Transition Whatcom

natural building bellingham


natural building bellingham

a forum for questions, answers and community around earthen and alternative construction in Whatcom Co.

Members: 46
Latest Activity: Mar 26, 2018

Discussion Forum

Natural Builders and Teachers Wanted!

Started by Mark Thompson. Last reply by Tiffany Marie Geaudreau Feb 9, 2014. 1 Reply

We are a nonprofit camp near Lake McMurray WA. And we would like to add natural buildings to our property.  We would also love to host natural training in gardening, and eco-friendly practices.  This…Continue

Tags: Learn, Camp, Retreat, Teach, Consultant

natural building educator flies coop

Started by Rob Van Arsdale May 5, 2011. 0 Replies

well friends it has been an eventful spring, we built two new earthovens in bellingham,an i have moved on towards the southwest. I will be keeping some roots in bellingham as our cabin will be rented…Continue

village life

Started by Rob Van Arsdale. Last reply by Laura J Sellens Oct 19, 2010. 2 Replies

I recently spent a month up at OUR eco village on vancouver island and a few things came to light for me and my reasons why Im a natural builder.First the background... I have been a part of OUR for…Continue

why natural building?

Started by Rob Van Arsdale. Last reply by Joseph Ford Aug 24, 2010. 7 Replies

Natural building, can be described as any construction process in which takes into consideration the embodied energy, ecological impact, and life cycle of materials used and techniques employed. As a…Continue

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Comment by Cynthia Livingston on July 22, 2010 at 2:34pm
Thanks for the information, Rob. The workshops sound great. Like Phillip mentioned the other day we're going to be moving at the end of August, so life may be a little hectic around then. But I'd like to go if at all possible. Learning cob, stonework and plastering are all things I've been wanting to do for quite some time.

I enjoyed looking at your earthenaccents site, though for some reason I still can't get greenconversions to work for me *shakes internet to try and make it work properly*
Comment by Cynthia Livingston on July 22, 2010 at 2:26pm
Wow Lori, looking good. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us so we can be inspired.
Comment by Lori Jo on July 22, 2010 at 2:16pm
The pond keeps getting bigger - the cob is giving me a level edge to a sloping pond - I will be using cement to line the pond and the edge before putting down rock.
Comment by Lori Jo on July 22, 2010 at 2:14pm

Comment by Rob Van Arsdale on July 22, 2010 at 11:01am
Hi Cynthia the links should read and below is a more detailed series descriptionWorkshop #1 will be held July 24th and July 25th and will involved deconstructing the existing structure, digging the foundation trench, laying the footing, pier blocks and starting the laid recycled concrete foundation

Workshop #2 will be held July 31 - Aug. 1st and will continue the recycled concrete foundation and set the support posts for the roof.

Workshop #3 will be the main even held Aug. 27-29th and we will construct the main structure walls using cob techniques, and will include recycled bottle mosaics, various artistic openings, undulating walls and no straight angles. A naturally flowing structure made mainly with local and recycled materials using natural building techniques. We encourage people to spend the entire 3 days onsite, camping at the Forest Garden, sharing food via potlucks, evening BBQs and socializing around the fire. There are bathroom facilities and a sauna onsite for use of quests.

Workshop#4 will be held on September 4th-5th at Rob Van Arsdale's home at Owl farm and will cover the natural plastering process.

Workshop#5 building living roof on the cob critter corral. Date to be announced and depending on final completion of structure.

Costs for all workshops are $20-$35 dollars per day,sliding scale with work trades avaliable, do not be turned away by lack of funds!
Contact Rob @ 360-393-5135 or Travis @360-305 5834 or email with questions or comments We hope to see you there!
Comment by Lori Jo on July 21, 2010 at 11:41pm
I'll take some photos tomorrow - I've got a book and tested the soil (not ideal) - I'm not sure if it would work for a house but it sure is working well for my purpose.
Comment by Cynthia Livingston on July 21, 2010 at 11:12pm
Awesome! I want to do some cob. Had you taken a class, or gotten the recipe out of a book, or....?

Do you have any pictures?
Comment by Lori Jo on July 21, 2010 at 11:05pm
I finally did something with cob! I'm redoing a small pond and made some cob to bring the walls up to level in the low spots. It was so much fun. And more importantly I think it may even work.
Comment by Cynthia Livingston on July 21, 2010 at 7:37pm
Hi Rob,

The link to earthenaccent isn't working for me, and nothing comes up when I google it. Also, could you tell the group a little bit more about 'from the ground up?' Thanks:)
Comment by Rob Van Arsdale on July 21, 2010 at 6:55pm
From the ground up will be taught be Rob Van Arsdale( and sustainable engineer Travis Linds( and Hosted by the center for expressive arts(www.centerforexpressive

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