabit the area and the larger community
who support these buildings and their inhabitants.
Other Workshops From Friends:
Carpentry ~ February 27th - 28th; March 13th -14th
w/Ali Lam & Shanin Muegge
in downtown Toronto
For our friends down in the Eastern United States, check out Heartwood
School for Home Building Crafts... It's where both Joshua and
I, Ali, got our start in timber framing:
registration brought to you by