Natural Building Internship

Internship program
Cost for 6-week internships: $1,200

The Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building announces a building internship training program in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand starting November, 2009. The internships largely involves a learning by doing approach with some classroom time. It encompasses earthbag building, sustainably harvested wood, earth plaster and floors, CEBs, adobe, thatch, and low-fired brick, as well as most aspects of general carpentry – setting doors and windows, tile, etc. through all stages of construction.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the program is excellence in building design. Over the next two years, we will be building a series of unique buildings that have been carefully chosen for magazine articles and a future book: a roundhouse office, guesthouse, roofed dome, earthbag pantry. One project includes this office. Each building will focus on the best, low cost building techniques: what works best and why.

Interns will work directly with Owen Geiger (now a Mother Earth News Magazine Green Building Expert) and Thai builders learning a multi-cultural way of building with natural materials – where east meets west, so to speak. Students will rotate through on an ongoing basis, enjoy exceptionally low cost living (nice, new apartment = about $75/month plus utilities, 15 cent taxis, etc.), go on field trips and attend workshops at no additional charge. Class size is limited to a few students, so please apply early. Send a brief summary of your skills and interests to: strawhouses [at]

13 thoughts on “Natural Building Internship”

    • I’m not sure what to do. I want to build more projects but we don’t have any more space on our land. Maybe I’ll switch to build small things like rocket stoves and experiments. If you’re seriously interested, please email me at strawhouses [at]

      • I’m just starting a project in Siem Reap, Cambodia to re-home dump dwelling families and to build a market economy in an under-serviced area. Would love to use our project land for sustainable building designs, to give the locals an opportunity to learn the craft and create better lives for themselves and their neighbours. Any chance you might want to help us get started? We would welcome an opportunity to work with you. Please email me if you are interested in further information.

  1. Hi Owen
    This apprenticeship sounds fantastic, and I am very interested.
    You mention in your blurb that ‘students rotate through on an ongoing basis’.
    Does that mean a student stays for only a short period or may they stay, learn and work for the whole two years?

  2. Dear Owen

    Will you be running any similar apprenticeships next year (2010) around July-August?

    Alternatively, do you know anyone running any voluntary projects on Earthbag building in other countries?

    Thank you

    Louise Costa

    • Hi Louise. The internships are an ongoing opportunity. You can start at any time. As far as voluntary opportunities, I know of one in southern Thailand in a nice tropical area. Email if you’re interested: strawhouses [at]

  3. Hi Shane. I emailed you already, but I’ll summarize the requirements here for other readers. The main requirement is just a desire to learn and apply this knowledge on other sustainable building projects. No specific building knowledge is needed, although experience in carpentry will definitely help.


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