Green Builder



What is a Green Builder?

A ‘Green’ Builder will usually use natural, sustainable building materials.

They are passionate about saving our environment and working with clients who embrace this point of view.

There are a number of ways to build homes and buildings using natural materials, such as:

  • Straw Bales:

The straw (not hay) comes from the discarded stalks of wheat, rye, barley, rice etc, that the farmer would normally throw away, whereas , hay bales are made from feed grass and is specifically bundled for livestock.  That means that straw is much cheaper than hay and therefore and good, economical, sustainable building material.  Straw bales are laid then cemented and plastered in mud.

  • Adobe 

This is usually used to describe the building method using compacted earth or clay bricks.  Sometimes tar is added to make the mixture waterproof. 

  • Cob

Cob houses are made of clumps (not ‘bricks’) of clay, sand and straw.  Wall surfaces may be smoothed or artistically sculptured to create unusual finishes. A cob home may have sloping walls, arches and interesting features.  These homes are extremely durable and suitable for both heat and cold.

  • Compressed Earth Bricks:

(CEBs) look like adobe bricks , but do not contain straw or asphalt.  They are machine made and therefore more uniform in size and shape. Lime or cement is usually added for stabilisation.

  • Underground

Underground structures or homes need to be cleverly designed to regulate the interior temperature and clean air supply.  The best location for an earth sheltered house is on a well-drained hillside. Some homes may use natural insulation while others a heater of sorts.  Underground homes are usually made from concrete and are more expensive than normal building costs, but long-term, need less maintenance.

What does a Green Builder do?

  • discusses the building project with the client and their architect
  • advises client where necessary
  • prepares quotations
  • orders supplies
  • builds structures to meet architects specifications
  • ensures quality control

Are you . . . ?

  • interested in eco-construction?
  • wanting to make a difference?
  • interested in a ‘green’ career?
  • passionate about building?
  • constantly reading about new eco-building techniques?
  • observant?
  • quality driven?

How do I become a Green Builder?

There is very little specific training in sustainable building techniques, however a strong background in construction would be an added advantage. 

Check out your local FET college or university for construction courses.
It would be recommended to attend short courses on the various eco-building techniques or work alongside an already practising ‘Green’ Builder to learn the ropes.


A green building is a building which is energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible – it incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and occupants.’ – GBC

Offers a variety of accredited courses:

  • Green Star Accredited Professionals Course
  • Accredited Professional Program
  • Accredited Professional Directory Accredited Professional Exam

Straw bale construction must adhere to certain governing rules and regulations.


Offers various training with regard to ‘green’ construction.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Rigger or Architectural Technologist

Is becoming a Green Builder the right career choice for me?