This Site is also available in GERMAN
STEP – Straw Bale Building Training for European Professionals – is a professional straw bale building training in theory and practice according to ECVET. Languages of instruction are German and English. The training is divided into 8 online theory modules and 4 practical modules, you can do the STEP Training ONLINE by yourself, participate in the Workshops in the Training Centre (in Austria and/or Portugal) and on Building Site Practical Workshops. So you have maximum flexibility: learn what you need and when you can.
YOUR FUTURE IS BRIGHT WITH A STEP CERTIFICATE!
Being a Certified Straw Bale Builder opens up many exciting opportunities for you:
You could become a craftsman specialising in sustainable building. Companies like StrohNatur, as well as carpenters who want to expand their sustainable portfolio, would love to have you on their team. The first step as a STEPper may be complicated, but you have the full support of the asbn and ESBA networks in Europe. If you want to work in this sector, there are usually plenty of jobs available all over Europe.
Great straw building projects are waiting for passionate builders, planners and trainers. In many European countries, there is not only a need to renovate and optimise the existing building stock, but also a huge demand for social housing. Eco-resorts, hotels and shopping centres are also offering an increasingly sustainable lifestyle to a growing number of people looking for alternatives.
Rebuilding houses destroyed by war, floods or forest fires is one of the biggest challenges, and not just in disaster areas. The number of houses in Ukraine alone (Europe’s largest supplier of grain such as wheat) is staggering. ESBA has started a programme with Ukrainian non-profit organisations such as FIABCI (Rebuild Ukraine) to organise these future tasks.
And if you are thinking about building your own home, whether it is a new house in a rural village or a renovation of an existing building, STEP will help you avoid mistakes, save money and participate in the building process – as a designer, builder or simply as a better quality-controller.
You see, this amazing technique for building or renovating affordable, sustainable and healthy homes is your opportunity for a long and enjoyable career for the future and one of the best answers to climate change.
You may be wondering what you can do with your STEP certificate when you graduate. No, it is not a licence to build houses completely on your own (you will need someone to take responsibility for the structural and energetic quality), but you will be able to work as a straw bale builder or construction designer or as a builder in a team (with at least one master carpenter, master builder or structural engineer), as a trainer (offering workshops or help to owner-builders) or as a start-up (could be an association like asbn or a small company like KG, OEG or GmbH).
STEP will help you to select and calculate the right materials and techniques, to make the right decisions in difficult situations, to have the skills to carry out the tasks such as straw bale filling, prefabricated modules, wrapping, plastering/rendering and decorative finishes. You will be able to construct small timber structures (CUT or hybrid structures, double post walls or wrapping structures), make a house windproof and airtight (including plumbing and electrical wiring in straw bale walls). Most importantly, you will be able to choose the most affordable and sustainable technique or solution for building a healthy living space.
THEORY UNITS (with introductory practice) at the Virtual Construction Site in Ravelsbach or Online
Everything you need in terms of knowledge (competence) to build a solid, sustainable, long-lasting straw bale house and to avoid mistakes. The theory modules – except for the STEP 5 – FINISHES module (at the Virtual Construction Site in Ravelsbach in Lower Austria in summer) – can be attended as ONLINE or on-site-workshops from January to March in Portugal (in winter) at the training centre on fixed dates. You will learn all 8 modules on our ACTeco learning platform with numerous presentation videos or directly in life presentations in the training centre. All theory days (8 hours each) are entered in your theory certificate. As soon as you have completed all 8 modules, you can take the final exam (written and oral).
PRACTICAL UNITS (on real Straw Bale Building-Sites)
To become a certified straw bale professional, you need proof of at least 20 completed STEP practical days in addition to the theory. The practical exam is integrated into the training. All practical days (8 hours each) are entered in your practical certificate. You can arrange these individually according to your time budget and the availability of practical workshops. You can also do the practice spread over 2 or more years.
