Natural Building Colloquium 2007: Kerrville, Texas

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A more detailed day-by-day schedule of events will be posted the last week in September. For more info on any specific presenter please visit the "presenters" page.



Project Leaders:

StrawBale Project
Steve Kemble & Mollie Curry, MudStrawLove, EarthHaven Eco-Village

Hybrid Building: Earthbag, Compressed Earth Block, Cob
Massey Burke, Real Goods Solar Living Inst & Emerald Earth, California

Cob Building and Garden Wall
Christina Ott, Barefoot Builder, Tennessee

Roundwood Artistic Timberframe
Sun Ray Kelley, Builder at Large, Pacific North-west

Earthen Finishes for Conventional Constuction
Carole Crews, Gourmet Adobe, Taos, New Mexico
Kiko Denzer, Build Your Own Earth Oven, Oregon

Traditional Timberframe
Roy Miles, Carpenter-Craftsman, Austin, Texas


Friday Oct 19
10:00am - staff meeting and orientation
12noon - campground opens for general participants


5:30 - 7:30pm - welcome gathering and dinner
7:30 - 9:00pm - evening presentation followed by accoustic music

Saturday Oct 20 - Sunday Oct 21
intensive schedule: Days will begin with breakfast, around 8am, leading into a short organizational gathering to introduce the day's presenters. Hands on workshops and presentations from 9:30am till dinner around 6:00pm (typically meals are eaten together)...During the day lectures and hands-on project will run simultaneously. Participants may choose between activities. After dinner the group will gather for a large group presentation followed by music and/or campfires and possibly a midnight cob session.

Saturday's sessions will begin with Frank Meyer of Thangmaker Construction leading project introductions: a series of short overviews, given by each project leader to describe the techniques and schedule associated with each hands-on demonstration. Work on projects will be on-going during each day.

First weekend scheduled presentations:

"Natural Building, Permaculture and Regenerative Design"
Penny Livingston, Perm. Inst. N.California, California

"The Village Lives"
Mark Lakeman and Lydia Doleman, City Repair, Portland Oregon

"Choices: the seeds, roots and future of straw-bale construction"
Matts Myhrman and Judy Knox, Out on Bale, Tuscon, Arizona

"Preserving a Living Tradition of Adobe: Restoration of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, NM and the Socorro Mission, TX"
Patt Taylor, Cornerstones Partnerships, New Mexico

"Turning Drains Into Sponges and Water Scarcity Into Water Abundance"
Brad Lancaster, Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Tuscon, Arizona

Awesome Earthen Buildings From Around the World
Janell Kapoor & Meka Bunch, Kleiwerks International, Ashville, North Carolina

"Water Systems: Inspiration from Nature"
Art Ludwig, Oasis Design, California

"Earthblock Construction: Its not about mud anymore!"
Richard Burt, Dept. Construction Science, Texas A&M

"Watson Wicks and other radical solutions for small budgets"
Tom Watson, Alternative Septic Systems, New Mexico

"Tipi: The Original Mobile Home"
Javier Cortez, Dos Puertas Publishing, Austin, Texas

"Builders Portfolio"
Meka Bunch, Kleiwerks, Ashville, North Carolina

"Getting Alternative Designs, Materials and Methods Approved"
David Eisenberg, Development Center for Appropriate Technology, Tuscon, Arizona

Mark and Carole Meckes, Bamboo Arts and Craft Network, Austin, Texas


Lunch Small-Group Discussion

Aspiring Owner-Builders' Forum
Ben Obregon, Sustainable Design Center, Austin, Texas



Monday Oct 22-Thursday Oct 25
...the days in between the weekends will create opportunities for active natural builders to share and exchange with other builders from across the country. Aspiring and inexperienced participants will spend some real time with the hands-on activities with less competition between presentations and projects. Some speakers will be scheduled in advance, others determined and directed by participants. The exact schedule for these days will remain somewhat flexible. Between lunch and dinner on Thursday afternoon, we will not schedule any official presentations; this leaves a few hours to explore Hill Country sites, continue work on projects or take care of personal business.

Each evening, in addition to a scheduled presenter, we will host "mosaic" slide shows organized by region where anyone active in natural building or permaculture can throw in 1-3 slides of their own projects. No prerequisites other than the photos need to show use of natural/salvaged materials and only projects that you have personally worked on.


