Part of the Sheltermaker Dreaming Programme

Poster_Layout 1

shel·ter·mak·er |ˈSHeltərˌmākər|


· a person who shapes their shelter to suit their life – and the life of the planet

· a person who assists someone to make a shelter to suit their life – and the life of the planet

Details of Hands-On Sheltermaker Workshops

These hands-on Workshops are an ideal opportunity to learn the practicalities of Sheltermaking from Mr. Sheltermaker himself, Peter Cowman.

Peter has been successfully imparting his immense knowledge of eco-building design and construction to people for over 20 years with his unique blend architecture+life which he calls ‘living’ architecture.

Mixing lightearth for installation into EconoSpace frame

Mixing lightearth for installation into EconoSpace frame

With an emphasis on the use of natural materials, on debt-free construction, food production, consciousness and a celebration of life, these hands-on Workshops are a unique opportunity to work alongside Ireland’s leading proponent of practical sustainable living.

No previous experience of construction is required to participate and benefit from these stimulating Workshops. All that is needed is a positive attitude. The number of participants in each Workshop will be limited and participants will receive personal tuition and guidance from Peter Cowman. Workshop participants can also avail of a generous discount on the Online Sheltermaker Course.

2013-03-10 001 033small

The Workshops will take place near Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, from June through to August. Participants will be working in a real-life situation, on real buildings and will receive personal tuition and guidance from Living Architecture Centre director, Peter Cowman.

Inchicore Workshop participants display the sheltermaking mood!

Inchicore Workshop participants display the sheltermaking mood!

The sheltermaking experiences on offer go beyond just learning how to build because life is included in the mix, the vital ingredient which makes everything real, relevant and utterly engaging. By bringing consciousness to the design+build processes in this way participants will readily understand why sheltermaking is such a vital part of any aspiration to live sustainably.

EconoSpace with timber cladding

EconoSpace with timber cladding

Already on-site are a beautiful EconoSpace which functions as the Living Architecture Centre office plus a large scale EconoSpace with peter-post framing, lightearth walling, clay plaster and finished with natural paints. Both of these buildings have been constructed by hand on shoestring budgets.

The site is off-grid and is powered by PV panels. So, there will be an opportunity to learn about alternative energy systems too.

EconoSpace Art Studio Lightearth with clay plaster and ochre paint

EconoSpace Art Studio
Lightearth with clay plaster and ochre paint

Some of the Hands-On Sheltermaking activities which will be on offer

Participants will have the opportunity of configuring, in consultation with Peter Cowman, the mix of activities they wish to engage with.
Timber Framing with the unique peter-post
Basic carpentry
Window/door framing
Living Architecture
Configuring a design
Picking an ideal site
Setting up a workshop
Pole Framing
Wattle & Daub
Compost Toilet Design & Construction
Barrel Stove Design & Construction
Rainwater Harvesting + Storage
OffGrid Electricity Generation + Storage
Setting Up A Fire Kitchen
Greywater recycling
LightEarth Walling
Clay Plastering
Natural Paint Making + Application
Solar water heating
Plus more!

This is how easy and fun EconoSpace wall raising can be!

This is how easy and fun EconoSpace wall raising can be!

Participants will be working in a real life situation and will be privy to all the ups and down and ins and outs of the sheltermaking process. The mood will be light and cheerful with an emphasis on the freedom, excitement and insight offered by engaging in the design+build processes.


On application

Fees include personal instruction, Notes and lunch.
Discounts available for 2 persons booking and attending together; for adults attending with young persons 12-17 yrs and for young adults 18-21 yrs.
Participants will also have the option of following the Online Sheltermaker Course at a generous discount.


The Living Architecture Centre is committed to alternative economics, so if you are cash-strapped there is the possibility of trade and barter. Currently I need: A 21 speed ladies bicycle; plumbing supplies [pipes; fittings; water storage tanks; etc.]; a car sharing arrangement in Leitrim; assistance with metalworking – building some rocket stoves; graphic design services; publicity agent services; IT assistance; serviceable, secondhand, deep cycle batteries.
Contact the LAC with proposals.


It is recommended that those wishing to participate familiarise themselves with the concept of Living Architecture before applying – using the link below. A reading of some of these Articles would be worthwhile, plus a reading of the Introduction to The Sheltermaker’s Manual


The specifics of what will be happening when will be constantly updated as the work unfolds. So, if you want to participate and learn something specific contact me [using the Contact Form below] as early in the summer as possible.

JULY Fri18

EcoBuilding On A Shoestring
Common Ground, Beverly Bags Studio, Church Terrace, Bray, Co Wicklow.

JULY Sat19

EcoBuilding On A Shoestring
3pm at “OUT OF THE WOODS” at Caravantasia, Crohane, Killenasule, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

JULY Sat19-Sun27

Various Talks + Workshops at EARTHSONG, Co. Tipperary

To apply to participate, cut and paste the following headings into the message box of this Contact Form using the words HandsOn Workshops in the subject line, keeping your answers short and to the point. You will receive a personal reply.




What you want to gain from participating in a HandsOn Sheltermaking Workshop:

Preferred Week/s: