Training Projects


Superadobe Dome and Firecircle, Utopia aboriginal community, N.T.


Peter Hickson, Trainer and Utopia Trainees and Michael Tarte, Volunteer

Superadobe Firecircle 5.8 m dia. designer and Project Coordinator, Peter Hickson

Peter Hickson, Trainer and Utopia Trainees and Michael Tarte, Volunteer

Superadobe dome (4 m dia) designer and Project Coordinator, Peter Hickson


This Training Program was conducted over about 4 months for 20 hours per week.  It involved up to 20 local countrymen volunteering their time whilst undergoing accredited training in Construction.   The program also involved several volunteers offering from one day to several weeks as mentors assisting with training and supervision, driving and/or cooking.  

The two small buildings offer a practical low cost option to develop self help housing in Remote Aboriginal Homelands where governments have a policy of not funding new buildings but are looking for self sufficiency.


Earth Building Solutions have uploaded a short video of this project to YouTube.


Areyonga Aboriginal Community UTS Student Project, N.T.


Walk Through Museum  

Roof construction               First week students forming walls        Second week students on completion



Kangaroo Cob Oven, Malu.

The proof is in the Pizza.                       Second week students and Peter Hickson proud of Malu.


Construction by Peter Hickson, Builder/Trainer/Supervisor + UTS Students

Design by Kevan Heathcote, Engineer/Lecturer UTS and Peter Hickson.


This was a 2-week Training Program at Areyonga Aboriginal Community involving about twenty four university students from UTS studying Community Development.  The two projects had six students each for the first week and they were replaced in the second week by another twelve students.


The small walk through museum was constructed as an experiment in stabilised earth. Local natural road gravel material was mixed with a low percentage of cement and just enough water to make a relatively stiff mixture and tamped gently (to fill voids) into temporary formwork fixed to permanent treated timber poles. The footings were the same material.  The floor was constructed using dampened unstabilsed local gravel rammed insitu with a vibrating plate compactor.  The post and beam style structure was constrcuted using treated pine poles for posts and rafters. The roof was constructed by recycling the slip forms onto the ceiling fixed to treated pole rafters with thin ferro-cement poured over the ceiling on a membrane.


The kangaroo (Malu) was constructed as a wood fired, bread or pizza oven and was made from the same stabilised gravel constructed by cobbing process.  It was sculptured by hand using damp soil mound moulding to form the oven.  A flue was constructed through the head and out between the ears.

Both buildings were only just completed in the 9 days allocated.



Mudbrick hut, Barangay Tagpako, Mindanao, Philippines    


Setting out first mudbrick course                                       Walls completed                                 

Building complete enough for a celebration and opening  

Peter Hickson, ABV  Trainer/Builder/Designer with Barangay Tagpako community


Barangay Tagpako Multi Cooperative Community is a lowlands mountain village in Gingoog City, Mindanao. Tagpako had made about 400 mudbricks following Peter’s First assignment to Gingoog where he experimented with various ow soils and additives and assessed the potential of mudbrick and cob earth building techniques for low cost housing.


This small building 4 m by 4 m which is used as a community medical centre was designed to utilise those 400 mudbricks and teach the local community how to build using mudbrick. The Training ran for about three weeks and the community completed the roof and ceiling afterwards.  The grand opening without glazing of windows but with beautiful curtains was a mere six weeks after discussions began about what could be achieved with those bricks.


Earthquake, heavy winds and termites are known hazards and problems in the Philippines so precautions were taken to maximise strength and durability. The building was constructed on a reinforced concrete slab using full loadbearing mudbrick construction including brick arches with post tensioned timber top plate ring beam, bed joint reinforcement and vertical post tension steel rods that were embedded in the concrete slab. Hip roof construction and minimal returns and panels between openings were also included in the design.


Loading soon photos and stories of the following Training Projects

Bamboo Cob House, Mindanao, Philippines 

Open Source Information

Mudbrick low cost home, Baragay Talon, Mindanao, Philippines

No cost cob hut, Barangay Talon, Mindanao, Philippines 

Shiva Peeth, Cob Shrine, Yoga Vic, Rocklyn, Victoria



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