Upcoming events

Events Archive

Natural Finishes Workshop, Sat, 23 July 2011 to , Kinmount, Ontario
with Sebastian Renel

Join us at our farm, Idyllwood, in a natural finishes workshop on our
straw bale chicken coop!

This workshop will feature an assortment of natural plasters, alis paints
and cob building. The finishing techniques we will be covering is
applicable for new construction and renovations. And yes, you can apply
some of these techniques on painted (latex/acrylic) drywall!

By natural finishes, we mean painting/plastering with benign materials
found in nature - namely sand, clay, fibers (straw, cattail fluff), and
pigments. They are all very affordable, durable and most of all, healthy
and fun to explore.

Our workshop will cover material selection, preparation of base material
and application. In addition, you will be able to bring home a sample
plaster work - framed and ready to hang and to further inspire! The
workshop is also offering the opportunity for you to try and purchase
Japanese trowels. And for lunch, we will be providing a seasonal feast,
fresh from the farm.
Registration: To register and for more information, please contact us:
[email protected]


→Web site with more information

Earth Plastering Workshop, Sun, 26 June 2011 to Sun, 26 June 2011, Uxbridge
soma earth BARN BEE Earth Plastering Workshop
$100 - 15% discount if confirmed with 50% deposit by June 20
This workshop is facilitated by Tina Therrin & Ingrid Cryns. Tina of Camel`s Back Construction is a long time earth plaster pro. You will learn through instruction and hands-on experience, about the materials, proportions, mixing and application of earth plaster to straw-bale walls, inside and out. She will be teaching the basics of earth plastering, the best tools to use, and the basics of a base coat vs. a finish coat. Lunch is included. These events are hugely fun and enjoyable. Come and have a great time meeting new people and learning new sustainable building skills.

Details and location to follow at time of reservations. The project is a half hour drive north-east of Newmarket (north of Uxbridge). Bus can be taken to Uxbridge and pick-up/drop off arranged. If you are able to offer car pool driving, please let us know so that we can co-ordinate as needed.

Contact Kassie for more information at [email protected] or 1-866-888-7662.
→Web site with more information

Annual General Meeting, Sun, 01 May 2011 to , Toronto, Ryerson University Architecture Building
The Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition is Sunday May 1st 2011 at the Ryerson University Architecture Building, 325 Church St. at Gerrard, Toronto. Registration opens at 9:30 AM and the meeting starts at 10:00 AM
→Web site with more information

Being Your Own General Contractor, Sat, 26 March 2011 to , Norwood, ON
This workshop will take you through the process involved in planning your straw bale build. You will learn the most important steps and their order of importance so that when you start to build, your project will run smoothly, with little or no set backs in time. This is not an actual build, it is the scheduling and planning phase of the build. Just like the Boy Scouts, you will come away with the knowledge to “be prepared” to make your home construction run efficiently. Facilitator: Gail Robins
Place: The Robins’ Nest Retreat, Norwood. Investment: Single rate- $90, Couples rate – sharing notes- $153 this includes your lunch and notes.
This workshop requires pre-registration with payment. To register please call Gail at 705-639-2284 or email [email protected]
→Web site with more information

Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design, Mon, 18 October 2010 to Fri, 22 October 2010, Bracebridge
A five day intensive workshop, October 18-22 at Nipissing University Muskoka Campus, Bracebridge, Ontario. $1250 +HST ($1412.50) before Aug 15, $1350 +HST after. Register soon, space is limited! Lunch included. SEI literally wrote the book on solar install and design (all workshop participants will get the book and other resources) and people travel from all over to take their trainings. Enrollment is on a first-come basis and class size is limited. The instructors are certified by North American Board of Certified Energy Practioners (NABCEP) and are also accredited by Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The course will include Ontario specific content including information about Ontario’s Feed in Tariff, local content, and code requirements. After successfully completing this course participants are eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. This course will provide an overview of the three basic PV system applications, primarily focusing on grid-direct systems. The goal of the course is to create a fundamental understanding of the core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including: system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning. The course will also cover the basics of sizing a residential grid-direct system, wire sizing, overcurrent protection, and grounding – all of which will be expanded upon in PV 202. Students receive an introductory level hands-on experience through the opportunity to work on lab kits. Students will wire a grid-direct system, including the inverter, disconnects, racking, and grounding, using commercially available components and small modules. Solar Energy International, a nonprofit organization, has been providing training in renewable energy since 1991. The Fourth Pig, a nonprofit organization, specializes in natural and green building, sustainable energy design and installation, and workshops on natural building and sustainable energy. To register please go to: http://www.fourthpig.org/PV_101.html.
→Web site with more information