The practice workshops cannot be held online. You can book the practice modules as soon as they are offered on https://www.strohnatur.at/next-workshops-how-you-can-join-us/, but we have to postpone or cancel them if they cannot take place with at least 5 participants.
STEP – THE TWO MAIN FORMATS
For Solists: STEP ONLINE – self initiated learning
The complete STEP training (8 theory modules) in an online course for self-learning with free time management and no deadline pressure. Can be booked as a monthly subscription or as a complete package (without expiry date). Practical modules can be added as required. With (ECVET) examination and European Certificate of Attendance.
Advantage: You are absolutely free in your time management and take as long as you want. Our best offer.
Disadvantage: You have to motivate yourself and don’t have a team to exchange with (only a trainer you can ask personally). You have to book practice modules individually as needed and pay extra.
Monthly subscription: € 110 / € 85 /month for students and unemployed. Can be cancelled monthly.
Unlimited (as often and as long as you want) package: € 1.100 / € 850 for students and unemployed persons
You can book straw bale practical modules individually (depending on your needs) (€ 50 –
€ 350 registration fee per practical workshop).
Complete Package for Team Players with Practice: STEP CERTIFIED
A combination of theory and practice, incl. online courses to listen to before or after, Zoom sessions of your choice if you don’t want to or can’t travel, (free) practice modules as often and as much as you need.
Your path to becoming a certified straw buiding professional. 400 hours in theory and practice at a reduced package price. Ideal as comprehensive further training for self-builders, craftsmen and planners as well as retraining and professional reorientation. With European performance and practice certificate „Certified Straw Bale Builder“
Advantage: Always a mixture of theory and demonstrative practice in the group, in the team. Learning through play. Listen, feel, see. After the final exam you are a „Certified Straw Bale Builder“.
Disadvantage: greater time requirement. Therefore especially recommended if you take time off and fully concentrate on this study, the practice and the team.
Costs (incl. Building-Practice):
In 10 monthly installments € 300 / € 250 for students and unemployed
Complete Package: € 2.900 / € 2.500 for students and unemployed
STEP – MORE PACKAGES:
STEP by STEP: You can also book each STEP module individually, with or without practice and as an ONLINE course or in our training centres in AT and PT. Just to try it out, to assemble your own personal program, because the complete STEP training is too time-consuming … You can upgrade at any time without additional costs (so you just pay the difference of the package-costs).
STEP 1 INTRO / STEP 2 INFILL & PREFAB / STEP 3 LOAD BEARING / STEP 4 WRAPPING / STEP 5 FINISHES / STEP 6 BUILDING PHYSICS / STEP 7 PLANNING / STEP 8 COMMUNICATION
STEP IN DIY: New construction or renovation – with the know-how from our self-build packages you lay a solid foundation for your own straw building project. All modules can be booked with or without Practice and ONLINE or in our training centres in AT and PT.
STEP PRO: the package especially for planners and building professionals who already have previous knowledge. But also for all those who want to (co-)design their dream house themselves. All modules can be booked with or without Practice and ONLINE or in our training centres in AT and PT.
ACCOMMODATION FOR STEP CERTIFIED and PRACTICE WORKSHOPS
At practical building sites, accommodation (in shared rooms) and meals are already included in the package price for STEPpers who book the STEP CERTIFIED complete package and are therefore free of charge. ONLINE STEPpers pay a fee between € 50 and € 350/workshop. Single rooms can be booked for an additional charge in nearby guesthouses. Overnight stays are also almost always possible in your own camper or tent.
Final Assessment for „Certified Straw Bale Builders“
Written and oral Test (also against agreement): € 170 / € 120 for Students and unemployed (Examination fees are already included and therefore free of charge in the complete STEP CERTIFIED package.)
Follow this link to the Registration for STEP-Training
Languages: English/Deutsch, Dates: see Calender/time-schedule
STEP Training on our Online-Learnplattform ACTeco
strawbale.training (Learning Outcomes Deutsch/English)