Eco Build Portfolio

– 2018/19 Role: Leading barn renovation at our farm – Fazenda Tomati. Rebuilding our barn using clay and wood. We have worked with experimental and traditional techniques including wattle and daub, adobe bricks and Tadelakt. 2017 Role: Leading team to research and application of exterior render, 2 projects.  Project 1: research and create tests for a…

Rodent Proof Greenhouse

When we planted our summer seedlings this year we had some issues with mice in the greenhouse eating the larger seeds that we planted. Our pumpkin, courgette and cucumber seeds were being targeted and eaten each night so after the second time of refilling our seedling trays I decided to make a mouse-proof section of…

Hot Compost Water Heater Results

Question 1 – Can we make hot water 24/7 using renewable resources? We are experimenting with a system to heat our shower and tap water using hot compost. We have made our first compost and it has reached the desired temperatures so as we run each test we will keep the results here on the…

A Simple and Cheap Greenhouse

This greenhouse design is incredibly quick and easy to assemble. We got lucky in that all the materials we needed were already lying around on our farm, but if not then a little bit of scavenging could land you everything you needed. First up, the materials list: Wooden stakes & a hammer Plastic tubing &…

Tadelakt Guide

As promised, to everyone who participated our Tadelakt workshop, here is the method we follow to create our Tadelakt walls. Tadelakt Guide Prepare your tools and materials, you will need – spatulas & hawks, buckets, spade, wheelbarrow, plastic lid, smooth stones, olive soap, lime (we used HL5) marble powder, fine filtered clay for colour if…

How to make Adobe bricks

We are making a fireplace for our house and decided to use Adobe bricks. They use more or less the same mixture as your average cob, but instead of moulding the form using wet cob, you build using bricks which have already dried in the sun. Adobe bricks are much more commonplace in hotter, dry…

How we made our Cob Floor

We have just about finished our cob floor and it looks and feels beautiful. As such I thought it necessary to start the blog post about how we did it. It was a lot of work but the techniques weren’t all that difficult. Here we go First up level the places in your home that…

How to make Wine

This year we made 110 litres of wine from our vinyard at our permaculture farm. The process was surprisingly easy and after borrowing the first fermentation tank from a friend our only investment was a 100 litre oak barrel for storage during the second fermentation. We realised during the process, that we could make wine…

Wattle and daub with pine and olive

We have made our internal walls using a pine structure and green olive branches. It has worked very nicely so here is a little guide on how we did it. Firstly we built the structure using 70x100mm pine joists. We secured them to the floor horizontally and connected them to the first floor joists vertically….

Hang pictures on a cob/stone wall

Hanging things on walls built with natural materials generally requires different techniques from a modern build, and sometimes a bit of pre-planning. We are at the stage of our build where we are rendering the walls with cob and we know the layout of the rooms. As such, we are comfortable to start deciding where…

Off Grid Solar Hot shower

Before we begin, depending on where you are on the planet, this shower will not likely work during the cooler months. We are in central Portugal and experience 40+ degree C summers, and 10 to 15 degree winter days. During summer we had scorching hot water every day, warm water on cloudy days, but it…