Lecture: Rebuilding a Sustainable Haiti, Thu, 29 July 2010 to Thu, 29 July 2010, Toronto
From Devastation to Regeneration: Rebuilding a Sustainable Haiti.
Architect Martin Hammer will show images and discuss Haiti’s transition from the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake, to the regeneration of its natural environment, economy, and its urban and rural cultural life, with safe, environmentally and culturally appropriate reconstruction. Martin served in Haiti on reconnaissance teams from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the World Monuments Fund. He is currently representing Builders Without Borders and other organizations working on many facets of Haiti’s sustainable reconstruction.
Presentation Information - Date and Time: Thursday July 29, 7-9pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario. Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Pier 4 Room
Free admission, donations welcome
On behalf of Builders Without Borders (www.builderswithoutborders.org)
With support from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (www.eeri.org)

Straw Bale Construction Workshop, Fri, 25 June 2010 to Sun, 27 June 2010, verdale Farm near Hillsburgh, ON
Cost: $325, includes meals, camping and tax Register Online
Location: Everdale Farm near Hillsburgh (directions)

Join Ben Polley of Harvest Homes for a hands-on weekend at Everdale Farm.

Straw bales can be used to build homes and other types of buildings that are extremely durable, beautiful, energy-efficient, low-cost and well suited to our four-season climate. We will focus on important construction details difficult to glean from books and important for Ontario Code and climate context - perfect for the future homeowner builder or professional builder. You will gain lots of theory and practical experience building a small straw bale cabin. This weekend workshop is really hands-on, so expect to get dirty!

Pre-registration required. Register online at: http://www.everdale.org/node/33
→Web site with more information

Straw Bale Construction Workshop, Sat, 12 June 2010 to Sun, 13 June 2010, Bobcayegon
Straw Bale Construction Workshop, June 12-13, Bobcaygeon Ontario. Fees $200. Hosted by Chris Magwood of Fleming College's "Sustainable Building Design and Construction" program, this weekend workshop will have participants assembling the load-bearing straw bale walls on Saturday and applying the first coat of earthen plaster on Sunday. The workshop is being held at the Gamiing Nature Centre located just outside of Bobcaygeon. The nature centre is located on a beautiful 100 acre property along the western shore of Pigeon Lake. There is lots of room to camp on the Saturday night. Catered lunches will be provided on both days. For registration information go to http://gamiing.org or contact Dave Conroy at: [email protected]. This workshop will be capped at 20 participants. Participants should be ready to work hard and have a lot of fun!
→Web site with more information

Earthen Plasters, Mon, 17 May 2010 to Fri, 21 May 2010, Flesherton
May 17-May 21st

Flesherton, Ontario

Fees: $525 CDN

(fees increase if you register post April 26).

The use of earth plasters is rapidly gaining momentum in Southern Ontario. We will teach you the do’s and don’ts of running a productive work environment. We will discuss the range of possibilities when working with these wonderful materials, including material selection, colours, application techniques and more! All students will get plenty of mileage on the tools of the trade, so that you can take-on any plaster job with confidence! This course is a must for the complete natural builder.

