Creating your own eco buildingThis is a specially crafted course to learn about eco building at our beautiful retreat camp. It combines hands-on building experience, lectures and design exercises to help you create your own eco building: to upgrade an existing structure or to start from scratch – big or small! Be inspired by a multitude of techniques and projects you will see around the Gea Viva site, delve deeply into eco living while you are here and enjoy a supportive, joyful learning environment!
Living in an eco building, brings you closer to nature, boosts your well-being and allows you to live your ecological values. Eco buildings are designed to minimize their impact on the environment, by using natural, renewable or reycled materials, being well insulated and incorporating the principles of passive solar design. Another important aspect is how much space you actually need. By designing floor plans cleverly, it is possible to save a lot of effort, materials and money! Practicals will illustrate these principles and deepen the principles learned. These cover hands-on construction as well as design exercises that playfully take your own project to the next level. In case you already have some sketches, a site or ideas, please bring them along.
Course ContentYou will learn the following: x Eco construction techniques and materials x Efficient use of water, energy and electricity x Site selection and building position x Detailing and eco refurbishment x Passive solar design x Hands-on experience working with natural stone and wood x How to design a building layout that suits your need
The Venue Gea Viva is an eco retreat camp in a tranquil olive grove, 15 minutes’ walk from the sea and the harbour village Milna on the beautiful Croatian island Brač. Giving people the opportunity to experience living in harmony with nature, it offers retreats, events and seminars around the themes of ecological construction, permaculture, geomancy, healthy living, arts and crafts. Being completely off-grid, Its design is based on permaculture principles featuring a stone circle, a beautiful pavilion which serves as a teaching space, a permaculture garden, compost toilets, solar showers, a geodesic dome, a straw bale eco cabin, a giant mosaic dragon and a cosy Summer kitchen. The course will take place in our outdoor pavilion and around the Gea Viva site.
There is a choice of accommodation: 1.) Private glamping huts with camping beds, terrace with sea views (bed linen, blankets and sleeping bags provided)
2.) Glamping tent with camping beds and single/twin canvas rooms (bed linen, blankets and sleeping bags provided.)
3.) your own tent or camper van.
We also offer tents and equipment for hire.
If you like additional days to relax here, you are welcome to arrive before or leave after the retreat. Additional nights are 40 Euros in the camping huts, 16.50 Euros (in the glamping tent/own camper van/ individual hire tent) and 12 Euros in your own tent.
Lead Instructor An experienced workshop leader, Sabine Engelhardt is an architect, joiner and geomancer, who is the initiator of the Gea Viva project. Being passionate about eco building, she has, together with friends and volunteers, built most structures on site. Sabine is an award-winning architect with over ten year’s experience, and has taught construction design part-time at Preston University for three years. She has designed and constructed her own tiny eco strawbale house, which you can see on site.
Language The course language is English. Do not hesitate to ask, if you do not unterstand something, we can take it slowly. If you need, we can translate into German and Croatian.
Fees x One person in private glamping hut 715 Euros x One person in glamping tent or own camper van 595 Euros x One person in own tent 555 Euros
Price includes x six days of teaching x course materials x an in depth-tour of the buildings on site x vegetarian breakfast, lunch and supper, jointly prepared x optional meditations and Yoga sessions x seven nights’ accommodation in private glamping huts, glamping tent, own camper van or own tent (camping equipment can also be hired at an extra charge)
For cancellations up to two months in advance of the event, we will deduct a handling fee of 50 Euros, and return the remainder of the deposit to you. For cancellations later than two months before the event, the deposit is non-returnable and for cancellations later than one month before the event, the entire fee is due.
Food and practicalities We have a fully equipped kitchen on site, and will prepare vegetarian meals jointly. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know in the registration form. Please note that alcohol and drugs are not allowed on site.
The village Milna has grocery shops, restaurants, bars, cash points, a currency exchange, a doctor and a post office.
Course Structure The course will run every day from 9.00 – 13.00 and from 18.00 – 19.30 hrs, with short interim breaks as required. You can also take part inl Yoga and meditation sessions. The long lunch breaks allow a rest or time to go swimming during the hot hours of the day. will finish with breakfast on the leaving day.
Getting there The nearest city is Split, which can be reached by plane, ferry, rail, coach and car. From there you can catch a passenger ferry directly to Milna on Brac or travel via Supetar with the car ferry (more frequent). Milna is also serviced by a ferry from Dubrovnik, Mljet, Korčula and Hvar.
What to bring Please bring coloured pens, a notebook, any information you might have regarding your own eco house project, working clothes, a sun hat, sunscreen and a towel.
To register please contact Sabine Engelhardt, firstname.lastname@example.org , tel + 385 99 749 3711.
CP: Sabine Engelhardt
+385 (0)91 880 4730
Frequently asked questions
Ok, so I got to the island. What now?
Ah, our favourite question. 🙂 Here are just some ideas!
We’ve gathered only the best of the best restaurants, taverns, farms etc. to give you the opportunity to enjoy only the best island food, made from fresh, local ingredients. Check out our selection at gastronomy section of our website.
Do as locals do – eat well, sleep well! Again, only the best of Brač accommodation awaits you on our website, gathered under Accommodation section. Feel like royalty while you’re here!
#3 HAVE FUN.
There’s so much to see and do, all around Croatia, this truly amazing country. But, there’s even more of this awesomeness on island Brač! Here you’ll find dragons, Hercules, night sailing, poetry reading, electric dancing, graffiti painting, and that doesn’t even begin to cover it! So, here’s an idea. Browse through or culture section, plan some morning activities, go swimming in some of our beautiful villages, and the check the calendar to plan your night!
#4 AND MORE FUN.
You want more? Glad to hear it, cause there’s always something else to do on Brač! Choose your adventure, book a boat, safari tour, sightseeing or something more dangerous – Brač has it all!
#5 GET BRAČ PASS.
To enjoy yourself to the fullest, get yourself a copy of Brač Pass – interactive tour guide, with lots of discounts, interesting facts and prizes you can win!
* For getting around the island, we suggest using the local transportation. Click here for online booking with a discount!
I really want to visit Brač! How do I do that?!
Brač is an island which can be reached by sea and air. Here are some basics.
BY SEA ///
There are two ferry lines connecting Brač with a land.
First is in Supetar, connecting Brač with Split, and the second is on Sumartin, connecting Brač with Makarska. There is a third port that can be reached by regular local boat lines, and that is Bol, on the south part of the island. Here, you can reach Brač from Split, or from a neighbouring island Hvar. More information about ferry lines and timetables you may find here.
Also, if you own or rent boats, you may just sail into any place on island Brač. We suggest Brač Deluxe for transfers!
BY AIR ///
Brač has its own small airport, situated in the middle of the island. More and more flights are introduced each year, and all the necessary information you may find on the airport’s website. If you need transportation from the airport to any other place on the island, may we suggest contacting some of the #bestofbrac service providers, such as Taxi Peša, Brač Deluxe, Rent a Motorino or M&B rent. Check them out!
Once you’re on the island, rent a car, use taxis or local transportation. For online booking with discount, click here.
All the emergency numbers you might need but we hope you won’t!
POLICIJSKA POSTAJA BRAČ // POLICE STATION BRAČ
Mladena Vodanovića 25 – 21 400 Supetar
+385 21 631 145 / 112
DOM ZDRAVLJA SUPETAR, HITNA POMOĆ // HOSPITAL, ER
Mladena Vodanovića 24 – 21 400 Supetar
+ 385 21 630 959
HRVATSKA GORSKA SLUŽBA SPAŠAVANJA // CROATIAN MOUNTAIN RESCUE SERVICES