Natural Living School

Empowering people through sharing the art of natural building, we aim to create a more environmentally and socially just world! Offering 3 month internship programs, workshops and community events.


What is the Natural Living School

The Natural Living School is an institute working to empower people to incorporate Natural Building, Permaculture, and Natural Living into the fabric of their lives.  With profound reverence for nature we work with the elements to both build structures and ourselves in the process! We view natural building as a tool for profound self development whilst preparing students with a wide range of building skills. Participants can choose to engage in our internship as a stand along training, a step towards a profession as a natural builder or to simply broaden the skills necessary for homesteading. Our unique program offers experiences in both permitted and non permitted construction techniques, permaculture design, grey water systems and self sufficiency.  The foundation of the school’s philosophy revolves around introspection, self discipline, hard work, and creating a deep connection to nature and each other through Natural Building. Committed to building a more just world we offer the art of natural building to you with our whole heart!

Living with spirit camp 2011 working on Balecob class room

Internship Program

Our internship program offers students an intensive study of natural building and an immersion into a healthy community based around honoring the natural world and space.  Basics about the internship program:

  • Our Internship is a 3 month long commitment offering interns a full immersion experience in the practice of natural building
  • Interns participate in hands on building projects four days a week in addition to one day a week of classroom learning
  • Our internship includes daily meditations, 3 weekly yoga classes and community ritual events
  • The interns will receive teaching the school directors, facilitators and a diverse staff of teachers from the surrounding area
  • Students are offered outdoor communal living spaces and camping during their stay
  • After completing the internship, students may qualify to receive a natural building certificate which enables them to apply for  the Design Build teams apprenticeships

Balecob classroom with reciprocal round wood cedar roof

What Is Natural Building?

Natural building is an ancient way of creating shelter that reminds us of the sustainable practices utilized by all of our ancestors. Derived from the careful observation of nature, natural building attempts to satisfy human needs while respecting the earth.  This practice uses ecologically responsible construction emphasizing bioregionally appropriate design and local sourcing of materials.  We aim to use minimally processed materials as a means of mitigating our affect on the environment around us. Natural building relies heavily on physical labor of humans rather than outsourcing labor to machinery. By requiring us to deeply connect to the elements this style of building offers us a more profound relationship to home.  


Adams picture of the laughing house kitchen


What is Natural Living?

To us natural living means reevaluating our fundamental needs and living life in a way that nourishes us body, mind and soul. This allows for us to focus on the quality of our lives rather than on the quantity of our wants. Our aim is to be as self sufficient as possible, in order to have a more balanced life, doing the things we love, living in harmony with nature, and feeding our spirits….

Water Level Round wood timber framing

Natural Living Design & Build

“Natural Living Design & Build,” is a full service design, build, and consultation company that supports educational opportunities for the natural living school and its students. We create intentional designs for clients building anything from their dream home to a granny unit on their property.   We not only help our clients conceptualize beautiful designs for their homes and structures, but we also guide them every step of the way.

The professional crew of builders on our Design & Build Team have an extensive amount of experience in natural building, conventional construction, and remodeling.    The Natural Living Design & Build team have developed unique ways of constructing natural architecture, capable of passing county and state building codes.  Our many years of experience working with engineers and building officials have given us the assurance needed to help home owners realize their aspirations of living in a beautiful natural structure in main stream America.  For more information visit natural building to code


Certifications in Natural Building

The Natural Building Certifications are an in depth study in the field of sustainable building and design. The participants engaged in these certifications will learn how to construct dwellings that can be built to satisfy local and state building codes.

Participants have five options to choose from depending on the level of experience they are interested in receiving, and what level of training they would like to leave with.  Starting with the most basic, up to the highest levels. Each participant is responsible for clocking their on the job training hours and continued education hours.

“Apprentice Certification in Natural Building” – 24 months certification

  • Must have completed an internship or equivalent with minimum of 3 months of experience
  • Paid position- starting at $11hr and up to $15 depending on experience.

“Journeyman Certification in Natural Building” – 48 months certification

  • Must have completed an apprenticeship or have 2 years building experience.
  • Paid position- starting at $15hr and up to $20 depending on experience.

“Foreman Certification in Natural Building” – 24 month certification

  • Must have 4 years of journeyman level experience in the building industry
  • Paid position- starting at $20hr and up to $25 depending on experience.

“General Natural Builder Certification” – 24 month certification

  • Must have 6 years of experience equivalent to journeyman and foreman levels within the building industry
  • Paid position- starting at $25 and up to $30 depending on experience.


“Master Natural Builder Certification”- 24 month certification

  • Must have 8 years of experience equivalent to journeyman and foreman levels within the building industry
  • Paid position- starting at $25 and up to $30 depending on experience.


Weekly Schedule: 

Monday – Thursday 6:30am to 5:30pm.

Ananda Permaculture as seen in Ananda Movie,

Permaculture Workshops

 Permaculture workshops will focus on a variety of techniques that can be employed throughout our landscapes and within our households to manage our water supply. Prepare for some hands-on activities as we demonstrate many methods of efficient water management, so you never have to worry about water for your gardens. 



Muddy Buddy playing and building, Yes it can be both!

Muddy Buddy Builders

The “Muddy Buddy Builders” is a program for children and families, that teaches natural building in a fun and accessible way.  Here, children can learn how to build small structures with local earthen material, play nature games, increase their relationship with the natural world, and form connections with each other.  Kids love playing in the dirt, creating mud pies, and building forts. Through direct participation kids will develop this natural inclination to build with mud. They will learn to create actual model homes and villages, as well as other small structures; play houses and whatever else the child can imagine. 

 If you would like more information about our programs or services please feel free to contact us any time. 

Natural Living School Inc.

14618 Tyler Foote Rd. #211

Nevada City CA 95959




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7 thoughts on “Home

  1. Please send a copy of the schedule for this programe in June. Particularly June 14-20. I cannot find your email address. Thanks & blessings, Dayavaati

  2. hi interested in taking active part in apprenticeship. kindly inbox me on how i can apply. I could also host a group in Kenya for such experience.

  3. Vijaykumar Bandodkar December 10, 2015 — 9:46 pm

    Really wants to encourage youths with Natural Living and save natural resources fir future generations. ..

  4. Hi guys. I’m excited about finding this place! I’d love to take part in the program. Let me know all the details please! Thanks a bunch!

  5. Hello. I would like to apply for the last apprenticeship position if it’s still open. I spoke with the director a few days ago, and he wanted me to fill out a questionnaire or application or the like. i know the new program starts real soon.
    THANKS AGAIN! John Brawn 623-210-1504

  6. Hi my name is Zach, I am very interested in natural building and cob building. I have an acre of land in riverside county California that I am looking to build a little live in cob shed house. Was wondering if you had a workshop that could teach me or if also maybe be interested in having a team use my property for a workshop and learning experience.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Zach,

      Thank you for your comment. We have several ongoing workshops, but not one that is a complete cob. Our workshops are broken down into building phases, which I believe is more realistic in term of complete comprehension. There are other schools that you may want to check out that have a complete cob workshop, like cob cottage, sun dog, and many others. Right now we have more projects then we can handle, so traveling to build is a little overwhelming. Maybe next summer. If you need design work, drawing for permits, and someone to consult with please email me directly at

      Have a blessed Day,

      Pablo Loayza
      Director of the NLS

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