Adventure, Leadership and Educational Travel

Natural Building


Learn through hands-on workshops how to build a monolithic adobe/cob structure. Fill out the form at the bottom of the page and let us know what kind of training you are interested in.
Follow the build.                See the Calendar.

Learn how to build a house without a mortgage while also lowering utilities. Transform your backyard with an earthen oven, bench, wall, or shed made out of earth. Our hands-on natural building workshops provide you with the support you need to build on your own. Attend a workshop and continue practicing your skills on our existing building project.

What is cob?
Cob, or monolithic adobe, is a combination of clay soil, sand, straw, and water. It can bear the load of walls in homes, can be used to build beautiful courtyard walls and benches, and ovens. Cob has thermal mass properties, which allows a building's inside temperature to stay cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Using the earth to build is not new at all; it has been used for tens of thousands of years and something anyone can do with proper guidance. Natural building is also typically less expensive than traditional building. Many people build homes without ever having to take out a mortgage. It will save you money through lower utilities and most importantly, earthen buildings are less toxic for you and for the environment.

What kind of trainings are available?
We have work parties and workshops.

What is the difference between a work party and a workshop?
A work party is a day when you volunteer to help with the part of the building we are working on at that time. We specify what we are focusing on so you know what you will learn. You do not pay to attend a work party. To find out about work parties, please visit and Like our Facebook page.
A workshop is a paid training for those who want to learn how to build. Numbers are kept low to ensure you learn the necessary skills to create your own project. There is not only hands-on time but more formal class time. Although the focus will be the current project we are working on, the training will cover other aspects of building. See the Calendar for workshop dates or contact us to set up a date with a minimum of 3 participants.

When do you build?
Most work parties and workshops are set up on weekends from 9-4pm.

Where are these workshops and work parties held?
We are at a lovely desert property where Leanne runs Life Energy Awakenings.

Follow the build
See the Calendar

Natural Building Workshops
FOUNDATION: Site selection/solar passive design/rubble trench/stem wall
Learn about site selection and passive solar design as well as the features of a rubble trench foundation and why it is used. We will be building a rubble trench and installing a french drain so there will be physical labor. This step is complete so there is no hands-on workshop available. However, you can still learn how this was done during one of the other workshops.
recommended: work gloves, boots, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
WALLS: Building cob walls/benches
*To get familiar with cob we recommend working with it as many days as possible.
In this workshop we will cover earthen building history, site selection, solar passive design, rubble trench foundation and then spent time building with cob.
Currently, we are running a special. Bring a friend and pay $30/person! Contact us for availability.
recommended: clothes that can get muddy (possibly stained), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
PLASTER (rough and final coat)
*To get familiar with plaster we recommend working with it as many days as possible.
In this workshop you will learn how to mix ingredients to make a rough plaster finish. We will be applying a rough coat to the entire building.
recommended: clothes that can get muddy, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
We are still deciding on the best roof system. At this point it looks like it will be some sort of dome with papercrete and natural plaster. Should be an incredible learning experience!
recommended: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
You will learn how to mix all the ingredients and actually pour an adobe floor.
recommended: clothes that can get muddy, knee pads, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
In this workshop we will teach you how to mix materials and how to apply clay-based paints. We will be painting the inside of our structure.
recommended: clothes that can get dirty although clay-based paints wash right out, they might leave light stains.

To begin your registration process, please fill out the booking form below. We will verify your request, answer questions, and send you payment options.


Powered byEMF Web Form

fb ytwpFollow Me on Pinteresttw

Contact: 602.538.2929

 All photographs copyright of Carlos Bill and ©Travel To Learn LLC