My journey as earth builder and trainer
“I started to be interested in building with earth in 2015 and wanted to acquire the knowledge and skills to build by myself, save money, create my own living space with environment friendly materials. My first approach was to build small, simple, ‘experimental’ constructions to have a comprehension of the earth as a material and how easy it might be to build a small-sized house. As a self-taught builder, I spent a lot of time learning from books, hands-on workshops and experimenting and practising on our land. Later, I became aware that developing a more formal approach would help me to achieve my objectives to teach and promote earth building: building according to the construction codes and standards with a priority for thermal comfort, energy savings and safety.”
Your earth building project?
Although the aims are all different, people objectives are often either building their own living spaces, living in a healthy home, minimalising their carbon foot print and impact on the environment, living off-grid. Or more simply, people just love the aesthetic of an earth building and want to be a part of this ‘creation process’. All these objectives require technical knowledge and skills, know-how, design skills. People might want to outsource all or some parts of the work, or being involved in the construction process often together with relatives, friends or volunteers. In all these situation, it is relevant to discuss about plans and ideas in order to avoid mistake, waste of time and money, and simply moving from a ‘dream’ to a sensible, doable and well-designed project.
How can I help you?
If you are planning to build with earth in Thailand or neighbouring countries, it will save a lot of time and concern to get advice. The consultancy could be at the beginning of the planning stage or as the building progresses, or if you encounter difficulties.
For example, the consultation in the early stage often happens as follows: It starts with a comprehensive questionnaire made from your preliminary questions and the photos, sketches, plans you sent me. Then, a discussion time is arranged (using skype, Facebook etc) to answer your questions and clarify your project. In some case, I will send you some information before and/or after the discussion to explain some points, techniques, issues, possible solutions, alternative options etc
After the discussion you will have time to reflect and if you wish, another discussion can be arranged. If you wish to meet me in person in our place or on your (future) building site this can also be done.
Contact me at email@example.com if you need more information.
Example 1: Creating a living-room and bedroom out of earth adobe bricks
March 2022, Phayao. Gary and Pa want to make some changes in their house by using earth. Gary was one of my first earth building workshop students and his wife Pa is a Yoga instructor. They first want to move the bedroom downstairs, as the upstairs living area is not very suitable (driving rain, hot air, insects). Instead, the living room and bedroom will be downstairs, with earth walls and several openings (windows, sliding doors) creating cross-ventilation to cool down the space. The area will be easier to seal in order to avoid insects coming in.
The cement blocks of the kitchen and bathroom will be coated with earth plaster. The project will also involve their relatives helping to make the adobe bricks to lower costs.
Example 2: Feedback and advice for planning a 180 sqm earth home
June 2021, Fang. Matthias and Pita, who run an organic farm, wanted advice about their plan to build their new home with earth. After visiting the future building site, I gave Matthias information about foundation, wall construction techniques, options for the roof, dealing with termites and inputs about passive cooling as well as energy efficient design.