Kata Polano believes the modern method of building isn't sustainable.

Bare-handed building

Nelson workshops aimed to educate residents on how to embrace natural building.

When asked what she would say to people cynical of the natural building trend becoming popular in the Kootenays, Kata Polano’s answer was quite simple: “The modern method isn’t sustainable.”

She cited nasty composites, the environmental impact of transporting materials and the cost-cutting techniques used in typical buildings.

Natural building, though more expensive and time-consuming, allows the builder to feel like they’re a part of the process and allows them to pour more attention and love into their structures.

One of the main perks of natural building, according to Polano, is the longevity of the structures.

Whereas normal buildings have a life expectancy of 50 to 60 years, there are earthen structures worldwide that have been standing for hundreds of years.

“There’s nothing here you couldn’t do with your bare hands,” she said.

Polano started her career as an artist, typically working with jewelry and paint. She said she decided to learn about natural building because she wanted to create something more useful.

“And what’s more useful than shelter?” she asked. “Everyone needs a house.”

Polano, along with builder Sean Breathnatch, hosted a six-part workshop series that started back in May.

Participants learned about framing, how to construct a sauna and the practice of light clay infill. They also gained hands-on skills in how to locate and use local materials.

There were also classes that covered how to build a rocket mass heater, a high-efficiency wood-burning stove from barrels and cob.

“It’s pretty amazing that after just a few weekends, participants will be ready to build small natural saunas on their own,” said Paula Snow, owner of Snow’s Hillhouse Microfarm. “I can’t wait to see all the new saunas springing up around the region.”

The workshops, which wrap up on July 21 are being held at Snow’s permaculture educational centre located at Six Mile. The land there has been organically farmed for the last 16 years.

“We have had a great response so far and look forward to developing more courses in the future.”

For more information, visit hillhousefarm.ca.

 

Just Posted

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

LETTER: Causing any species to go extinct is a crime

‘The earth is not dying. It is being killed’

COLUMN: A look back at May, 1968

Greg Scott: Touchstones of Nelson

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback to play Nelson

The duo will be at the Civic Theatre on May 31

Grease comes to the Capitol Theatre

The production runs Thursday to Sunday

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country’s strict ban on most abortions.

Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean from 3 flows

The Kilauea volcano has been gushing lava on the big island of Hawaii for the past three weeks.

Summit talk turns warmer; Trump says ‘talking to them now’

North Korea issued a statement saying it was still “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks

Harvey Weinstein turns himself in, arraigned on rape, criminal charges

Harvey Weinstein arraigned on rape, criminal sex act charges following allegations of sexual misconduct

Explosion at Mississauga restaurant sends 15 to hospital

Hunt underway for two suspects connected to Mississauga, Ont., blast

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

Most Read