This course provides a survey of non-standard building materials, from quasi-mainstream options like insulated concrete forms and structural insulated panels, to alternatives like ferrocement, slipform concrete, steel/wood hybridization, and stone, to edgy options including hemp crete, bottle walls, used tires, and other recycled materials. We'll consider the pros and cons of each material in different climates and contexts, as well as the practical techniques required for their effective use, their implication on other aspects of the building process, and the philosophy of non-standard code compliance.

Course start time: Saturday, 9am
Course end time: Sunday, 5pm

  • Competency Level: Beginner to Intermediate


DAY #1

09:00     Introductions                                                                                                                                                   

09:30     Definitions - “The What”                                                                                                             

10:00     Philosophy  - “The Why”                                                                                                             

10:15     Building System – “The How”                                                                                    

10:30     BREAK                                                                                                                                  

10:45     Materials – “The Where”                                                                                                             

11:00     Use – “The When”                                                                                                          

11:15     Philosophy of Code Compliance                                                                                                              

11:30     5 p’s                                                                                                                                      

11:40     Morning Wrap up Discussion                                                                                     

12:10     LUNCH                                                                                                                                 

13:00     Systems Presentation                                                                                                  

  1. Standard Materials  --  ICF, SIP, Precast Wall, Fabrics, FPSF, Autoclave, Concrete, Steel/Wood Hybrid, Foam Glass
  2. Rare Materials – Ferro Cement, Slip Form, 100% Healthy, Stone
  3. Eclectic Materials – Hemp Crete, Bottle Walls, Tires, 100% Recycled, Earthen Plasters, Earth/Cement Floor/Walls, Strawbale, Cob, Locust, Earth Block
  4. High Tech / New Materials – Aerogel, VIP, Phase Change Materials, Chromatic Change Glass

15:00     Discussion                                                                                                                         

15:30     BREAK                                                                                                                                  

15:45     Afternoon Exercise –  Hands on Project - TBD                                    



DAY #2

09:00     Discussion                                                                                                                         

09:30     Morning Exercise –  Hands on Project - TBD                                                        

10:30     BREAK                                                                                                                  

10:45     Design Exercise – Small Structure                                                                           

12:15     LUNCH                                                                                                                                 

13:15     Presentations and Critique of Small Structure Designs                                 

14:45     BREAK                                                                                                                                  

15:00     Afternoon Exercise – Hands on Project - TBD                                                     

16:00     Wrap up