Weekday presentations:

The asteroid, the fisherman, and the price of tortillas: preparing peak oil and climate change."
Albert Bates, Eco Village Training Center, The Farm, Tennessee

Artist's Portfolio
Kiko Denzer, Build Your Own Earth Oven, Oregon

"From House to Home: Design considerations to make your house a place to

Coenraad Rogmans, House Alive, Oregon

"Houses that Love you Back: a Perspective on Thirteen Years in Cob"
Elke Cole, Cobworks, B.C. Canada

Teaching Sustainable Building: A Whole Building, Hands-On Approach
Chris Magwood, Canada

"Getting Dirty in Central America: Lessons learned and tricks of the trade building South of the Border"
James Thompson, House Alive, Oregon

"Traditional Stone Masonry"
Gino Cacciotti, Traditional Stone Masons' Guild, Canada/Mexico

"Can your Passion Pay the Bills?: Professional Builders 101"
Frank Meyer, Austin, Texas

"Exceeding Passiv-Haus standards: A look at two of the most energy efficient strawbale buildings in Europe."
Derek Roff, Builders Without Borders, New Mexico

"Bamboo Basics."
Pete Fust, Black Range Lodge, New Mexico

... plus numerous panels and forums...

Project leaders: same as above PLUS...

Wood Fired Earthen Oven (starts Wednesday)
Kiko Denzer, Author: Build Your Own Earth Oven, Oregon

Portable BandSaw Mill Demonstration
Nate Eicher



Thursday evening, Oct 25 - Saturday evening Oct 27
The second weekend begins with two large group presentations Thursday evening and then moves through a full schedule similar in intensity to the first weekend... Days will begin with a short organizational gathering at the end of breakfast.(typically meals are eaten together) Hands on workshops and presentations from 9:30am till dinner...In many cases lectures and/or building will run simultaneously and participants may choose between activities. After dinner the group will gather for large group presentations followed by music and/or campfires. Saturday night will finish out with a late-night talent show, the wackier the better.

Full Moon Drum Circle....Thursday night the 25th... bring your rhythm makers!

Second Weekend Presenters:

A World of Natural Building
Catherine Wanek, Black Range Lodge, New Mexico

Builder's Portfolio
Sun Ray Kelley, Builder at Large, Pacific Northwest

"Humanure Recycling via Composting"
Joseph Jenkins, Humanure Author, Pennsylvania

"The Nitty Gritty - Straw Bale Basics and Details"
Steve Kemble and Mollie Curry, MudStrawLove, EarthHaven Eco-Village

"The last 10%: Earthen finishes and sculpture on walls of all types"
Janine Bjornson & Carole Crews, Finish Plasters, California and New Mexico

Kaki Hunter and Doni Kiffmeyer, Okokok Productions, Moab, Utah

"Still Subverting the Dominant Paradigm: The Further Adventures of DCAT"
David Eisenberg, Development Center for Appropriate Technology, Arizona

Pliny Fisk and Gail Vittori, Center for Max. Potential Building Systems, Austin, Texas

"Re-Thinking Poverty"
Dr. Lakshman Yapa, Dept. of Geography, Penn State University

"Rainwater Collection:"
Richard Heinichen, Mayor, Tank Town, Texas

"Natural Building in Anapra, Mexico: A case for dwelling in an extreme place"
Alfred von Bachmayr & Dafyd Rawlings, World Hands Org., New Mexico

Lauren "Juniper" Ross, Rhizome Collective, Austin, Texas

Project Leaders: same as above PLUS...

"sandcastles like you have only imagined..."
Amazin Walter, Sandsculptor, South Padre, Texas


special session: Friday during dinner - 6:00pm

Straw Bale Associatioon of Texas member Ben Obregon will moderate a discussion about revitalizing our statewide straw bale organization. Topics will be open to the participants but some items to be discussed are:

-SBAT history
-Should Texas have a voice in the national straw bale movement?
-are we ready for a state wide organization?
-what would SBAT do for the local Straw Bale builder?
-how to organize local/regoinal chapters?



Sunday Oct 28
brunch, closing circle, clean-up and transition - no official presentation scheduled