Natural Building Course 6th – 10th November 2022Sale!
This course will show you how to build with straw-bale, starting with the foundation and going all the way through to rendering. Via both in-class and hands on training we will provide you with the knowledge that will enable you to create your very own straw-bale house irrespective of the materials used to construct the foundation or frame.
This build will take place on a site next door to the Greening the Desert Project. In this project we will actually use concrete for the floors and the pillars and straw-bale for the walls. Natural renders will be applied and creative finishes will be added.
We recommend that students stay at or at least visit the Greening The Desert Eco Lodge next-door where you will be able to witness the beautiful two-storey straw-bale building which is already in position as this will provide a great reference point for this course.
This course will cover all aspects of natural building. One of our local teachers will start the course and take us through the history of mud (mud brick, super adobe, earth bag) and straw-bale buildings and share with us her knowledge of the older, more traditional Jordanian building techniques. You will learn all about the properties of straw-bale (strength, insulation and fireproofing), how to set the foundations, lay the wall, apply the renders and add extra features and artistic niches.
At the end of the course you will leave with a comprehensive understanding of how to make a straw-bale building for yourself.
Please note that food and accommodation is not included in the course fee.
Meals can also be taken at the Greening The Desert Project Cafe. The very first permaculture cafe in Jordan which serves organic and fair traded coffee and meals from locally sourced ingredients and the permaculture gardens.
- Introductions by participants
- Brief background and course expectations
- Course administration, timetable and scheduling
- History of Mud Buildings;
- Mud Brick
- Super Adobe
- Earth Bags
- History of straw-bale
- Traditional Jordanian earth building systems/techniques
- Strength of straw-bale
- Insulation qualities of straw-bale
- How to fireproof
- Wall width
- Position of pillars
- Stone and drains
- Concrete and steel
- Bale sizes
- Bale needed and creating small sizes
- Bale compression
- Wall rigidity techniques
- Load bearing techniques
- In-fill techniques
- Free standing
- Wall preparation
- Cob mixture and application
- Chaff render mixture and application
- Lime plaster mixture and application
- Natural colours and effects
- Wall shapes
- Wall additions
- Wall niches
- Frame attachements
- Electrical attachements
- Tile applications
- Extended window and door reveals
- Beading covers
- Extended window and door revels
A great tool for survival on a planet that is facing a very unpredictible future. - 7/16/2019
We have to plant trees. It's hurry!!!!! - 6/22/2019
Here's a living blueprint for transforming no end of damaged landscapes into productive polycultures. - 3/23/2019
Amazing project!! Loved the visit, the people, the dates and the smoothie at the Cafe!! Thanks for having us!! - 3/18/2019
it is amazing what can be accomplished with applied knowledge! - 1/17/2019
A truly impressive achievement! - 1/17/2019
it's amazing place , everyone should visit it - 12/23/2018
Helping change things for the better for all - 12/23/2018
Transforming desert into green - 11/07/2018
one of the most Pioneer projects that gives hope for better future - 9/22/2018
About The Location
The site is located in the Al Jawfa area in western Jordan, Shouneh Janobieh (i.e., South Shouneh), in the Dead Sea Valley just 10km north of the Dead Sea and 6 km east of the Jordanian-Palestinian border, directly east of the West Bank. The local population is made up of traditional Bedouin tribes and long-term refugees stemming from displacement of local populations from within Palestine. The project site is typical of the area – a marginal arid-land low-income settlement.
The Greening The Desert Project site demonstrates energy-efficient appropriate housing with natural cooling systems and a plant nursery attachment, solar electricity, solar hot water, biological waste water treatment recycling, dry compost toilets, rainwater harvesting earthworks and diverse interactive plant, animal and tree systems for local food production and processing. The demonstration house functions as a classroom and administration office for the project and local Permaculture group. We also have a on site cafe and ecolodge that will help to contribute to the funding of the project whilst housing and catering for guests that can learn a great deal by visiting the project.
Getting Here From The Airport
Airport Taxi to the site is JD$40 approximately. Upon request,
The farm is in the South Shouna region, in al Jawfa-Jawasreh Village, second right turn
behind the Jawasreh School for girls. Farm Manager, Hayel : +962 79 534 4376
The Coordinates for the location is: 31.871754,35.631470 or 31°52'18.3"N 35°37'53.3"E
You can find it on Google Maps here.
Here is the Adress in Arabic to show to your taxi driver:
الجمعیة الاردنیة للبیئة النوعي
الشونة الجنوبیة , الجوفة , الجواسرة, ثاني دخلة
على الیمین خلف مدرسة الجواسرة الثانویة
الرجاء الاتصال على الرقم التالي للاست فسار
+962 79 534 4376 هایل
What You Will Need to bring with you?
9.00am to 5.00pm.
Terms & Conditions
All prices are in Australian dollars. An early bird discount is available if the course fee is paid 21 days prior to the course start date.Refund Policy
Sometimes circumstances change and you may be unable to attend a course you have paid for. If so, there are a few options available;
If you notify us at least 14 days prior to the course commencement, GTDP will refund your course fee but will deduct an administration fee of 30%, deposits are not refundable, OR you can apply the full amount as credit towards a future course.
If you notify us less than 14 days prior to the course commencement GTDP cannot provide a refund OR you can send someone else in your place.
The Greening The Desert Project reserves the right to cancel or discontinue advertised courses, if an insufficient number of attendees/ low attendance or due to unforeseen circumstances on the behalf of the GTDP requires us to not proceed with the advertised offer, you will immediately receive a full refund. All other refunds can take between 7-30 days to process.
Please strongly note, that travel to and from the Greening the Desert Project site is the attendee’s responsibility. You are encouraged to liaise with the GTDP about numbers of attendees and the potential of course cancellation prior to booking travel. The GTDP is not responsible for any loss or travel reimbursement, should the course be discontinued.
The Jordan Valley is home to an ancient and classical civilisation that has had many cultures, traditions, and peoples cross through its land and also settle within it. International students are requested to be culturally sensitive to the Islamic traditions and Muslim social protocol. A full orientation will be provided.
General Guidelines for all Participants
- Showing respect for oneself.
- Open and receptive attitude toward cross cultural communication.
- Willingness to ask questions whenever necessary.
- Conservative attire is recommended.
- Wearing shirts at all times.
- For women - Long skirts or pants (Shorts considered offensive).
- For men - Shorts are acceptable (but must be at least to the knee).
- Sobriety at all times during the PDC course.
- Respect for elders, religious traditions and practice, and community leaders.
- Not photographing locals without permission, especially not local women and children.
- Respecting Muslim gender relation etiquette.
- Not touching or shaking hands of Muslim adults of the opposite gender without permission.
- Not displaying overly intimate affection in public with wife/husband or partner.