10 days Natural Building Workshop

Open for all
Location: Tiruvannamalai, Tamil nadu

Note: 10-day Workshop is only held in two months in a year

1st-10th December 2018 – (Registration is closed House-full)

21st-30th December 2018( Registration is open)

& 11th-20th July 2019 (Registration will open in January 2019)

Proceed to the payment link at the bottom after reading the entire terms & workshop details.


Thannal Natural Building School’s half yearly 10-day course is planned for people who want intense learning in natural materials, techniques and processes through hands-on work (1:1 scale) on our project. Every aspect of Natural Building from foundation, wall systems, roofs, flooring and finishes is practiced and grasped. Basics know-how of every ingredient used like different types of mud, lime, bamboo, herbal mixes and natural gums is explained. Participants are made familiar with how to identify different properties of material, source it, prepare it and different technique of using it. Various treatments for natural materials for termite resistance and how to repair mud structures is also covered. Enhanced with Rural Study through site visits to indigenous & contemporary mud buildings. Inferences from such experiences can strengthen your confidence in building with Natural Materials.

Observe and learn from wide range of experimentation done in our campus:

  • The Singing Dervish Studio, using cob.
  • Earth bag studio.
  • Learning Canter, using Cob, Adobe, Wattle & Daub.
  • Water tanks made with Mud and Lime.
  • Sensing Natural living
  • Animal Shelter with different wall systems

Aspects of Natural Building explored:

  • Lime preparation and usage.
  • Different forms of stabilization and admixtures.
  • Treatments using native plant and animal derivatives.
  • Natural gums.
  • Alternative energy in building using solar panels.
  • Grey water management using Natural filtration.

The course consists of

  • Theory sessions with lectures and audio-visual presentation.
  • Hands-on sessions (for better practical learning about materials).
  • Prototype sessions (artisan will explain through doing a sample).
  • Site Visits (to experience the existing Natural Buildings).
  • Design Exercise (to understand how to design with natural materials).
  • Question and Answer session.

Natural Building Techniques covered in the course:

  • Foundation using Earth-bag and Stone.
  • Cob, a thick mono-lithic wall using Mud and Fibers.
  • Wattle & Daub, bamboo is weaved and mud is applied on top. Flexible to take any shape given.
  • Adobe, Sun Dried bricks of Mud and Fibers.
  • CSMB, compressed mud blocks using very less water.
  • Earth-bag as building units.
  • Beams and Lintels using Bamboo.
  • Natural Plasters using admixtures derived from plants and animals.
  • Flooring using Lime and Terracotta tiles.
  • Roofing using Thatch, Bamboo, Wood and Tiles.
  • Murals and Sculptures on Mud walls.

Course Details

Note: Each day is divided into four sessions, 10 days into 40 sessions, two before lunch and two after lunch. Schedule could vary according to site weather conditions.

(Total 40)
1Introduction to Natural BuildingsTheory01
2Procurement and Treatments01
2.1Mud- Testing & SamplingHands-on
2.3Herbal MixesPrototype
2.4Lime slaking and storingPrototype
3.2Earth BagPrototype
3.3Beam System using BambooPrototype
4Wall Systems15
4.3Wattle and DaubHands-on
4.5Earth BagPrototype
5Roofing System01
5.2Living RoofTheory
5.3Flat Mud RoofTheory
5.4Tile RoofTheory
6.1Cob RepairHands-on
6.2Plasters (Lime, Mud, Mud + Lime.)Hands-on
9Site Visits02
9.1Old Mud Dwellings
9.2Own Projects
10Design Exercise04
Presentation by Ar. Biju Bhaskar on the following topics:
Introduction to Natural Building.
Evolution of Natural Building in India.
Material Library.
Natural Gums, Herbs, Starch.
Natural Builders in India and around the globe.
Owner’s Build and Low cost Mud housing.
Thannal’s completed and on-going Projects.
Revival of Traditional techniques.

Workshop Date:

Workshop 1:  1st – 10th December 2018 – (Registration is closed House-full)

Workshop 2: 21st-30th December 2018( Registration is open)

Workshop 3: 11th-20th July 2019 (Registration will open in January 2019)

Workshop Location:
Thannal campus, Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu.
Nearest Railway Stations: Tiruvannamalai, Katpadi and Villupuram.
Nearest Airport: Chennai, Banglore.
Workshop fee:
The workshop fee is Rs.25500/- (Indians) and USD 495/- (foreign nationals) which includes lunch and excludes accommodation and site visit’s travel expenses.

Workshop fee exclusively for students from any discipline Rs. 18500/- which includes lunch and excludes accommodation and site visit’s travel expenses.

We function in a manner in which all our studies, documentations, travels and researches are funded with the money from workshops, not from any external funds, sponsorship’s and fellowships. Projects are done on a gift culture, without any consultation fee, which are the results of our studies of Indian Traditional Natural Building techniques. We expect people who want to learn from us understand this situation and kindly not ask for discounts in our study programmes. As we do not have any scholarship available right now, you can find a sponsor for yourself to study with us (you will be supporting us this way).

Prepare for the day:
Please see below links for details about how to prepare, accommodation etc for the workshop .


Participation is limited to 15-20 participants on first come first serve manner. Kindly use the payment link below to register for the workshop. 50% of the workshop fee has to be paid in advance to confirm your registration (non-refundable amount). Remaining 50% of the fee is to be paid on the 1st day of workshop, in cash only. Accommodation options and location of campus etc. will be shared after your registration is done.

We are seeking participants with all levels of experience. Most importantly, applicants should have enthusiasm, a deep willingness to learn, an appreciation for working with their hands and a good attitude!

Cancellation/Refund Policy:
You can cancel your participation in this workshop, but registration money can only be transferred to someone you nominate or you can also retain the amount as credit with us and use for our future workshops.


  • We welcome families taking part in the workshop together. Children below 10 years can attend the workshop for free with parents. Children from 10-18 years of age has to pay 50% of workshop fee.
  • We don’t entertain non participants at workshop site during workshop hours, unless it is unavoidable (please let us know in advance).
  • Do respect privacy of others when you go visit any nearby sites.
  • This is exclusively a hand-on workshop so get ready to stretch and twist your muscles.
  • Do wear light comfortable cotton clothes, preferably old, to beat the heat. There are very less chances of your clothes not getting soiled.
  • The sun can be a bit harsh here so carry sunscreen and head gears.
  • Do keep yourself hydrated to avoid any discomforts. You can also carry Electoral & Glucose for that extra boost of energy.
  • Wear foot wear that you can slip in and out of easily. Our Natural Cob Gym will need the use of your bare feet!
  • At times, working with hands can get a little rough; you can get a pair of work gloves along!
  • Please carry your emergency medicine if and when required.
  • Keep your cell phones away while working, this is a no selfie zone.
  • The itinerary is subjective to change as per the site and weather conditions.
  • For queries: thannalroots(@)gmail.com

Press the below button for Payment or go to this Link- https://imojo.in/5xp1qb

Workshop datesStatus
1st – 10th December 2018Registration is closed House-full
21st-30th December 2018
11th-20th July 2019Registration will open in January 2019

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