Learn eco build skills at Rock Farm Slane, Ireland

Fancy learning to build an energy-efficient, cost-effective home? Get to grips with the traditional craft of building with straw, or see how materials such as clay and lime are used in the natural build process? This hands-on holiday at Ireland’s Rock Farm Slane will teach you how to build a thermally efficient, eco-friendly home.learning to build at Rock Farm Slane

Carina Mount Charles, co-founder of eco-tourism destination Rock Farm Slane, outlines a new innovative natural build course starting this October on the farm in the grounds of the majestic Slane Castle Estate outside Dublin, situated in one of Irelands most beautiful and historic locations – Boyne Valley, Meath Ireland.

Rock Farm Slane is running ‘hands on’ 5-day (residential/non-residential) workshops – hugely popular and open to everyone from beginners to professionals.  Led by UK straw bale construction expert Bee Rowan, the five day workshop commences on Tuesday 1 October.  Students will receive a ‘hands-on, step-by-step’ guide to achieving a thermally efficient eco-built healthy home, and includes working with clay plastering and lime for rendering. 

Participants will learn how to work, shape and build with straw and cut local timber. You don’t need existing building skills – previous courses have included architects, engineers, builders expanding their building skills as well as complete beginners. All are welcome!

Why build with straw bales?

Together with good design, straw bale buildings offer the most thermally efficient and healthy option for all climates, keeping heating and cooling needs and costs to the absolute minimum. It not only creates healthy, ‘breathable’ buildings free from toxic gases, they have a good energy performance, (surprisingly) good fire resistance, and are hugely cost effective. This low-tech, locally-sourced material is aesthetically beautiful, and building with it is fun!

Bee explaining straw bale building, Rock Farm SlaneExpertly led

Bee Rowan is one of the UK’s foremost straw bale construction experts and has been building with straw bale for over a decade.  Formerly co-director and Head of Training for pioneering straw bale building co-operative Amazonails, Bee designs and builds straw bale and natural buildings,and teaches straw bale construction in schools of architecture. Bee also runs workshops for beginners to professionals with a wonderful ability to lead fun, inclusive and inspiring sessions. Bee has taught regular mainstream contractors how to build with straw bale in the UK for social housing developments and across Europe, Mongolia and Pakistan. 

Course details and accommodationshepherd hut at Rock Farm Slane

  • Luxury accommodation includes furnished and heated yurts and a shepherd’s hut in the glorious and richly historic landscape of Slane Castle
  • Course runs from 9:30am to 5pm daily
  • 5-day residental – 530Euros per person including breakfast, lunch and refreshments
  • 5-day non-residential – 340Euros per person including lunch and refreshments
  • To book visit https://strawbalebuildingcourses2013.eventbrite.ie/
  • Further courses will be available from April 2014


For more information about Rock Farm Slane visit www.rockfarmslane.ie

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