MicroHouse Workshop

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August 7-12, 2014 (1-5 day options* – note: workshop date has been changed)

Factor e Farm – Maysville MO, USA

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

This 5-day workshop – led by Marcin Jakubowski, founder of Open Source Ecology; and Curtis Calkins – design/builder, Kansas City – engages workshop participants in a complete, rapid, hands-on build of the MicroHouse. This house is an Open Source, 2 story, 512 square foot, expandable, fully code compliant home. The central activity of the workshop is the construction of the complete MicroHouse using Open Source Ecology’s open source equipment: tractor, automated brick press, soil pulverizer, soil mixer, and soil slurry mixer – to produced stabized Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs) from on-site soil. The workshop features immersion, experiential learning reinforced by concepts of sustainable design/build. Extreme Manufacturing concepts of parallel design and prefabrication are applied to achieve a rapid build. Philosophy of open source development is also covered, and the participants become not just builders – they become active collaborators in the MicroHouse evolution. Our goal is to build a construction set – for the most replicated, low-cost house in the world – using free, onsite materials.

We are building upon our experience with MicroHouse Prototytpes 1 and 2 to achieve an unprecedented, rapid, immersion build experience – and to test the limits – of Open Source Hardware.

Cancellation Policy: If for any reason you can’t attend a workshop you registered for we will be happy to (a) provide you full credit towards a future MicroHouse workshop; (b) or equivalent credit on any other other OSE workshop; (c) substitute the name on your ticket and have a friend take your place.

* A single day or multiple day option exists for those who do not have the time for the full experience:

  • Full Five-Day Workshop: Arrival and intro session will take place on Thursday evening, August 7. Workshop begins on Friday morning, August 8, at 8 AM and concludes Tuesday 6:30 PM, August 12.
  • Weekend Workshop: Arrival same as above, with participation through the weekend. See schedule below.
  • Single Days: Single Days: Select any day (or multiple days) that are most interesting to you. See schedule below.

Have questions? Drop us an email: marcin at opensourceecology dot org

Learning Outcomes

  • Modular design and parallel build workflow
  • Fundamentals of CEB design, passive solar design and natural ventilation
  • Understanding of thermal mass and insulation in relation to performance
  • Open source development philosophy
  • Building codes and CEB construction
  • Understanding and applied safe use of basic construction tools and heavy equipment
  • CEB construction techniques, block pressing, block stabilization
  • Framing methods, installation of doors and windows
  • Electrical and plumbing installation including kitchen and bath
  • Parallel processing for rapid building
  • Collaborative editing of documentation using wikis and cloud-based documents
  • Use of Sketchup and Sweet Home 3D for documentation
  • Using Trovebox, YouTube, Blender, and OpenShot for real-time multimedia documentation and instructionals

General Schedule

Typical Daily Schedule

8:00am: Morning Organizing Meeting and Build Session begin
12:30am: Lunch
2 pm: Afternoon meeting and Build Session
5:30pm: Dinner
7:00pm: Evening Lecture/Session

Arrival: Please plan on arriving at our site between 5-7 PM on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Tour of Factor e Farm and intro session starts at 7 PM.


Friday: Brick laying – CEB walls, doors, windows, insulation. Electrical begun in double-wall cavity.
Saturday: Floor, bond beam, roof.
Sunday: Kitchen and bathroom.
Monday: Exterior finish. More brick pressing for patio. Learn to operate our open source machines.
Tuesday: Compressed Earth Block patio, house completion up to water and electrical connection.


Registration Fee for 5-Day Workshop: $500
Weekend option: $300
Registration Fee for any single Day: $100
Discounts for Students and Low Income: If you are a student or in need, you get 40% off any option – by using Promotional Code – StudentDiscount at Eventbrite. If this is still beyond your means, we can do Work Exchange. Email us for details.
2-for-1 Discounts: Select any option, and bring a family member or friend with you for free. Email us to let us know who you are bringing.
Group Rate: If you can bring a group of 3 or more people with you – your total cost is $750.
Sponsor another participant: Sponsor $500 to fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance, or purchase a µPC to donate to a participant
True Fans of OSE: Receive a 25% discount on all of our workshops. If you are not yet a True Fan, you can sign up as a True Fan now to become eligible for the True Fans discount on future workshops.
Donate to OSE: We are a nonprofit organization. You can make tax-deductible contributions to us.

Fees include workshop tuition, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We can pick you up from the airport, Kansas City International. You are welcome to camp at Factor e Farm. You may also get your own accommodations – hotels are located 15 minutes away in Cameron, Missouri.

Please bring work boots and protective clothing.

If you would like to attend but cannot afford the admission, we can put you on the wait list. If the workshop does not fill up or if there is someone willing to cover your fee as a donor, we can accept you. Please email us.

Cancellation Policy
If for any reason you can’t attend a workshop you registered for we will be happy to (a) transfer you credit towards a future MicroHouse workshop; (b) or equivalent credit towards any other other OSE workshop; (c) substitute the name on your ticket and have a friend take your place.

Pay with Check

For payment with paypal/credit card see below. If you’d rather pay with a check, fill out this form. Please make checks payable to Open Source Ecology, and mail them to OSE, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. Write “MH Workshop” along with number of days in the memo line.

Pay with Paypal / Credit Card

To pay with paypal/credit card, please use the the Eventbrite form below. Note that Eventbrite charges a fee for the service in addition to the workshop fee – if you wish to avoid this, see check payment instructions above.


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