High impact people making low impact buildings.
Come learn how to build & design buildings that meet the highest goals of sustainable architecture! The program involves you in every aspect of making a building that meets the highest goals of green building. Find yourself at the intersection of high performance and natural building where healthy and local materials meet energy efficiency with a robust dose of innovation and creativity.
From simple natural building materials to state-of-the-art mechanical systems, you will experience all aspects of construction, from planning and budgeting to finishes and systems commissioning.
Interacting with experienced builders and tradespeople, you will work with designs, materials and technologies that are at the forefront of sustainable building.
The learning experience suits the seasoned building professional and the excited newcomer alike. The diversity of students in our classes creates a unique atmosphere of cooperation, shared learning and partnership.
This experience can put you on the path to a future in sustainable building. Our graduates go on to do remarkable work in all aspects of sustainable design and construction, here in Canada and around the world.
a unique experience unlike any other BUILD & DESIGN program in the world!
Reviews From Our Students
I was excited to be part of the 2018 Sustainable New Construction Program at the Endeavour Centre. I am from Ghana, West Africa, and I’m passionate about building with natural, affordable, locally-sourced, renewable and recycled materials. While at the Endeavour Centre, I learned building science and gained hands-on experience working with a variety of materials. I was also able to pursue my own interests in building materials native to tropical climates like in Ghana. I am grateful for my experience at the Endeavour Centre that allowed me to explore my passions. –
Endeavour not only provided a comfortable and intriguing learning environment but inspired me to start my own construction business. Their name carries weight in the industry, which has been fruitful in my client acquisition and retention. If you want a fun, earnest learning experience that will give you hands-on skills in design and construction, these are the teachers for you.
If you’re looking to learn everything you ever wanted to know about sustainable and natural building, don’t go to architecture school! Endeavour teaches you everything from planning, designing and organizing an entire project to jumping in mud puddles and smearing plaster on straw bales with your bare hands. They’ll even teach you to think about sustainability in ways that probably hadn’t occurred to you before. An unforgettable experience!
In the Endeavour classroom, I found a place where it felt safe and exciting to learn new skills. Taking Endeavour’s program introduced me to new ideas, taught me building and design techniques and gave me the skills I needed to pursue a career in the trades. But more than anything, Endeavour’s approach to pedagogy let me exercise a high degree of autonomy and building confidence while having fun.
I went into the Sustainable New Construction course with very little experience in building but a passion for sustainability. I had always wanted to learn how to build and this was the perfect introduction. This course included everything I wanted to learn and more. I think one of the most comforting things throughout the endeavour was having such approachable teachers who were extremely open, patient and fun to learn from! It felt very gratifying finishing the 6 months and coming away with a collection of tools, skills and the confidence to be on a job site. These skills are for life! I highly recommend this program to anyone who is considering taking a natural building course.
If you are interested in understanding why we build the way we do and the science behind how we can build better buildings then this is the perfect course for you. The knowledgeable instructors created a comfortable and effective learning environment. There is a nice balance of hands on learning and the theory needed to think outside the box. Completing a project from start to finish offers a unique perspective on the building process. By the end of the course I felt confident that I could work my way through an entire project on my own
The Sustainable New Construction program was just the stepping stone I was looking for to take my skills to the next level. This program is unique in its combination of classroom time with hands-on training. And the instructors are amazing, incredibly knowledgeable in their trade, dedicated to teaching, welcoming, generous and really down to earth! They are truly leaders in the field of Natural Building and committed to advancing the trade to its fullest potential. There is no other program in all of North America quite like this one. If you are looking to build a basic foundation of skills that you can carry with you to create your dreams this is a great place to start.
I highly recommend this course to any interested in sustainable building. When you take this course at Endeavour you get a kind of “membership” in a supportive and encouraging network with these wonderful professionals for many years.
I took the Sustainable New Construction course to broaden my understand and my practical skills. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the hands-on “learning by doing” on-site, and theory in the classroom. Altogether a great experience.
