Earth Building: Design and Practise

2020 Dates: 13 – 17 July; 7 – 11 September; 2 – 6 November; 14 – 18 December

2021 Dates: 15 – 19 February; 1 – 5 March (*) 7 – 11 June

Click here to see the full calendar.

Workshop organized by BaanDinDoi and hosted by ‘Earth Home’ near Chiang Mai ( (*) excepted 1 – 5 March 2021, venue: BaanDinDoi Chiang RAI 

This five day course is especially suitable for those who:

  • want to gain a basic understanding of how an earth building provides thermal comfort and energy savings (tropical and temperate climate)
  • have a plan to build an earth home (or any small-sized building) and need basic design skills,
  • seek an overall introduction to earth building and discover it by practise


  • Having an overview of an earth building (foundations, walls, structure, roof etc)
  • Experiencing the satisfaction, effort and time involved in building by yourself. This will help you to find the right strategy for your future project (use of machines, getting help from friends or volunteers, hiring workers or a contractor etc…)
  • Reflecting on your building project and making a draft design of your home that will be discussed with the group and the instructor.

The course combines classroom  learning including lectures, discussions, case-studies and exercises as well as hands-on sessions. It covers the following topics:

– Thermal mass and insulation

– Passive cooling and heating

– Elements of design (orientation, layout of interior and exterior spaces, natural shading, considering the surroundings, roof  etc…)

– environmentally friendly foundations

– natural roofs

– Cob, Wattle and daub and Adobe techniques (practise)

– Earth plastering (practise)

You will also learn by observing and commenting on Earth Home buildings, and through several short videos.


Other activities

  • A few movies will be proposed after diner
  • Visit to Pun Pun farm (seed saving project, appropriate technology systems, organic gardening, simple natural buildings)
  • On request: Thai massage available on site (400 bahts for 2 hours)

After the course

  • You will be given printed handouts and the digital version of the training materials including additional documents (PDF files, Videos) and useful links if you wish to learn further
  • We will provide answers for simple questions related to your building project
  • You will be proposed to participate to our building projects (maintenance, extensions or new buildings) in our land (Chiang Rai). This will allow you to get more practise (contribution for food and simple accommodation: 400 bahts per day)

General information

Workshop in English, limited to 8 participants

Trainer: Alain Madec, natural builder and founder of ‘Baan Din Doi’.

Course schedule:  8.30 to 18.00 with several breaks; Lunch break: 12.00 to 14.00

All meals will be vegetarian food with some meat and fish options.

Accommodation and Price

****  1 – 5 March 2021 workshop at BaanDinDoi CHIANG RAI: Option 1 only)  *****

Option 1: Stay in a dormitory, or a tent if you prefer to have more privacy. 8,200 bahts per person.

Option 2: Stay in a adobe bricks room, shared with one more person. The room has its own private toilet and bathroom. 9,800 bahts per person.

Option 3: Stay in a private adobe bricks room. Price: please contact us.