Natural Building Certificate

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The deadline to apply to the Natural Building Certificate is February 6, 2019. Applicants will be notified of their admissions status within 2 weeks of the deadline. Applications will continue to be accepted after the deadline if there is still space in the course and will be considered on a rolling basis.

Our Natural Building Certificate is a unique course of study providing hands-on exploration of earthen and natural elements and the means by which they can be used to create high performance structures and shelter. From the design and planning stages through the finishing touches, students will gain comfort and experience working with straw, wood, clay, sand, stone, water, and lime as they design, erect, shape, sculpt, and detail the walls, roofs, and floors that enclose healthy, comfortable, and low-impact living spaces. The program includes an Introduction to Natural Building, as well as segments on Insulative Natural Wall Systems, Thermally Massive Natural Wall Systems, Natural Plasters, Advanced Plaster Techniques, Earthen Floors, Natural Paints & Finishes, and will conclude with individual practicum projects and presentations. The Natural Building Certificate provides the opportunity to develop a range of natural building skills for owner-builders and aspiring professional natural builders alike.


"Being able to learn in the classroom and then apply it at full scale in a hands on setting is awesome. I don't get enough opportunity to do that at architecture school. Being able to engage with actual building and not just the idea of
"buildings" is something I relish."

"The Program is very well designed, there are many strong parts which are coming together as one very strong course curriculum!"

I feel lucky to have had each person come teach the class. They were all knowledgeable on the subjects and active in the field. Each person gave a detailed lesson in their expertise and I feel the impact from all of them



AIA Credit Courses, Certificate Program, Whole Structure Design/Build


Beginner, Intermediate


  • Sterling College: 15 Continuing Education Units ($1950 additional)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 210 HSW Learning Units

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