The site where we will build this frame has free camping featuring an outdoor kitchen, outhouse and solar shower.
→Web site with more information

Annual Home Tour, Sun, 16 May 2010 to Sun, 16 May 2010, Ontario
This year's annual home tour will take place in the spring, on Sunday May 16, 2010. Visit http://registry.osbbc.ca/page-annual-tour-5.html for the full details.
→Web site with more information

Small Natural Buildings, Thu, 15 April 2010 to Thu, 15 April 2010, Toronto
Free Information Session on SMALL NATURAL BUILDINGS
When: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Where; 6 pm – 8 pm
Where: Centre for Social Inovation (CSI), 215 Spadina Ave., Toronto
With International EcoNest Architect & Building Biologist, Paula Baker-Laporte

Interested in building your own green & as natural as possible, small scale beginning project, such as a; guesthouse, studio, workshop, eco-cabin, playhouse, a renovation, or simply a room of your own?

Come join us for a free & inspiring information session on natural building. Find out how you can get started in preliminary design planning and why you would want to create the healthiest, non-toxic, and energetically vibrant spaces & eco-buildings for yourself.

Paula will show you some exciting projects and describe a current small eco-cabin that she is currently working on, on Salt Spring Island in BC.

This event is sponsored by Rabble and co-hosted by The Fourth Pig, Natural Build & soma earth ARCHITECT who are offering a series of local workshops (some with Paula), where you can learn the basic methods of how to design & build your very own, beautiful, small (or larger) building. There will be a very brief slide presentation profiling some of their current work included in this evening.

A Question & Answer period will be offered at the end of the evening where you any ask any questions of the following pioneering experts in this innovative & growing field of holistic, natural & healthy building
→Web site with more information

OSBBC Annual General Meeting, Sun, 28 March 2010 to , Peterborough
Annual General Meeting of members of the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition, at the new Camp Kawartha Environment Centre in Peterborough. Presentations followed by the annual general meeting.
→Web site with more information

Being Your Own General Contractor, Sat, 06 March 2010 to , Norwood, ON
This workshop will take you through the process involved in planning your straw bale build. You will learn the most important steps and their order of importance so that when you start to build, your project will run smoothly, with little or no set backs in time. This is not an actual build, it is the scheduling and planning phase of the build. Just like the Boy Scouts, you will come away with the knowledge to “be prepared” to make your home construction run efficiently. Facilitator: Gail Robins
Place: The Robins’ Nest Retreat, Norwood. Investment: Single rate- $90, Couples rate – sharing notes- $153 this includes your lunch and notes.
This workshop requires pre-registration with payment. To register please call Gail at 705-639-2284 or email [email protected]
→Web site with more information

Camp Kawartha Environment Centre Open House, Sat, 30 January 2010 to Sat, 30 January 2010, Peterborough
On Saturday January 30th Camp Kawartha along with the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, Transition Town Peterborough & Sustainable Trent will host an Open
House from 12 noon to 5 pm at the new Camp Kawartha Environment Centre.

Drop by any time to take a tour of the facility and learn more about green building techniques, participate in fun interactive activities in and around the building or bring you own reusable cup and enjoy a hot drink in one of Canada's most sustainable buildings.

The Environment Centre is located at 2505 Pioneer Rd in Peterborough Ontario. There is no cost to attend this event but people are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for donation.
→Web site with more information

Energy Retrofits for Houses, Wed, 28 October 2009 to Thu, 29 October 2009, Toronto
Gain insight into retrofit products, programs, technologies, best practices, and strategies that will enable you to achieve major energy savings. The conference program will feature case study presentations examining up-to-date information on energy retrofit strategies and programs that will provide you with the tools you need to bring affordable comfort to Canadian houses. You will join over 250 professionals who are expected to attend. Program managers, utility staff, architects, renovators, retrofit contractors, field crews for weatherization and industry members who are engaged in insulation and house testing will benefit from attending this highly targeted two day conference.
→Web site with more information

Being Your Own General Contractor, Sat, 19 September 2009 to , Norwood, Ontario
With Gail Robins of The Robins’ Nest Retreat. Investment: single: $90, couple: $153, includes course and lunch. Gail will lead you through this workshop concentrating on the planning and timing of your build. You will learn the planning process including the areas of contracts, timelines, avoiding set backs and running a smooth build. Pre-registration with full payment required. Call Gail at 705-639-2284 for more info or to register.
→Web site with more information

