Hemp Workshops 2023

Hempcrete Workshops 2023

5 Day workshops with support from César Cardoso of NATURA MATÉRIA

Discover how hempcrete buildings can offer a healthy and comfortable interior, be beautiful spaces, provide outstanding thermal and acoustic performance and last a lifetime. A special focus of our workshop will be the environmental credentials and occupant health benefits of building with hempcrete. This is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the use of this incredibly versatile and environmentally sustainable building material whilst contributing to a social housing project.

TARGET GROUP: Architects, builders, engineers, self-builders, students, folks planning to build using ecological principles as well as anyone with an interest in hempcrete construction methods or natural building materials.


Week 1: 29th of May – 2nd June

Week 2: 5th – 9th June

Timetable: Workshop hours between 10am – 6pm

Maximum number of participants per week: 6

Location: Vila Chã (45 min drive from Porto), closest city: Esposende (15 min drive)

Language: English

Contact: mail@criticalconcrete.com

Building truly sustainable houses

Critical Concrete promotes new mechanisms to rehabilitate social housing, improve public and cultural spaces shared by low-income communities. We also question the political meaning of sustainability in architecture, which has ambiguous connotations. We follow our own understanding of sustainable architecture as: long lasting and easily repairable structures, made of locally sourced materials and upcycled waste.

What will you learn?

The workshop will cover a theoretical foundation in hemp construction including how to source hemp, methods of application, material performance and various hempcrete mixes. This will be followed by a practical application on a small social housing project implementing methods of hempcrete construction. Tasks and learnings include:

  • Mixing hempcrete to the required consistency, wetness and recipe using an industrial mixer
  • Design and application of temporary hoarding for holding the hemp mix
  • Reinforcement of hemp panels with wire, thread or mesh
  • Application and compression of hempcrete applied to external / internal walls and roof using consistent, replicable techniques
  • Site logistics and health & safety issues that are unique to hempcrete building

No prior knowledge or construction skills are required.



Costs per participant: DONATION BASED!
We want you to benefit from this opportunity so we are operating on a ‘pay what you can’ model.

What is included:

  • all tools and materials (personal protective equipment will be required by the participants)
  • detailed instruction and guidance from mentors
  • delicious nutritious daily vegan lunch on site
  • voucher for 1 criti.co course

What is not included:

  • transportation to and from the site
  • accommodation for the duration of the workshop

Booking is essential. Most of our courses/events are fully booked weeks in advance. Your place is not secured until we have received the requested payment.


Please fill this form, including a motivational letter, as well as an explanation of your background (how you relate to the field) and your current occupation. After your registration and motivational letter is accepted, you will receive our payment information. After your payment is confirmed, your place in the workshop is reserved.

Upon successful registration, you will receive an email in which will be included a folder of relevant literature to be studied before the workshop. This will serve as a preparation for all participants.


Please find the detailed programme for the workshop here. If you have any questions regarding the workshop write us to: mail@criticalconcrete.com

What accommodation options are there?
What can you do in your free time?

Being based around Esposende, the whole of Northern Portugal is available for you to explore in your downtime. Esposende itself is a coastal city boasting beautiful beaches and river side nature reserves.  There are surf schools nearby and kayak lessons available along the Cávado River.

Accessible by bus are Braga, Guimarães or Barcelos, beautiful historic cities with a range of activities.

What insurance do you need?

All participants are required to provide their own health insurance for the duration of the workshop. We will ask for confirmation of this ahead of the summer school.

What equipment do you need?

In order to guarantee a safe environment for everybody, we ask you to bring your own safety and work equipment:

  • rubber or latex gloves - multiple [we will be working with lime which is an irritant]
  • security shoes (level S1 or more)
  • ear plugs/ear protection against noise
  • 2 pairs of standard working gloves
  • protective glasses – model Würth
  • some pairs of long pants (which can get dirty)
  • protective mask (rz mask or anti-pollution mask for bicycle)
  • refillable water bottle