2020 Natural Building and Ecological Design Colloquium

...where you will meet "cob fathers" and "cob mothers" and gather with other folks who love natural building!

OUR Ecovillage 20th Anniversary

Friday, June 12th - Sunday, June 14th, 2020

We are inviting the natural building community and friends to a fully immersive three days of learning, gathering, honouring, sharing and celebrating!

The Natural Building Colloquium is a gathering for natural building enthusiasts: builders, teachers, professionals, and those who are passionate about natural building. It is a place to exchange the latest developments in practical applications and technology and share ideas with other people in the field. We will look at where the natural building movement stands in regards to professional support, permits, and finding qualified builders.

OUR “Lawful Permaculture” Demonstration Site & Education Centre is an immersion of a wide range of natural buildings that are cob, straw bale, rammed earth, earthship/tire, living roofs, or rubble trench foundations and are all permitted and engineered. Whether you are a green builder, regulatory official, designer, or home owner/builder, this (un)conference will open the doors for whole new ways of understanding ecological design and building.

This is NOT a workshop. We will gather for panels, presentations and network with one another with social time. We also plan on sharing our own stories as well as honouring the elders in the natural building movement.

Presenters, Authors and Teachers:

If you are interested in offering a 30 min presentation please email us with your proposed topic and a little background about yourself. We will offer special rates to our presenters.

Topics should relate to Natural building: Permitting, Engineering, Technique, Development, History, Future of Natural Building, Connected Systems, Issues, Problems and Solutions and other related topics.

Authors: Are invited to set up their book sales station and bring their publications.
Teachers: Share your upcoming workshops at an Information table/station. Bring flyers/posters.

Please email us with your proposed topic and a little background about yourself.

Featured Presenters

Mark (Mocean) Michaelson Lakeman
Board Director

Mark is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone.

Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and it’s various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project (501(c)3), The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

The Mudgirls
Natural Building Collective

Building a Revolution: More than a decade of non-hierarchy consensus based decision making and small scale grass roots governance. Natural building too.

The Mudgirls is an all-women’s natural building collective from coastal British Columbia. They build houses and offer workshops that empower people to take back the right to provide themselves with shelter. They taught themselves everything they needed to know to build houses using the most abundant material on earth – mud. They learnt as they went, learnt to build by building, gathered skills and allies, and shared whatever they learned with as many people as wanted to come & do it with them.

The Mudgirls have been together for over 10 years; meeting new people, forging new paths, and spreading skills and knowledge in a joyful way is the very fuel that feeds the fire.
How do you make a movement sustainable; keep it alive and thriving? It seems like the Mudgirls have learned that, too, along the way, and now it’s time to share it.

Michele Deluca
Natasha Danenhower

Michele Deluca and Natasha Danenhower
Sustainable Builders

Michele has recently returned back to her home of Nelson,  BC, to lay down some roots afters years of bouncing around learning and traveling.  She has partcipated in two six-month natural building programs, and is now hooked for life! Her current dream is to create and contribute to projects that incorporate natural building,  education,  affordable housing and women in trades. 

Natasha grew up beside a river on a small organic orchard in the Similkameen Valley of interior BC. Since then she’s been following a winding path of interests which include farming, permaculture, craft beer, sustainable building, facilitation, carpentry and woodworking. She dreams of federal policy which demands carbon sequestering buildings as a solution to climate change and also of staying in one place long enough to grow a vegetable garden that rivals her mothers in success.

Michele and Natasha are two new sustainable builders who will share about their experiences in the Sustainable New Construction program with Chris Magwood,  Community Rebuilds in Utah, and the Red Seal Carpentry program.  They will also discuss the desire for a network of community,  idea exchanges and job opportunities in natural building across our province. 


Full Weekend – On-site

Includes All Meals and Camping

June 12 at 7:00pm to June 14 at 5:00pm

Cost: Regular $275 plus taxes. Bring two people for $500 plus taxes.

Full Weekend – Off-site

Includes All Meals 

Friday,  June 12 at 7:00pm to Sunday,  June 7 at 5:00pm

Regular $245 plus taxes.

Single Day – Friday June 12th Off-site

Includes Dinner

Friday,  June 12 at 7:00pm-10:30pm

Includes Dinner, Opening Ceremony & presenter, and Fire Circle

Regular $43 plus taxes.

Single Day – Saturday June 13th – Off-site

Includes Dinner

June 13th 9:00am-10:30pm

Includes Lunch and Dinner, Presentations, Demonstrations, Site Tour, Networking

Regular $145 plus taxes

Single Night – Saturday June 13th – Off-site

Includes Dinner
June 13th 6:00pm-10:30pm
Includes Dinner, Evening Presenters & Fire Circle
Regular $58 plus taxes

Single Day – Sunday, June 14th – Off-site

Includes Lunch and Dinner
June 14th 9:00am-5:00pm

Includes Lunch, Panel Discussion, Honouring Elders, Closing Circle

Regular $98 plus taxes

OUR Ecovillage

OUR Ecovillage is a demonstration site for permaculture and sustainable living. OUR buildings show a variety of natural building methods and designs. We have worked with regulatory processes and professionals to receive permits for all of our buildings and to blaze the path of legal natural building for others. One example is OUR re-zoning project, which has allowed other groups to follow our demonstration project with similar ambitions.

We offer accommodation in some of OUR natural buildings: the Healing Sanctuary, shared dormitory and other beautiful cob spaces.

During the colloquium we will offer glimpses into many of the natural buildings on site during a guided tour led by natural building expert Elke Cole. Elke had been involved in the design, build, and execution of OUR natural building projects from the start.

For More Natural Building: