Steph & Rob's Strawbale & Panel Workshop @ Central Coast

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time




Narara, NSW 2250


View Map

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


Steph & Rob's Strawbale & Panel Workshop

Start your year positively - towards your dreams and goals.

Join this natural building workshop - be a part of changing the world

Straw bale walls + straw panels = 4 days of fun!
Steph & Rob have a two-storey natural home
with an 8.5 energy rating (that's insanely great for a 2 storey house)

Their land is tricky as it's:
- very steep, in a bushfire zone and with a set budget.
See how to work with a small building envelope.

Catch up with other cool/ like-minded people.
You'll be putting straw bale walls in, straw panels, doing earth renders inside and clay renders outside.
There's something weird and special on our workshops. It's hard to explain.
You make connections and bonds with people, work hard and yet feel better and lighter afterwards.
We don't get much of a chance in our world to connect on this level anymore, it's tactile and rewarding

Narara Eco Village is a special community of uber cool people.
The village is working towards being totally self sufficient for power, water, sewer. It's pioneer in Australia - it's an eco village that's 1.5-2 hours from Sydney and paving the way forward to making a positive change in this world.

1. LEARN so much

You'll be amazed at how much knowledge you'll pick up.

Straw building is easy - when you know what you are doing!

2. Do lots of WORK

Other workshops don't come close to getting this much work done in this time.

You'll SEE the house coming together - you'll FEEL the difference once the bales go in.

3. Have FUN and MEET new and life long friends

These workshops are special, there's not many places where we can get together as a group with a common goal and help others.

Strawbale workshops aren't just about working and learning - there's a lot of laughs and fun being part of a team and building a community.

4. Be INSPIRED ...

These workshops are inspiring - everyone says so.

Nothing comes close to natural building and everyone that comes to the workshops wants to make a difference.


Get practise building a natural home, with us teaching and supervising, it's best to learn how to do it and then practise straight away. We have work stations and groups so you get practise in all areas. See what tools you need and how to organise a work site.

But you have to be warned, This is a working rendering workshop

6. SAVE loads

You'll save lots of money by getting experience and skills.

We've done the hard yards, we can show you the best way to do things.

Hands on experience is the only way to learn

7. EAT yummy food :)

You'll eat delicious meals - morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

"It's worth it just for the food!" Matthew recently said to us



Rain, hail or shine, it will go ahead - we'll have the roof on

Date: 7 - 10 March 2019 (Thurs - Sun)

Time: 7:55am- 5pm Be there on time every day

Address: Narara (we’ll tell you where closer to the date)

How much does it cost?

All of this for just - $120 per person for 4 days - this includes access to our expert team as well as your lunch & morning/afternoon tea

Can I camp nearby?

There are camping areas close to site. Camp sites are unpowered with limited facilities so bring your own cooking equipment etc. The cost is $10 per person per night. For more info on the camping check out this link: Narara Camping

You'll need to book your spot, details on the booking form.

What other types of accommodation are available? There is an option for some Homestays close to the site - if you are interested please tick the box on the booking form and we will send you the information.

Local Motels:

Gosford Inn Motel - Niagara Park (02) 4328 1222

Quality Inn - Wyoming (02) 4328 4666

What sort of food will there be?

Steph & Rob will supply: lunch, morning and afternoon teas.

You'll need to look after your own breakfasts and dinners.

They’ll cater for:


Gluten free


As well as those with no special requirements

There’s a place on the booking form to let us know what you need. Should you have any other special dietary needs or food allergies we suggest bringing your own specialty foods.

What about my dog?

No visiting pets are allowed on this site. Sometimes it's ok to bring your dog to workshops but you'll need to leave Fido at home for this one.

Can I just come and watch?

No spectators please (just do one of our courses or jump onto our eco house tour if you’re not up to hard work, a lot of fun and getting dirty!)

I’m not sure whether to do a course or a workshop?

If you want to know HOW TO build a strawbale home...we strongly advise to do one of our courses.

We can't go through specifics or theory here as the goal is to build a house.

This is a working workshop.

Should I book in now or wait til the last minute?

We will sell out, we always do. So book now

....plus it really helps us organise everything!

What you'll do & learn:

  • Build straw walls in stretcher bond, make half bales, tension them vertically and horizontally, compress the walls, trim bales, straighten them, fill the gaps in walls
    Prepare the walls for rendering where materials meet other materials, put a slip coat on
  • Render (internal and external), usually the first and part of the second coat of render. Learn the art of getting the render on and straighten them
  • Build internal cob walls (thermal mass walls)
  • You’ll see what tools and materials we use, how services are dealt with, how to prepare the walls for rendering. How we prepare the soil and clay before rendering.
  • We normally have work stations so you will rotate and get experience doing all of the jobs on site.

What should I bring?

  • Your enthusiasm (it’s contagious) and work ethic (it’s also catchy)
  • Safety gloves (we supply rubber gloves but if you want leather gloves please bring them)
  • Enclosed work boots and gum boots
  • Work clothes, long sleeves & pants for the straw and lime – for all seasons!
  • Your own cups, plates and cutlery (be part of the war on waste!)

Need a ride? Got a spare seat?

Login to Facebook and join our carpool group and let everyone know what you are doing

Click here:> Facebook Carpool

By purchasing tickets, you agree that:

  • Your spot is confirmed when we receive your payment
  • You commit to arriving at 7:55am everyday
  • It's a non-refundable/non-transferable payment even if you don’t end up going
  • If you take photos or videos during the workshop, you’ll only use them for personal use
  • You are fit and healthy and will work the all the days that you’ve specified
  • You'll give Viva Homes more than 48 hours warning if you cannot attend
  • You may be photographed or filmed by Viva Living Homes and am happy for them to use the photos in promotional material. If you’re not ok with this, tell us immediately & at the workshop
  • You’ll come prepared for work and will bring appropriate clothes (long sleeves & pants) & boots to work in
  • Before starting work on site, you'll do a safety induction lead by one of our Team


What other workshoppers say:

"Amazing experience! Highly recommended! The viva team were incredibly encouraging and it was wonderful meeting like minded people. The knowledge and experience gained was invaluable. Thanks guys :)" Erin

"We contacted Viva in a last ditch effort to find some support with our straw bale walls. It is safe to say that we would not have continued with the plan for straw if we had not done this.

It was only after we attended a Viva workshop that we had confidence in our abilities to achieve the look that we are after. " Leensy

"I feel better after the workshop than when I came. It's just soooo good to come together, we're a community. We just don't get that in our lives anymore" Kane

“I just finished another workshop and rendering is now so much easier. Something just happened so I don’t have to think about what I’m doing now. It’s so exciting!” Shannon

"The workshop last year was definitely a must. A big thank you to Viva for providing quality workshops and being there to assist owner builders. We did the workshop and have followed what we learned and have not encountered any problems or issues during the build, so thank you Viva guys!" Ilari

Need another reason?

After your join, you get into our private "Graduates Group",

stay in touch with other cool folk, ask questions, share your story and build

Such a cool group, here's just 1 post!

My partner and I are currently finishing our plans to build a three bedroom strawbale house in the manning valley region of NSW.
We intend to apply for a owner builder loan and subcontract the majority of the work to an experienced owner builder and licensed professionals.
The plans have been drawn by an architect and an experienced straw bale house engineer.
We have a current bank loan on the land.
We are seeking advice on the type of loan we need and who we can approach to apply for it.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Elise

Get onto it now, book in and be the difference in this world!

Share with friends

Date and Time



Narara, NSW 2250


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Save This Event

Event Saved