Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bill and Athena Steen European Tour August - October 2011

Its official.

After a very successful and exciting tour in 2009 Bill and Athena return for another round of workshops, and we are privileged and excited to be hosting one leg of the tour here in Finland.

Just click on the link below to see their full schedule.

Passive Houses vs. Strawbale Buildings in the Czech Republic

Here is an interesting link on building energy systems written by Max Vittrup Jensen in the Czech Republic. Check it out.

Austrian residential house based on the BBB
concept. (Photo from

Monday, March 21, 2011

Summer Courses and Websites to check out.

Here are a list of websites you could check out and book mark for various course listings and goings on this summer. - our own site posting lists of courses that we will be holding this year. - Excellent site. Very informative and has a list of courses from all over the planet. - They have a list of really good earthbag and Strawbale courses happening this summer in England, France and Poland.  Our partners in Estonia. They have a great new website (shortly coming in English) with a list of various courses every month. Great set up and they are doing amazing clay plastering and tadelakt. For those of you living in or traveling too America, here is a great site and beautiful clayworks. Always great courses with Barbara and co.. More in America from the masters.. - Follow this Link to get info about the first officially approved load bearing straw bale vaults in Germany during two international workshops directed by Gernot Minke at Wangelin. Really interesting...  Andrew Morrison always has a lot of Straw bale courses running, check his site for more details.
A permaculture course led by Andy Goldring and Catherine Dolleris. To be held in the wonderful setting of Friland in Denmark. Note Applications for this course must be in by April 29th 2011

ADDITION - 04th-05th of June 2011 in Solberg, Inkoo
We are excited to introduce from Säästvad Ehituslahendused (sustainable building solutions) in Estonia, Kermo Jürmann and Taavi Leis, who have agreed to teach a workshop with a very practical approach to tadelakt, which is a Moroccan waterproof plastering technique ideal for use in wet rooms and as a highly decorative element.
They will also share with us their considerable knowledge of clay and lime plaster finishing techniques.
Check for more info.
Their webpages are, check them out to see the amazing work they are doing.
Contact for more info

This should keep you busy. A lot more to come.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Natural busy building...


Again this month I'm a little late getting my blog out. Times are busy and someone has switched the spring/summer lights on. People are calling for work to be done and its a great feeling.

There has been a lot happening of late. Busy putting together summer courses and checking out which courses we will attend. Also the European Straw Bale Gathering is getting closer and we have a lot of Straw bale and clay houses to work on this summer. Not to mention the exciting restoration projects that we are in the middle of. Everyday is full on now, building on site, organizing courses and workshops and setting up future co-operations with our neighbors.

So this month I am going to keep it a bit shorter and explain a little about different courses that are coming up in different parts of Europe. I will also be asking anyone who may have a course happening no matter how big or small to send it to me and I can post them here for you all through the summer.

Happy building time.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Waste water systems.

I am a little bit behind this month with my blog. A lot of interesting stuff happening at the moment that has taken my attention away from it.

I am putting together some keynote presentations to try and hopefully get a really good Finnish foundation WOIMA-Säätiö - (Use google translate to get the English version), interested in helping us put together a seminar in natural gray and black water management systems here in Finland. Its been really interesting and I have spoken with people in about 5 different countries. I have gone through willow plantations to concrete walls with drawers that hold plantlife in them, to brilliant wetpark systems to regular sand filtration systems. I have also been looking at so many different toilet systems and compost systems,(more of that in my other blog post). I didn't know that there were so many different companies creating these. Its been a really interesting few weeks of research, and every system was well thought out and well planned. It makes me think that the world is changing for the better. It is becoming easier to search and find the natural things you need for your home.
I remember 6 years ago when we built our home here in Finland, searching the internet with my wife Charlotta and trying to get hold of natural paints and pigments, or ecological wools, water systems and it was difficult. Hence the reason I began the Natural Building Company with my friends. We thought we have to make it easier for others to get good products and advice and services. The journey so far has been amazing.

Below are some fantastic links to different sites on water treatments. I especially like the ones using willow plantations by Peder Gregersen in Denmark and Folke Günthers ideas from Sweden. Please take a closer look and if you have any more systems that you know of please let me know. There are many more but I especially liked these two.

Compost and seperating toilets

During my research on waste water treatment in the last few weeks, I of course came across different toilets also and I just wanted to share them with you. I think that tthe type of toilet and system is very important to get right in your home. Afterall if you are going to build a beautiful natural home wouldn't it only be right to complete it with a long lasting natural waste water system. These systems then must start with the type of toilet you use.

Here are some examples and some links to different manufacturers and their ideas.

The Naturum

Biolan dry separating toilet
Biolan Separating Dry Toilet also at

Separting toilets
There are many variations.
They can be found from a number of different companies.
They could easily replace the normal flush toilets used today and therefore  save millions of liters of water everyday.

WC-DUBBLETTEN wet sperating toilet

This example can be found at

There are so many more out there with different shapes and sizes, from vacuum toilets that suck all the waste to a composting box (as seen below right), or with a container in the cellar directly below the separating toilet using compost worms in it to speed up composting process(below left).

You just have to decide which one is best for you..

Worm composting

envirolet vacuum compost toilet

I am now able to offer you Biolan products. So if you would like to know more about Biolans products and you do not have a Biolan dealer in your country please contact me for more information and prices, including shipping.

Thank you

Have you got something you would like to share and talk about??

If you have something you would like to talk about related to Natural Building why not send it here to me and I can post it up for you..

There  is a big movement at the moment and a lot of energy in the Natural Building world and these are very exciting times. Let me know about your project.

Here is the link to a blog from Steve Page in Australia who contacted us recently about his project there.

Like everyone who is building their own Straw Bale home he is very excited about his project. Well done to Steve.
Nice blog too.