Natural Building Course Thailand


About the Natural Building Course (NBC), in Thailand At Daruma

(follow these links if you are looking for our PDC, Intensive PDC, or our Agile PDC courses)

Our Earth & Natural Building courses at Daruma are focussed on the need to reduce our environmental impact on our planet.

It may be impossible to build a house with zero environmental impact, but it is our responsibility to minimize and localize our footprint.  By choosing local and sustainable materials adapted to local climate and geography, we will minimize our impact and protect the health of our local ecosystem.

While building your eco-home, you are also building a different kind of social structure, where people depend on themselves and each other to meet their needs as a community, to a greater degree than in modern housing development projects for example.

We can build our own homes, without being a professional builder, by using local, unprocessed, or minimally processed materials, and techniques that rely on pooled human labour and creativity, inherently producing a different social dynamic.

“The power in our ideas and collective action is capable of influencing the way our society thinks, talks, and acts regarding building and resources use”


The Daruma Natural Building Course is a holistic learning process about more sustainable lifestyles, reducing human impact, using natural and local resources, community, shared experiences and about actively participating in our own lives.

We will cover topics including Cob, Adobe, Rammed Earth, Poured Earth, Bamboo, Clay Plasters and Straw Bale construction. Each of the primary materials can be discussed & learned about in more detail depending on your interests & goals before getting some hands-on (and/or feet-on!) practice.

At Daruma you can see on-site living & working examples of Straw Bale, Earthen Plastering, Rammed Earth, and Poured Earth walls, which have been in continuous use in parts of the Mosaic School buildings, and other areas of Daruma EcoVillage in the accommodation blocks & teaching venue, including all the bricks used in the boundary wall at Daruma which are compressed, stabilized earth & have been in place for a decade or so.

The Natural Building Course (NBC) Syllabus

During the course we will learn about Natural Building methods with two different approaches: the Theoretical, and the Practical.

The workshop will cover, from these approaches, the different building stages.

Starting with the appropriate design for each case and its relation to Permaculture, going through site preparation and foundation, the different techniques of Natural Building walls and partition walls and the importance of plaster styles and mixes to protect them, ending with an approximation to the most common Natural Building roofs.




    • WALLS

Days With No Class

As a visitor, you are welcome to use the natural pool when class & practical activities are over.  To discover the facilities and wider area around Daruma such as the nearby lake, reservoir, Bang Saen beach, and Siracha, take a look at our About pages.

permaculture courses near bangkok thailand

Daruma features many interconnected systems such as the natural pool, many koi & catfish ponds, rice paddy and chinampas all interconnected with canals, integrated animal systems, vegetables, fruit trees and of course many buildings and structures that provide shelter for humans & animals as well as learning facilities.

Daruma has an extensive library with literally (pun intended) thousands of titles about permaculture as well as many topics associated with permaculture, natural building techniques, design and what might be called the permaculture lifestyle. LibraryThing (an online library resource) lists over 800 works (less than half) of our print books. Feel free to see what is available:

Taking Your Natural Building Course in Thailand

Of the many places to take your natural building course in Asia, Thailand has always been a popular destination.

Natural Building Course thailand

Natural building courses near Bangkok Thailand

Here at Daruma we are firmly in the tropics, however the climate in Thailand can be as varied as in any country that rises in elevation from sea level at the coast to mountainous ranges and is classified as wet/dry tropical.

The theory, and practical experience you learn whilst here at Daruma, can be applied and adapted to your own projects and those you may be involved with in the future.  If you would like to discuss a specific project you have planned for the future, we’re always interested in exploring ways to tailor your experience here during your course, so do tell us any information you think may be relevant when you contact us.

We feel our all inclusive price delivers excellent value to you, covering all meals, accommodation, use of the extensive library & other study areas including 20 computer cubicles in the Learning Resource Centre, super fast internet, the natural pool, sauna and FarmLab™ to name a few of the facilities at Daruma which are at your disposal during your stay.

Updated as & when they become available, hit the link to see all our courses here, and all our permaculture courses in thailand here.

Natural Building Course Dates, 2019

November 18th – 23rd
December 16th – 21st

Natural Building Course Dates, 2020

January 20th – 25th
February 17th – 22nd
March 16th – 21st
April 20th – 25th
May 18th – 23rd
June 15th – 20th
July 20th – 25th
August 3rd – 15th
September 21st – 26th
October 19th – 24th
November 2nd – 14th
December 7th – 19th

Course Open for Bookings.
Closed for Bookings.

