Eco-Build Workshop with Nick Ralphs of Tierra Construction Projects

Nick Ralphs of Tierra Construction Projects

We are very excited to have joining us at the festival Nick Ralphs of Tierra Construction Projects, builder of some of the only Earthship-style tyre walled buildings in South Africa. He has already visited us a couple of times to give us some much appreciated direction in the usage of tires and plastic bottles for serious construction projects. We will be laying the foundations soon for a permanent wall which will be built the day of the festival using sand filled plastic bottles. This way both stuffed bottle eco-bricks will be showcased for their usage in windy huts, composting toilet blocks, interior partition walls and earthquake proof and lightweight building projects, as well as sand rammed plastic bottles for usage in strong walls with high thermal mass. The workshop will run up until 17:00 or so depending on how many people get involved and quick the wall is built.

Below is a short description of Tierra Construction Projects’ mission statement. Nick Ralphs can be contacted at 0842807028 and


Tierra are not a conventional construction company. Although construction, quality, time and cost principles are similar (and important!), Tierra have a specific focus on a humane and environmentally-friendly approach. The people we work with are valued as human beings, not resources. On all our projects to date there is a serious work commitment and ethic which is, naturally, lightened with laughter, passion and enjoyment. In addition to billable work, we have done numerous ‘freebies’, working with volunteers, the Talent Exchange and as training initiatives with the Clients who chose to learn more. This, an expression of the love and commitment to what we do! Never is the Tierra spirit amiss!

Although we are still a young company (in existence since 2007 and, generally, under the age of 35), we acknowledge the reality that alternative building presents and we have a healthy mix of experience to be able to move with the building experience as it unfolds.

Tierra offer construction services in the following mediums:

  • Strawbale

  • Earth-tyre

  • Cob

  • Adobe

  • Compressed earth brick

  • Rammed earth

  • Conventional building

Ultimately, Client appreciation and comfort of the finished product is fundamental to what we can offer and we endeavor to meet and better this expectation. Thus, the production of homely and polished structures.