Learn by building (6-7 days, Chiang Rai)

We propose you two different building projects in in the coming months. Winter is the ideal season to build with earth in Thailand, so join us to learn and have fun !

These 6 day workshops are especially suitable for those who:

  • prefer to learn by practising
  • have a plan to build an earth home (or any small-sized building such as a guest room, meditation/yoga/music room, outdoor kitchen etc),
  • have a plan to build an earth home but want to practise first by building small buildings such as toolsheds, cabins, huts etc
  • already have some earth building knowledge but need more practise, especially for those steps which are often not covered during a workshop (installing windows/ doors, electricity etc)

We will use mostly natural materials such as earth, sand, straw, rice husk and bamboo. Beginners welcome! prior experience or a background in construction is not required.

Additional day – Theory and Design

If you think you want or need some more knowledge to start your project, we propose you to start one day before to learn the following topics:

  1. Basic knowledge of load-bearing, non load-bearing walls, building structure and bracing
  2. Thermal mass and insulation
  3. Passive cooling and heating strategies
  4. Protection against rain, waterproofing the walls
  5. Basic of bio-climatic design. Bioclimatic design refers to the design of buildings and spaces based on local climate, aimed at providing thermal comfort, making use of solar energy and other sources (wind, rain water, trees, plants etc.). The main objectives are: saving conventional energy, saving money, protecting the environment, avoiding using polluting materials to create healthy indoor living conditions.

Project # 1: Build an Earth Hut

Dates: 2 – 7 December 2022; optional extra day (theory and design): 1st December

Click here to see the full calendar

Project 1 : Build an Earth Hut

This 15 sqm hut will be a room for guests. We will use two techniques: walls made out of adobe bricks (sun dried earth bricks) and an insulated roof made of rice husk bags and covered with a waterproof membrane. The technique of filling reused bags with rice husk is a simple, affordable, eco-friendly insulation technique. It is rather new and was introduced in Thailand several years ago by Maggi McKerron in her homestay ‘Chiang Dao Round Houses’. Another advantage is to handle light bags, which is appreciable for the builders, especially if the home owner want to be involved in the project, helped by friends or volunteers.

In this 6 day workshop, you will practise several steps with the other participants under the trainer’s guidance:

  • Testing the soil and finding the right ratio (soil, sand, fibers)
  • Making some adobe bricks
  • Laying and leveling the bricks
  • Attaching the rice husk bags on the frame and covering them with a soil/straw mix.
  • Plastering (base coat)
  • Installing door and window
  • Installing electric conduit,plug and light (a)
  • Plastering (finishing layer) (a)

(a) If these steps are planned after you leave, you will be shown or practise on other buildings.

Project # 2: Build a small earth room

Dates: 2 – 7 / 12 – 17 February 2023; optional extra day (theory and design): 1 / 11 February

Click here to see the full calendar.

This 20 sqm building will be a room for guests. We will use two techniques: adobe bricks (sun dried earth bricks) and wattle-and-daub. This project will include working with wood and bamboo for the poles and the wattle ie a frame filled with an earth/straw mix.

In this 6 day workshop, you will practise several steps with the other participants under the trainer’s guidance:

  • Testing the soil and finding the right ratio (soil,sand,fibers)
  • Making some adobe bricks
  • Laying and leveling the bricks
  • Wattle-and-daub walls: making the frames with wood and bamboo and filling them with an earth/straw mix.
  • Plastering (base coat)
  • Installing door and window
  • Installing electric conduit,plug and light (a)
  • Plastering (finishing layer) (a)

(a) If these steps are planned after you leave, you will be shown or practise on other buildings.

General information

Workshop in English. The course will be held at ‘Baan Din Doi’, 30 minutes from Chiang Rai city and will have a maximum of 6 participants.

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

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

Living situation

Participants will stay in a tent (one or two people) or the dormitory, which has partitions to offer privacy. We propose this simple accommodation to help making the workshop price more affordable to people. We plan to have rooms for guests in the near future and we hope you will enjoy simplicity for now ! However, if you prefer to stay in a nearby resort/home stay, you will need to have your own transportation to come to the workshop every day.

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

We ask all participants to refrain from any illegal drug use or excessive drinking while staying at our centre.

Safety/sanitary measures (covid 19)

We want to provide a safe environment for us and every participant. We organised the workshop and our place to ensure safety:

  • Practise sessions outside. Use of individual equipment (tarp, trowel etc)
  • Available hydroalcoholic gel
  • Negative rapid ATK covid test required to join

Price

Price in Thai baht6 days
(practise)
additional day
(theory/design)
Stay at BaanDinDoi (a)6,2001,700
Stay in a nearby resort (b)5,2001,500
Discount for more than one person (per person)300100

(a) incl. 3 daily meals for 6 days, and 6 nights in a tent or the dormitory

(b) incl. breakfast and lunch at BaanDinDoi

For more information or registration, contact us at baandindoi@gmail.com