If you need hands-on, expert help with your straw bale build but are overwhelmed by the prospect of hosting a workshop, our “Crew Training” 7 day program is a great solution.
We realize that not everyone wants to host a workshop. It can be a lot of work and is definitely not for everyone. If you are one of those, but still, you’d like hands on help on your house build, there is another option. You can hire Andrew to come and teach you and your crew on your build. He will come as a consultant and will teach you everything you want to know about your home build.
Here are some of the benefits of Andrew’s Crew Training program:
– Instruction can be totally customized to exactly what you are looking for.
– You can have as many (maximum 30 people) or as few people present during your Crew Training week.
– You don’t have to cook/provide food for everyone attending the Crew Training. Whether you provide food for your friends is at your discretion.
– You can time your Crew Training around your own schedule (assuming we have an opening during the week you want your Crew Training)
– You don’t need to book him out 18+ months in advance as you do with a straw bale workshop. Often, you can contact us within 8 weeks of your desired Crew Training start date and there is a good chance that he will be available.
– If you are a professional contractor, you can hire Andrew to train your whole crew for a heck of a lot less than sending all of your guys to take a workshop with Andrew.
– There is no limitation to the size of the straw bale structure that can be used during the Crew Training week.
-If you have your own group of friends who you want to have help you with your build, you can customize your group, while having Andrew there to teach them the whole process.
What Andrew brings to the workshop:
-His expertise and professional construction experience.
-A warm, cheery and ready-to-work attitude.
-Custom built straw bale tools for the workshop.
-His professional teaching experience and workshop leadership.
-Help finding a designer for the structure in question.
-Help with pre-workshop questions about the structure.
-Initial construction plan review.
-Detailed instruction on all aspects of straw bale construction from toe-ups to plaster.
-Tool list and sample menu plan.
How it works:
We can hold a crew training on any sized structure. Of course, how far we get on the structure is dependent on the group size and motivation level. Andrew is a strong motivator and can keep the group focused and productive; however, we cannot guarantee any specific amount of completion. Ultimately, the home owner/contractor is responsible for the completion of the structure after Crew Training. Unless the site is extremely remote, Andrew will stay off site in the evenings, so there is no need to provide him with housing.
The cost to hold a Crew Training is $5,000 for 7 days of customized and private instruction. On top of that there is a $150 per day stipend fee (for hotel, food costs, transportation to and from the site) as well as Andrew’s travel costs to get to the Crew Training area.
If you are truly interested in running a Crew Training, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In that email, please include the answers to the following questions as part of your application as well as a general description of the project itself.
-Where is the potential workshop located?
-What size structure is it?
-Are you building it yourself or hiring a contractor?
-Do you have a scheduled move-in date?
-Do you have an architect or designer on board?
-What is the site like?
-Will the site fit RVs and tent camping?
-Is there land based power on site (not a generator…which is okay, but land based is better)?
-Are there showers and a pressurized water source?
Over the years of building and teaching, Andrew has developed a system that he strongly believes in and prefers teaching in his classes. Are you open to incorporating that into your structural design? This is basically the welded wire mesh and lime plaster combination, along with the details surrounding that, which we show in our DVDs.
Once your construction begins, photos of the construction process should be emailed to Straw Bale Innovations, LLC along with progress updates at least once a month to confirm that the necessary progress has been made and the structure is on schedule for the workshop dates. We ask that the hosts send such updates on the first of each month at the very least. If the building is behind schedule and the workshop dates cannot be met, Straw Bale Inovations, LLC retains the right to keep the deposit and cancel the workshop. This has never happened, by the way, but we want to be clear about how important it is to have the building ready for the workshop participants at the scheduled time. Should the host cancel the workshop for whatever reason, Straw Bale Innovations, LLC retains the right to keep the full deposit or remaining deposit if some returns have already been made.
Many smaller projects will not require a building permit. Check with your local building department. If the structure requires a building permit and periodical inspections, those inspections need to be completed before the workshop. If the host has an inspection that cannot be performed ahead of time and must take place during the workshop, for example partial electrical service, they will need to let us know at least three (3) weeks prior to the start date. Communication between Andrew and the inspector is recommended to improve the flow of the workshop and limit or eliminate any delays to the workshop process.
Basic tools for construction, including utility knives, nail guns, chainsaws, and other tools must be on site. A full list of required tools is available by clicking here. Crew Training participants are asked to bring small hand tools, gloves, hearing & eye protection, a plaster hawk and a trowel with them. We also ask them to bring whatever tools they think will be helpful on the build. After all, the more tools we have, the faster we can build. It is a good idea to have someone on site who can run errands during the week. There may be materials that were forgotten ahead of time for the construction site.
When to Book Your Crew Training:
We prefer to book our Crew Trainings a minimum of 6 in advance. This gives you the best chance of getting the week slot that you prefer. However, we are also open to booking under shorter time lines if we have availability. Please email Andrew@strawbaleworkshops.com to discuss your time line if you are uncertain.
For answers to our FAQs, please click HERE.
“As a Building Designer, my first investigations (5 years ago) into the technical details of straw bale house designs landed me on Andrew Morrison’s web site. As my work began to include more straw bale designs I came to consider Andrew the maestro of straw bale construction. When I saw he was teaching an Australian workshop I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I really wanted to see first hand how he took care of the detail.
Twenty seven participants from all over Australia descended on an organic farm SE of Adelaide with nothing in common but our curiosity and thirst for knowledge about straw bale construction. A bunch of total strangers pulled together, shared learning and asked a lot of questions whilst we built and rendered all the straw bale walls for our hosts. Our hosts were amazed. We were amazed. We had a ball, learnt a lot, laughed even more and went away with new, strong friendships and a greater understanding of straw bale construction.
Andrew was a brilliant teacher, a very personal teacher, who made everyone feel that their role mattered and their questions had value. He is a great human being, and is clearly doing what he loves and knows best. It was simply a brilliant week, one which brought out the best in all of us. We left excited to get home and begin our own straw bale projects.”
–Pamela Forward, Designer, Australia
“Hello Andrew, This is Brian Hannagan writing to just let you know now that I am still so satisfied 3 years later. The workshop you led has helped create one of the best quality straw-bale homes I have seen. I was skeptical and did enormous amounts of research before I planned this building and by far the walls and corners; and best of all the curved openings look amazing. I am not sure how you held everyone to the standard that I wanted but thanks again.”
–Brian Hannagan, Oregon
“We had a fantastic time. The workshop was well worth the effort, the interactions were fantastic and we would do it again in a hearbeat. Financially with Andrew, all your money comes back. I had zero issues on this and I saw similar behavior towards the participants eg one girl had to drop out last minute as she was going through first trimester all day sickness. I have had other interactions with other companies on workshops and potential workshops and been treated far worse. With Andrew it was more of a collaborative effort, others were trying to treat me as a cash machine. If we did it again, the biggest change would be to participate in a workshop first. If you participate in a workshop and then subsequently host a workshop, Andrew refunds your initial participant fee. I am sure that no two workshops are the same, but it will give you a good overview for everything you need. I would now see that as a requirement for myself.”
–Rainer Vollmerhaus, Caledon East, Ontario, Canada