We are excited to host our next Bamboo Building Immersion at the amazing Solfeggio Retreat Sanctuary in Plantanillo, Costa Rica! 

The course will be held May 17th - 25th, 2019. 

Solfeggio is a perfect venue with many stunning examples of bamboo architecture and design. Join us to learn all the fundamentals of bamboo design, model making, joining and lashing techniques, furniture making, harvesting/processing/treatment, and so much more! All food served is fully organic and vegan with lots of coconuts and fruit available throughout the day. In this week-long comprehensive course, we will be constructing a bamboo greenhouse, assembling a 10m bamboo dome kit, and building some furniture throughout the week.

This course will give you practical natural building skills and hands-on experience working with bamboo. No prior experience or special skills with bamboo are necessary; only a reasonable level of physical fitness and willingness to learn.  

The course starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18th. We advise everyone to arrive by 4 p.m. on Friday the 17th. Dinner and selected accommodations for the 17th are included. The last day of the course is Friday, May 24th and there will be a blue clay mud bath, cacao ceremony, and ecstatic dance to finish out the week. 


In the lectures and hands-on workshops you will learn:

* Bamboo varieties, harvesting, processing, treatment, and curing methods

* Bamboo splitting, bending, drilling, pegging, lashing, fish mouths and other joinery techniques

* Bamboo finishing methods, and maintenance strategies

* Bamboo & hardwood pin, and binder stick making

*Bamboo Furniture Techniques

* Bamboo wattle and split panels

*Bamboo Design and Model Making

* Bamboo Dome Assembly

* Specialty tools for Bamboo Construction

During this week-long course, we will construct a small bamboo greenhouse, completing the entire framing process from start to finish. We will also be building a few pieces of furniture and assembling a 10-meter bamboo dome kit. 

Daily Flow

6:30 a.m. - Yoga

8 a.m. - Breakfast

9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Classroom Lectures/ Hands-on Workshops

12 p.m. - Lunch

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Siesta

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Hands-On Workshops/Build

6 p.m. - Dinner

7:30 p.m. - Slideshows/ Videos

All food served at the course is 100% organic and vegan. There will be fresh coconuts available throughout the day and fruit and snacks available in between meals. 

Additional information and travel instructions will be emailed upon registration. 


Rodolfo Saenz

Rodolfo Saenz began his career as a craftsman, furniture maker, and builder over 30 years ago. He first learned to work with wood and later received training in a variety of techniques with bamboo from a Taiwanese Master, which led him into bamboo furniture design combined with hardwoods and various other materials.

Originally trained in conventional construction, he switched gears to natural building methods and design with a concentration on bamboo, cob, and earthen plasters. Rodolfo is passionate about sharing his skills and knowledge by teaching sustainable building and design and has over a dozen years of experience teaching courses. Learn more at ConstruccionEnBarro.com.

Trey Abernethy

After 12 years of conventional construction in the US witnessing wasteful, toxic, and unsustainable methods, he knew there was a better way to build. While living in Florida, he began taking courses and workshops on cob, adobe, and earthen plasters. In 2013, he moved to Costa Rica and continued learning about natural building, permaculture, community, and holistic living.

After completing his Permaculture Design Course shortly after arriving in Costa Rica he attended a week-long course on building with bamboo, cob, adobe, and plasters with Rodolfo Saenz. 

Soon thereafter he joined the build crew for the Envision festival, learning from a range of experts on bamboo design and building. Trey continues to work on large-scale bamboo design and builds at Envision festival each year.

In 2015, he attended a 2-week earthen building course at Rancho Mastatal, focusing on cob, clay and lime plasters, natural pigments and paints, and tadelakt, a waterproof limestone plaster technique from Morocco.

After participating in and leading many natural building projects in Costa Rica, Trey confidently teaches to build with natural materials and empowering others to be in harmony with nature.   

                                                                                                                                                                    Joshua Daniel                                                             

Joshua Daniel is a structure builder, climber, rigger, wilderness enthusiast, reiki master, philosopher, and leader. He has a proven record of creating inspiring spaces, specializing in bamboo construction & design; and tree house installation since 2013. He has been a lead structural builder with Envision festival for 7 seasons, apprenticed with Bamboo DNA for 1 1/2 years; and served as a lead installer, fabricator, rigger and/or foreman for O2 Treehouse for 17 projects.

Joshua founded the Treehousery Project in 2018 and has instructed courses on tree-house building, bamboo construction, tree climbing, and Reiki. Motivated by sustainable building practices, he aspires to evolve current paradigms to lessen the environmental toll by technique & practice. Keeping integrity with the core tenements of his business philosophy: pursuing passion projects, and cultivating friendly relationships with clients and colleagues; are paramount, and involving the clients and communities in the building process where possible. His style is one of deep planning, skewer modeling, conventional rigging, and orchestrating the crew into a multitenticulated installation creature brimming with passion and morale. He is conscious of the energy that spaces generate as it moves attention and awareness. He is moved by the process of creation of these spaces and the level of intimacy between those who collaborate in its creation and enjoyment. Joshua is excited to share his knowledge and level of expertise with apprentices in various places on their journey building bamboo structures. He is also motivated to refine his craft with continued learning from his colleagues, crew, co-creators, and environments.

Nils Hammerbeck

Nils V Hammerbeck is a licensed architect in CA but left the regulation nightmare in 2015, and moved to Costa Rica. His passions range from architecture & design to big art builds & photography but generally enjoys splitting his time between the creation process in the design studio and the construction process in the field.

Fifteen years of going to Burning Man taught him the value of participation and of the big art community. During the recession of 2008-2010, he quit his architecture practice, got rid of all his overhead, and spent 3 years on the Bamboo DNA train with projects at Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, and Boom. This training led to leading high profile big art projects including BM Fractal Nation 2011, Symbiosis Trilobyte in 2012, 2013 Summer Solstice Wedding, Symbiosis 2015 Greek Amphitheater, and Envision's 2016 Entry and Box Office.

Nils will be presenting a slideshow of images from some of the major projects he has had the pleasure and pain to work on, as well as what he learned along the way: Live life with Passion, do it for the journey more than the destination, the relentless pursuit of money is a disease, we're better as a team but letting go of the me is hard, pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible, being present in the Now, the importance of listening and speaking with integrity, being able to let go as the only person one needs to prove anything to is one's self. 

We can also talk about design or whatever questions arise through the exchange.

Nils and Trey will also be demonstrating a Boucherie pressure treated bamboo treatment system during the course. 


  • Bamboo Dome Assembly!
  • Fresh Coconuts
  • Fully Organic Farm Fresh Vegan Food Served
  • Daily Yoga and Qigong
  • Cacao Ceremony and Ecstatic Dance Last Night!
  • Blue Clay Mud Baths!
  • Primary Forest Trails

Living Conditions.


  • hammocks
  • tent camping
  • shared rooms
  • private room

Vegan Food

  • over 80% locally sourced


  • medium: voice calls (no video)

Ongoing classes

  • yoga
  • chi gong/tai chi

Getting here.

The course is located at the Solfeggio Retreat Center in Platanillo, Costa Rica near Dominical. Full travel details and directions will be provided upon sign up to your email. 


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