Cal Earth

Long Term Apprenticeship Program

Cal-Earth Workshop Participants

Building with SuperadobeCal-Earth also offers the possibility of a long-term apprenticeship course following participation in one of our workshops. The long-term apprenticeship program at Cal-Earth is an immersion opportunity at Cal-Earth. The program is developed to offer greater understanding of Superadobe work in greater depth than a one-week apprenticeship can offer.

Apprentices may make a career from what they have learned, including teaching for Cal-Earth in the United States and abroad, as well as working on private building projects. The long term apprenticeship program is geared more to those who might like to make a career out of this work or who might like to teach and train others in sustainable or "green building". Additionally, the program will prepare you to lead a larger and more complex project-perhaps for a client or community. Long-term apprenticeships are offered upon evaluation with Cal-Earth's directors at the completion of an intensive workshop.

One Month Extended Workshop

The extended program is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the topics covered in the one-week workshop and provides an opportunity for further interaction with instructors and long-term apprentices. This program is ideal for students who are interested in extending their stay past the workshop, but are not able to remain for the full Three Month Long-Term Program.

Dates and Length of Stay
The One Month Extended Workshop begins and ends with a workshop. For example, to attend the May one-month program, you would be present for the May workshop and leave at the end of the June Workshop. The extended program is available only for the months of February, March, April, May, June, September, October, and November and only at the discretion of our Site Director, Ian Lodge.

Workshop dates can be found on our home page.

One month students generally stay in the emergency shelter sleeping pods for the entire month and must bring their own bedding. These are empty shell structures with no services, comparable to Superadobe tents. Breakfast will be provided during both workshops; all other meals are the responsibility of the student. Food can be stored in the community refrigerator. There will be a community kitchen and bathroom available to extended workshop students.

Tuition Fees
The tuition fee for the extended program is $2,700. This includes two workshops and joining the long term program during the interim.

How to Apply
1) Fill out our application. Indicate in your essay that you would like to be interviewed to stay for the one-month extended program.

2) Make a $200 deposit payment.

3) Once these items are received, we will contact you confirming your reserved spot in the workshop only. Students will be accepted into the long term program after the interview process is complete. All students must be interviewed before they are accepted into any long term programs.

Acceptance will be based on spaces available and the interview.

Cal-Earth Workshop Participants

Three Month Long Term Program
The long-term apprenticeship enables a candidate to undergo a succession of at least 3 one-week workshops including teaching and instruction opportunities during those workshops, as well as much more hands-on building and exposure to instructors. In addition, the long-term program allows time for relationships to form between the apprentice and Cal Earth and for career opportunities to develop as a consequence of this relationship. This program is ideal for students who are able to put in the time and effort to fully immerse themselves in each aspect of Superadobe building.

Dates and Length of Stay
You may apply for the long term program in the months of February, May and September only. Length of stay is approximately 15 weeks, and starts with the workshop that corresponds with the starting month. (The February long term program begins with the February workshop and so on). The September long-term program has a higher tuition because it typically includes the Permaculture workshop.

Housing accommodation for the long-term apprentices is included in the tuition. The student housing facility includes a small single bedroom with bedding and a desk, plus a shared bathroom, common area and shared kitchen. The common areas will be shared with up to three other students. Students will "camp" on site in the emergency shelter domes for the first workshop. (For more information on the workshops, click here.) After successful completion of the first workshop, they will move into the long term student housing for the duration of their stay. Breakfast will be provided during the workshops only; all other meals during the long term stay are the responsibility of the student.

Tuition Fees
The tuition fee for the long term program is $5,000 for the February program and the May program. The September long term program is $5,500 and includes a full Permaculture Design Course with certification – a $1300 value.

How to Apply
1) Fill out an application online. Indicate in your essay that you would like to be interviewed to stay for the three month long term program.

2) Make a $400 deposit payment online

3) Once these items are received, we will contact you confirming your reserved spot in the workshop only. Students will be accepted into the long term program after the interview process is complete. All students must be interviewed before they are accepted into any long term programs.

Acceptance will be based on spaces available and the interview.

Schedule: The schedule is 6 days a week and includes days dedicated to research and development, construction and maintenance of Superadobe structures on Cal-Earth site, personal Superadobe projects arranged with instructors, and general tasks to help with the upkeep of Cal-Earth campus. In addition to laying bag, the long-term apprenticeship program offers the opportunity to learn many other building skills as they arise during on-site project days.

Benefits: The long-term apprenticeship program allows for a relationship to develop between Cal-Earth and the apprentice. The opportunities resulting from this relationship include teaching and giving workshops in the US and abroad, doing design work and construction for Cal-Earth overseas. Cal-Earth can provide referrals which result in private work for clients. Space in the long term program is limited.

Workshop Participants

Advanced Long Term PrograM- VAULT BUILDING

Following the successful completion of the long term program, the advanced program focuses on Superadobe vault construction. Once a student completes the long term program, they have a solid foundation in dome Superadobe construction. Vault construction is the next step in the mastery of this technology.
Vaults combine conventional square architecture with arch design principles to create a building that offers familiar “rectilinear” floor space while providing superior structural integrity through its curvilinear roof. The vault’s rectilinear floor plan is recognizable to contractors, building officials, appraisers, realtors, engineers and home buyers alike. Such familiarity offers a present market advantage over domes which are becoming more acceptable but comparably novel in the public eye.

Pre-requisite This program is currently available only to graduates of the three-month long term apprenticeship program.

The program’s 6 day weekly schedule consists of four days dedicated to the vault program with the remaining two days devoted to super-adobe site projects. Apprentices will be constructing an entire vault structure from the ground up and will involve all phases of building ranging from planning and foundation layout to vault roof construction. Specific topics include:

Vault Design Principles
Reading Vault Blueprints
Design and Drafting Practice
Estimating Cost and Materials
Soil Testing and Structural Analysis
Passive heating and cooling strategies
Project Management
Work-site safety considerations

Foundation and Leveling Techniques
Drainage and Waterproofing Strategies
Vault construction preparation strategies
Vault form construction
Buttress construction
Superadobe advanced techniques
Vault roof slab construction
Window and Door installation

Upon graduation, apprentices will have the fundamental knowledge, skills and experience to independently build vault structures. This is an opportunity for apprentices to develop training as a superadobe professional that could be applied towards private construction work, and potential qualification for future Cal-Earth related vault projects involving building, teaching, and research.  You will be working alongside experienced superadobe instructors who will cover a variety of topics throughout the duration of the program.

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Cal-Earth Inc. / Geltaftan Foundation | Hesperia, California

Superadobe technology was designed and developed by architect Nader Khalili and Cal-Earth Institute, and engineered by P.J. Vittore. Superadobe is a patented system (U.S. patent #5,934,027) freely put at the service of humanity and the environment. Licensing is required for commercial use.

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