  • Effort: 30 to 40 hours

  • Accommodation: Included, see FAQs

  • Meals: Included, see FAQs

  • Wifi Access: Included, see FAQs

  • Venue: Daruma Eco Farm, 335/10, Bang Phra, Si Racha District, Chon Buri 20110, Thailand

  • Level: Any Level

  • Language: English. (Translation is available in some cases, please inquire)
  • Price: $350 USD

  • Online Course: Coming Soon

Natural building courses near bangkok thailand.

Student Testimonials

Neil is an encyclopedia of Permaculture wisdom, providing Permaculture Design Courses at Daruma Eco-Farm and also traveling internationally to teach and consult. Together I hope we can continue to support Permaculture in both Thailand and…Read more…

Kyle Holzhueter PhD, Permaculture Center Kamimomi, Architectural and Regional Ecological Design Studio, Nihon University

I took a sabbatical from Google and went to Thailand to study with Neil to learn about Permaculture….My time at Daruma was educational and hugely transformative in a life changing way, I cannot recommend Neil and the Agile PDC more highly. Go study with Neil and see for yourself!…Read more

Sue Rae, New York

As a graduate from the 2 week permaculture design course at Daruma Eco-farm, I could not recommend this experience enough. Set in a beautiful and…Read more…

Rachael Maysels, Environmental Science PhD student, Universidad del Cauca, Colombia, Co-founder of Tierras del Sham Educational Research Center

The PDC at Daruma was as thorough academically as I had hoped for and more, with plenty of opportunities to explore the practical application of much of what I was learning.  It is a fascinating place to come and learn about permaculture, both from a hands-on practical, and academic / theoretical point of view…Read more...

Darren Roberts, InterConnected

Meet The Facilitators

Neil Willmann, lead instructor for Daruma's permaculture courses in Thailand.Neil Willmann: Teacher

Permaculture Global Network Profile

Having more than 35 years in the world of permaculture and design teaching including lecturing undergraduate and graduate level engineering design and ecological design courses and instructing hundreds of students in permaculture design, I finally settled down to grow roots figuratively in Thailand. I started growing roots literally by regenerating a 20-year abandoned farm into a Permaculture research center.

Darren Roberts, co-teacher for Daruma's permaculture courses in Thailand.Darren Roberts: Course Coordinator

Permaculture Global Network Profile

A desire to build an eco home using natural building materials led to my discovery of Earthship principles in early 2017.

The Taichung World Flora Expo 2018 presented an opportunity to work on the ‘4 Person Eco Home’ in Taiwan. During the course of this project, I met many people who introduced me to the concept of Permaculture.

I began learning about Permaculture, studying what I could find online, in books, and through projects such as the 4 Person Eco Home and Datong Community Garden in Taichung.

In February 2019 I flew out to Thailand to study for my Permaculture Design Certificate at Daruma Eco Farm with Neil Willman.


The Venue

The venue for your Natural Building Course is Daruma Eco Village, a functioning Ecovillage based within the culture & education domain of the permaculture flower.  Hit the video below for a quick tour.

Established in 2007 on an abandoned farm with nothing growing above head height, Daruma Eco Village comprises many elements including Daruma Eco Farm, an alternative English-based school for children aged 3 years and up called Mosaic Learning Center, as well as volunteer & intern programs in addition to hosting permaculture design courses.

You can see in the video above, shot in 2015, how things are blooming there, with many trees now firmly established and well over three storeys high.

Daruma is an ecologically designed facility with the purpose of providing an environment geared towards lifelong learning.

You can read more about Daruma Eco Village here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Meal times, bicycle hire, laundering and ironing services during your permaculture course

Yes. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are all included in the price of this course and are served in the Cafeteria which has capacity for around 80 people.

We have a full time Chef, kitchen & domestic staff that prepare and serve dishes that are typical of local, regional & national Thai cuisine, prepared with fresh, local produce, including salad, vegetables & fruits from our own farm at Daruma.

Omnivorous (non-vegan, non-vegetarian) options are served as standard. Please do notify us when enrolling if you require vegetarian or vegan options and for any other special requirements, as our Chef will have to plan meals accordingly & order produce etc. It is important to note that the Chef needs to plan & budget for meals and has responsibility for creating dishes for approximately 80 children, all the teachers & staff at Mosaic school, as well as students attending Permaculture Courses. With that being said, the kitchen is ‘off-limits’ to all course participants. It has caused headaches in the past if students wander in to the kitchen & ask for ‘vegetarian’ today, because they just fancy vegetarian today. It also causes problems if those who indicated they are vegetarian, decide that today they will be meat-eaters, as the Chef is calculating portions & purchasing according to the information he has at the start of the course.

