Our intensive natural building workshops ran from 2013 to 2017 at various venues across New South Wales (Australia), including Willow Farm at Berry, Jamberoo Valley Farm and our own Milkwood Farm.

In that time, we ran 10 courses, teaching over 200 students techniques for building their own earth-friendly home.

Designed as an intensive, students left with an understanding of various techniques, including light earth, strawbale, cobb, roundwood timbers, reciprocal roofs, lime and mud renders + more.

Past courses

Natural Building Workshop

This course combined intensive class sessions on the theory of each natural building technique with practical hands-on sessions where students helped construct a variety of building elements.

Courses were taught by Sam Vivers, a licensed builder, building supervisor and carpenter. With his wife, Simone, Sam is director of Viva Eco Homes. The pair began building and renovating homes over a decade ago, and soon became aware of straw bale builds and natural materials.

The couple decided to build their own dream home from natural materials, which soon evolved to a belief that these homes should be available to everyone – Australian homes with style, which were actually good for the world, made from the earth and smart in every way possible.

Student reviews

“I came out with a desire and plan to actually use the knowledge I had gained from this course, in my own home. Sam was an excellent instructor with exceptional knowledge and an incredible gift of communication.”

— Kate Gogolewski
Natural building workshop participant

“A professionally organised and presented course, where learning was easy given Sam’s communication style and aided by Heather and Adam’s smooth course facilitation. This has been one of the most enjoyable courses I have attended.”

— Jeremy Archer
Natural building workshop participant

“I would highly recommend it to anyone with a desire to know more. Easy to understand info that is well explained, together with hands-on participation, make this a fantastic learning experience that inspires you to create.”

— Carmel Poeche
Natural building workshop participant

How you can learn natural building with us now

We have loads of natural building articles freely available in our online archive of useful things.