Tour the Wilson Natural Home, Sat, 19 September 2009 to , Hockley Valley, Ontario
Get a tour of the straw bale sustainable design award-winning Wilson Natural Home. Learn how you can make your "Natural dream" home a reality using straw bale construction, green roofing, passive solar design, solar PV, and wind power. John Wilson will give guided tours of his families straw bale home describing the main features and answering questions about all aspects of the design and construction process.
→Web site with more information

Colorado Natural Building Conference, Sat, 12 September 2009 to Sun, 13 September 2009, Durango, Colorado
A conference/hands-on workshop with a beautiful natural building project at its center. Surrounding this participatory construction project will be a bevy of hands-on workshops and activities, so you can learn how to build naturally from the foundation to the ridge cap. Water catchment, natural paint making and lots of fun skills of our times are the topics you'll explore this year.
→Web site with more information

International Conference on Non-conventional Materials and Technologies, Sun, 06 September 2009 to Wed, 09 September 2009, University of Bath, UK
NOCMAT 2009 will provide an international forum for information dissemination and exchange, discussions and debates on research and practice in a range of sustainable and innovative construction materials and technologies. The conference is expected to attract a wide range of academics, scientists, researchers, students, builders, designers, NGO field-workers, specifiers and other industrialists from a wide variety of backgrounds, including fields of architecture, engineering, materials, sustainable and ecological technologies, biomaterials, materials sciences, and environmental engineering. The conference theme covers all construction materials, with the overall objective of reducing environmental impact (climate change impact) and providing safe affordable construction. Specific conference themes will include: lower carbon cements and concretes; advanced fibre composites in construction; innovative use of metals; natural fibres and plant based materials (bamboo, straw, hemp); timber materials and engineering; masonry construction; insulation materials; sealant and bituminous materials; glass; plastics; polymeric materials; lime based materials; stone, unfired clay and earthen architecture.
→Web site with more information

Camp Kawartha Environment Centre opening, Thu, 27 August 2009 to Thu, 27 August 2009, Peterborough
The Sustainable Building program at Fleming College invites you to attend our Celebration of Completion at the Camp Kawartha Environment Center at Trent University on Thursday, August 27th at 1pm until 4pm.

This is the fifth project the program has completed, and it features prefabricated straw bale walls, site baled and earth plastered bale walls, slip straw and hempcrete walls, geothermal heating, grid-tied PV, solar hot water,
a living roof, an indoor constructed wetland, all natural finishes and many other unique features. You can tour the facility and have all the features explained to you by the students who constructed them.

The Camp Kawartha Environment Center is located at 2505 Pioneer Road in Peterborough, on the Trent University Campus. www.sustainablebuilding2009.ca
→Web site with more information

European Straw Bale Gathering, Wed, 26 August 2009 to Sun, 30 August 2009, Belgium
Main theme: “education and training in strawbale building”. Workshops / lectures / discussion groups / brainstorming / networking. International gathering for professionals, organizations and self builders concentrating on strawbale building in all its facets.

→Web site with more information

EcoNest: Turning your dream into reality, Sat, 30 May 2009 to Sun, 31 May 2009, Maple, Ontario
Do you dream of living in an authentic home; a legacy of beauty, health and environmental stewardship that reflects your deepest values? Perhaps you have already searched the conventional real estate offerings and realized that to truly fulfill your deepest vision you must build from scratch; quite a daunting challenge! This seminar will empower you to embark on your unique journey home. Prepare to be inspired as you gather with an intimate group for a deep exploration of all that a home can be - a living sanctuary! This is an interactive workshop with experiential exercises and an intimate group in a unique setting. You will come away with more information and knowledge about what you want, what you prefer, what are all the steps to consider and what are the healthier (non-toxic), better Natural Building design details & systems to create the perfect EcoNest dream home for yourself.
→Web site with more information