Friday 1st January to Sunday 3rd January &/OR  Friday 8th January to Sunday 10th January.

These weekend workshops are designed to introduce you to the EarthShip design principles and construction techniques using the EarthShipIronbank project (almost complete) as a teaching tool and venue.

You will learn how to build tyre walls, pack out tyre walls, apply render to tyre walls, make bottle bricks, and you will learn about the theory and principles of EarthShip design and construction as well as gain an insight in the process of gaining approval, and the process of building “the ship”, costs, etc.

If you are interested in natural building, permaculture, low energy buildings, or sustainable living, then these workshops are for you.

EarthShip Ironbank is Australia’s first council approved EarthShip Project which has demonstrated that this type of construction method is compliant with the National Construction Code and is therefore valid right across Australia.

There is free camping available on site and you are encouraged to camp onsite to avoid transport hassles and ensure you are able to participate in the late night activities and be ready for the early morning starts.


The two workshops will cover the same information so it is intended that you only come to one – but come for both if you are super keen and want more hands on experience.


5pm arrive and setup tents (if you are camping)

6pm dinner

7pm presentation on EarthShip Ironbank and EarthShips in general. This will include a tour of EarthShip Ironbank and information about the EarthShip Ironbank approval process, costs and design, engineering, and construction methods. Also includes slide and video presentation of the Taos EarthShips.

9pm end of day one.


7am breakfast

8am demonstrations and practical exercises of construction methods; tyre pounding, rendering with adobe, lime and cement renders, bottle brick making… Your chance to have a go at EarthShip construction techniques!

12pm lunch

1pm theory sessions: off grid systems (wastewater, water, energy)

5pm drinks

6pm dinner

7pm movie, campfire (weather permitting)

10pm end of day two.


7am breakfast

8am continue with demonstrations and practicals

12pm lunch

1pm pack up then continue with theory sessions, Q&A and debriefing session

5pm end of workshop.


Early bird price (full payment before Friday 11 December) is $300 (+$0.30 booking fee)

Standard price is $350(+$0.30 booking fee)

Sorry there are no concession prices​

  • $100 deposit or full payment before Friday 11December 2015 is required to secure your place in the workshop.
  • In the unlikely event that the workshop is cancelled due to insufficient interest a full refund will be offered with one week’s notice.
  • Your place in the workshop is transferable to another person, but is otherwise not refundable if you cancel after Friday 11 December 2015.
  • Meals will be provided throughout the workshop,however, you may want to pack some snacks


Sam Tregenza

Sam inside the Atrium of EarthShip IronBank

Sam Tregenza has done the EarthShip Biotecture Academy in Taos, New Mexico USA, interned with EarthShip Biotecture in Montana and has been involved with many EarthShip projects in Australia and New Zealand, including many workshops at EarthShip Ironbank.

Charles Swain

Charles fixing the wood Stove flue on the top on EarthShip IronBank


Charles Swain has done the EarthShip Biotecture Academy in Taos, New Mexico USA, has been involved with EarthShip Ironbank workshops since 2013, and is also a keenaquaponics practitioner.


 Martin Freney v7



Martin Freney is the designer/owner-builder of EarthShipIronbank. He teaches sustainable design at the University of South Australia and recently completed his PhD which investigated the environmental impacts of EarthShips compared to other housing types.

He has travelled to Taos twice, first in 2008 to do the EarthShip Biotecture Internship and again in 2011 to install temperature/humidity logging devices in six EarthShips and interview EarthShip occupants as part of his PhD studies. EarthShipIronbank is credited as the first (and only) in Australia “sanctioned” (by Earthship Biotecture) and also the first approved by a council in Australia. His business,Earthship Eco Homes, is a consultancy for EarthShip design; assisting people with plans and advice to make their Earthship dreams become a reality.


  • Hands on building experience
  • Talks/lectures, on all things EarthShip
  • Composting Toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Camp Kitchen – sink, bench, fridge, gas cooker, electric urn
  • On-site camping
  • Camp Shower (bring your own solar shower bag)

*if you decide to camp you must bring your own camping supplies. A list will be supplied to successful applicants.


  • Camping equipment e.g. tent or swag, sleeping bag, mattress roll, solar shower bag
  • sun screen,
  • mozzie repellent
  • Internet access
  • Alcohol – please BYO or bring some cash for drinks on Saturday night
  • Electricity (limited supply will be available in camp kitchen)
  • Hot showers (BYO solar shower bag)

Personal safety equipment – you need to provide 

  • rubber gloves (e.g. dishwashing gloves are good),
  • leather “riggers” gloves,
  • sturdy shoes (preferably with reinforced toe),
  • long sleeve shirt (to protect from lime burns – we may be rendering with lime)
  • long pants (recommended)
  • hat (be sun smart – wide brimmed is recommended)
  • sun glasses
  • water bottle


We hope you will camp onsite, however understand that the camping facilities are very basic (composting toilets, camp kitchen and BYO solar shower bag – actually there are a couple kicking around that you are welcome to use). Otherwise you might be able to stay at a nearby caravan park e.g. Belair National Park caravan park.



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