SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION

The construction trade is a large consumer of natural resources such as wood, minerals, water and energy.  Post-construction, buildings continue to be a direct cause of pollution through the emissions produced in them and their impact on the ground. Sustainable Architecture and Design uses a conscious approach to construction to minimize the negative environmental impact by examining the cradle-to-grave cycle of the building, use of resources (energy, natural resources), human comfort and safety, and the environmental impact of the design, from extraction of raw materials through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling to the embodied energy, resource use, air pollution, water pollution and waste. 

Green designers look for materials that are rapidly replenished, such as bamboo;  hemp; sorghum, wheat and rice straw; teak; and cork oak. Building materials may be procured from the site itself, such as fallen trees, stone, or clay, or the recycling and repurposing of materials from a tear-down or renovation.

We will offer classes on the  Introduction to Construction Materials and Methods, Tiny Homes, Earth Bricks, Earth Bags, Dome Houses, Sustainable Energy Use, Heating, Ventilation and Cooling System Methods and Efficiency, Reclaimed Materials, Waste Management, Natural Paints and Finishes, as well Sustainable Building Materials like Bamboo, Rammed Earth, Recycled Plastic Panels, Hemp, Grasscrete, Cob, Thatch, and Straw and Rice Bales.  Our tropical environment is harsh, making some methods inefficient.  We will have demonstration stations where we expose bamboo, bale and cobb elements to the elements.  How long does untreated bamboo last?  What organic methods can be used to seal the bamboo and kill the bugs?  What is the environmental impact using paints, resins and urethanes?  How do we find a balance between green materials and synthetic resources?  How do we dispose of these chemicals in a rural environment without affecting the health of the septic system and the surrounding flora and fauna?  Participants will receive hands-on training, from site location to physical construction of the structures.

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