Beginner/Intermediate |   8:30am - 6:00pm February & September |   Hesperia, California

Cal-Earth also offers two long-term apprenticeship programs each year (approx. 3 months). The long-term apprenticeship program at Cal-Earth is an immersion opportunity and includes in-depth building experience as well as teaching and research experience.  This program is ideal for students who are able to put in the time and effort to fully immerse themselves in SuperAdobe building. Many long term apprentices go on to teach sustainable/green building or lead private projects worldwide. Apprentices stay on-site for the duration of the program and provide support during workshops, Open Houses, children's programs, and other events in addition to the daily curriculum. 

Topics include but are not limited to: 

Mastery of Superadobe
Understanding blueprints, learning to draw and design
Foundations, waterproofing, and leveling techniques
Soils and materials, Plastering techniques
Basic masonry techniques and uses
Passive design approaches
Compass design, use, and assembly
Site Layout techniques, use of chains and lasers
Form construction and considerations
Windows and doors, "eyebrows", eves, drip-lines, and lintels
Learn how to teach a workshop
Creating a master plan based on universal principles
Building without forms, cutting bags for openings
Safe and appropriate building techniques for the upper 1/3 of the dome
Dry-wells and other drainage strategies
Floors, mesh, and expansion-joints
Work-site safety considerations, Budget and financial issues

Cost: $5000
$400 deposit required to reserve space

Remaining 2019 DATES
Sept 12-Dec 6, 2019

2020 Dates
Feb 15-April 24, 2020
Sept 12-Dec 4, 2020

Please note, we only accept 30 applications per program, and then we close the application process. Each person is interviewed and approximately 6-8 students are selected per season. Please apply early--programs are usually waitlisted and then at capacity. If you are not accepted your deposit will be refunded in full. 

Cal-Earth’s full immersion apprenticeship program has been one of the best investments of my time. Learning the versatility of superadobe from top to bottom thoroughly really gave me the confidence that I can build and that it is possible.
— apprentice

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  • Space is limited to 6-8 students per program. Students are welcome to apply at any time, but interviews only occur twice per year. Applicants for the February program will be interviewed in late December, and applicants for the September program will be interviewed in late July.

  • The schedule is 6 days a week and includes days dedicated to research and development, construction and maintenance of Superadobe structures on CalEarth site, personal Superadobe projects arranged with instructors, and general tasks to help with the upkeep of CalEarth campus.

  • Housing accommodation for the long-term apprentices is included in the tuition. The student housing facility includes a small single bedroom per student 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. 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.


If for some reason you are unable to attend the workshop you registered for, your deposit may also be applied to another course that same year if you notify Cal-Earth at least two weeks before the start of a course.

If you wish to withdraw completely and cannot reschedule, a $50 registration fee will be deducted and your remaining balance refunded if you notify Cal-Earth two weeks prior to the start of the workshop. Any cancellations within two weeks of the workshop will not be refunded, only transfered.

If Cal-Earth cancels the workshop due to low enrollment your tuition will be fully refunded or transferred.