Natural Building Roundhouse Working Bee in Canberra showcases natural materials
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Natural Building Roundhouse Working Bee in Canberra showcases natural materials

Canberra man Daniel Harris-Pascal doesn't consider himself a "total purist" when it comes to incorporating traditional and natural building techniques into modern day society.

The 32-year-old, born and bred in the ACT, studied forest gardening and worked as a landscaper when he developed a passion for garden buildings and "things people can build in their home to make their gardens more usable" by using natural materials.

Dan Harris-Pascal will be running the Natural Building Roundhouse Working Bee this weekend.

Dan Harris-Pascal will be running the Natural Building Roundhouse Working Bee this weekend. Credit:Jamila Toderas

He will lead a Natural Building Roundhouse Working Bee workshop at the Canberra City Farm on the weekend. The workshop will see participants build a roundhouse and construct foundation, roof and walls using non-toxic, accessible natural building methods and techniques.

Mr Harris-Pascal said participants will be working on a roundhouse that could be built in their own backyards.

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"I hope people can see this and start to do things in their own backyards that makes them more usable, whether it's a garden shed or a studio, or a pizza oven, barbecue area," he said.

".. then once you've done some experimenting with smaller structures, then you might have the confidence and the ability to scale up and build your own home."

Participants can learn how to site select for buildings, understand how thermal mass works, and do soil testing for suitability in mud bricks, earth render and light-eatrth construction.

They will help build a reciprocal roof construction and lay earth-bag foundations and construct wattle and daub walls for the roundhouse.

"I think you need more than two days to really learn all the things about building your own home and home design but at least personally and for a lot of people I think that doing natural building and bio-construction is a learning journey.

"If you come here we will be showcasing a whole range of different techniques and you can pick and choose and experiment with them and build something small and then it's kind of a prototype in a sense of doing your own house, actually larger."

The workshops are free to members and run from 9am to 4pm this weekend.

For more information visit: www.urbanagriculture.org.au.

Han Nguyen reports on property for The Canberra Times. She joined the Times in 2017 after working as a breaking news reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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