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What is the Natural Living School

The Natural Living School is an institute for individuals looking to make Natural Building, Permaculture, or Natural Building Education into a career.  Graduates can move on to a profession as a contractor, a teacher, or a consultant in natural building.  The experiences gained at the school will set the students apart from any other program out there.  Each student will receive hands on experience building a natural home to code, creating includes grey water systems, solar power, and a natural garden around the home for self sustainability.  The graduates completing the 4 year program will leave the school with the skills to design natural structures, draw 3D & 2D homes and garden plans, and be able to build natural structures to code.  The program includes four different certifications in Natural Building, a Permaculture Design Certification, and a Natural Building Design Certification.   All students are encouraged to join the yoga and meditation classes offered daily at the Expanding Light, Ananda Village’s Yoga and Meditation Retreat.  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. .  The school is a drug and substance free atmosphere. 

Balecob classroom with reciprocal round wood cedar roof

What Is Natural Building?

Natural building is one of the oldest ways of building.  It was at one point the only way of building.  Derived from the observation of nature and wildlife, we learned how to shelter ourselves by using natural materials found on the land.  Some of the oldest buildings known to man are made from natural materials…..


Adams picture of the laughing house kitchen

What is Natural Living?

To us natural living means revaluating our fundamental needs, so that we can 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

Certifications in Natural Building

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

Students have four option to chose 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.   

“Intern Program” – 3 weeks up to 6 months- No building experience required.

“Journeyman Certification in Natural Building” – 12 month certification

  • Must have completed an apprenticeship elsewhere or have 2 years building experience. 
  • Paid position- starting at $10hr and up to $15 depending on experience.

“Foreman Certification in Natural Building” – 12 month certification

  • Paid position- starting at $15hr and up to $20 depending on experience.

“General Natural Builder Certification” – 24 month certification

  • Paid position- starting at $20 and up to $35 depending on experience.



“Master Natural Builder Certification”- 24 month certification

  • Paid position- starting at $20 and up to $35 depending on experience.


Weekly Schedule: 


Monday – Thursday 8am to 5pm.

Ananda Permaculture as seen in Ananda Movie,

Permaculture Workshops

 This year’s 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. 

Living with spirit camp 2011 working on Balecob class room

 Internship Program

The internship program is an in-depth, intensive study of natural building and natural living, in combination with raja yoga classes, daily meditation, yoga, and support for inner growth.  The main focus of the intern program will be:

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





7 thoughts on “Home

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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

    • 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 info@naturallivingschool.com.

      Have a blessed Day,

      Pablo Loayza
      Director of the NLS

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