So, we ask that you please respect the boundaries with regards to the kitchen, and any dietary requests should go through your Course Coordinator, advising us before your arrival if you require vegetarian or vegan options, and this will ensure things run smoothly throughout the course.

We also barbecue occasionally, using some of the bamboo charcoal grown & processed at Daruma.

Further information is available on our About pages.

Yes.  Dormitory rooms which sleep up to 4 people are included in the course fee.  There is also space for tents if you prefer the camping experience.

This map, is included in your Student Welcome Pack, and you should make sure you print this out before leaving for Thailand, and show it to the minivan / taxi Grab driver, or whoever else might help you on your way.  It has English, and Thai, and will be more easily understood in many cases compared to Google Maps, which is also not always so reliable for our location.

Typically we limit class sizes to a maximum of 12.  This affords more time to fully explain anything we need to during class & address any questions you may have throughout your course.

Laundry service is available at Daruma.  Laundry bags for visitors are kept near the reception area at the foot of the main building stairwell.  You can drop your filled laundry bag at the bottom of the stairs in the morning, and it will magically reappear the next day, laundered, dried & folded in a basket in the reception area.  There is a 50 Baht fee for 1 laundry bag.  Pressing / ironing is also available, please see the announcement board at the main building stairwell area.

Internet & WiFi access is included & available to all students participating in a course at Daruma.  As an education facility, Daruma has a very high speed connection (approximately 500Mbps download speed, 100Mbps upload speed).

Wifi works well from the entrance gate, around the main buildings, and down to around the FarmLabs™ area.

If you do not have your own mobile device or laptop, you are welcome to use one of the 20 or so internet-connected computer cubicles in Daruma’s LRC / library on the 1st floor, and open class area on the 2nd floor in the main building.

Bicycles are available if you wish to use them to ride to the local night market or explore the local area.  They are not suitable for off-road riding.  We use an honour system, with an honesty box in place in the cafeteria area for use of the bikes.  Prices are 20 Baht for single use, 50 Baht for a half day, and 100 Baht for a full day.

Discounts are available for large group bookings, and for individuals booking 2 or more courses.

If you are an individual booking a 2-week course such as the PDC or similar, and a 2-day course such as the PRPT, a discount of 10% will be applied to the course of lower monetary value.

Discounts are not available when booking e.g. 2 x 2-day courses.

For Group Bookings, contact us using the booking form below & let us know how many are in your Group, and the course(s) you wish to enroll in.

If you are looking to book a permaculture design course for large groups, drop us a message and let us know what you need.  We can accommodate groups of up to 100 visitors for single day tours, or for weeks at a time if studying one of our courses.

Farmlab Merch, applied permaculture and ecological system design at Daruma Ecofarm in ThailandNo.  At least, not yet.  This is a humorous reference to the problems encountered when one of the founders of permaculture had issues with copyright & trademarks.

FarmLab T-shirts will be available when we become cool & hip, with a Youtube channel, thousands of subs, and a ‘merch’ store….

The ‘typical’ class schedule above, as mentioned, is sometimes very fluid depending on availability of destinations for field trips, extra class availability, or movies showing e.g. during the evenings, and of course: The Final Design Project!  Students are very often found working through the evening and sometimes into the wee hours in the last days of the PDC, working in groups or individually on their final design projects.

There are a lot of moving parts at Daruma – Mosaic school with 80+ children, all the teachers & staff, Daruma Eco-Farm, and Daruma Ecovillage with family, resident Staff and other guests staying on-site.

As Daruma is a lifelong learning environment, we integrate adult & child learning with our Daruma PDC students, and the children at Mosaic.  This is not for every class, but might involve an open ‘Mosaic Students meet the PDC Students’ with a Q&A for all.  Another example being the Living Ecosystem game to illustrate how ecosystems are interdependent, and also how they can collapse.  So, another thing that means we keep our schedule as flexible as possible, as these elements of the course require coordination with Mosaic.

The above schedule is to give you an idea of what ‘normal hours’ are, and of course we work with all the above factors to ensure you leave Daruma feeling like you have absolutely earned your Permaculture Design Certificate, with the unique opportunity to also mesh some elements of your PDC with the world’s first and only permaculture designed, full-time alternative learning center for children.

Booking Enquiry Form