I can confidently say my time at Endeavour Centre changed my life. I walked away with new skills, a passion for sustainable building and most importantly the confidence to do it. If you want value for money, hands-on experience and up-to-date sustainable building science, this is the course to take.
Endeavour gives you a firm grounding in sustainable construction that would take years to achieve if you were working for a mainstream company. The environment promotes learning and helps to develop skills in design software, design proposals and building science, as well as hands-on construction skills.
The Endeavour Centre’s unique course is a great introduction to the building methods and techniques used in low carbon, low impact building. With a balanced combination of practical work experience, exploratory field trips, lectures with experts and independent learning, the course immerses the learner in a new way to build.
Before taking this course I had little building experience and big dreams to build my own sustainable home. Now I am using the skills and knowledge I have gained towards a career in the sustainable building industry.
The instructors’ knowledge of natural building is extensive and they are always open to new methods and pushing the boundaries to achieve amazing results. They are innovators and leaders in what they do. The course has fuelled me with abundant knowledge and resources to continue on my path within this field.
Through this course, I discovered how to think and learn about sustainable building, which has proved to be far more valuable than solely learning about the methods themselves.
The Sustainable New Construction program is a life-changing experience. I recommend this course to anyone who has a strong interest in sustainable building, for personal or professional reasons. I am excited to use the knowledge and skills gained at Endeavour while I continue my career in the sustainable building field.
I learned more in five months than I could have expected.
Joining the Sustainable New Construction program was a great learning experience. It changed my perception of what sustainable building is and pointed me in the right direction. It really refined my skills and I felt like a true builder after the course.
I applaud all the incredible work and mentoring that the Endeavour Centre has passed on to an entire generation of sustainable builders in Canada. Whether you’re a prospective owner-builder, an emerging builder or advanced in your trade, there’s always more to learn from these mentors, so soak it up!
The Sustainable New Construction program offers a fantastic opportunity to learn how to build with both conventional and unconventional materials. In addition to gaining job site experience, you will learn much about building science – all the technical details of why and how parts of building do and do not work.
REGISTRATION for 2022 will open later this year
Kick start your career in sustainable building!
DATE: May 3rd-July 29th
FEE: $4,500 (CDN) + HST
Transform your approach to building… and life in general!
This is an immersive experience in natural building, innovative building science and the teamwork required to combine the two, delivered in an atmosphere of inclusiveness and fun. You’ll learn more than you thought possible and make life-long friends and professional connections that you’ll take with you into new career opportunities.
Over four months you will spend every work day deeply engaged in sustainable architecture. We begin with two weeks of classroom time introducing key theoretical tracks. After that, we spend four days each week active on the construction site and one day in the classroom. As our building project progresses, so does your understanding of design and building science.
We promise that you’ll get your hands dirty and your mind engaged, and we’re pretty sure you’ll find yourself supercharged to start changing the world!
(25% of program)
In the classroom, we help build your “thinking platform,” a base from which you’ll be able to develop your own sustainable building framework. You’ll learn about:
Defining sustainable architecture
Leading edge building science
Renewable energy & mechanical systems
Reading construction plans
Working with building codes
Worksite health & safety
Active participation on a design team
Job Site Experience
(75% of program)
Hands-on experience on a fully-functioning, professional job site will make up the majority of your program experience. You’ll participate in a complete range of job site experiences, including:
Installing structural systems, including foundation, walls and roofs
Creating energy efficient building enclosures, achieving airtightness and avoiding thermal bridges
Installing healthy, natural finishes
Installing efficient, low-carbon heating, cooling and ventilation systems
Effective job site teamwork and cooperation
Construction site safety and awareness
Material acquisitions, storage
Advanced waste handling
The most immersive hands-on build & design program you will find!
This course is for you if:
You are a construction or design professional seeking a practical and inspiring approach to shifting your practice to include the latest building science and sustainable materials and techniques.
You are graduating from a construction or design program and want real world experience to build on your green building education.
You are a Red Seal apprentice looking to get credited hours for your program while learning about new techniques and materials and putting yourself at the forefront of the trade.
You want to build your own sustainable home to the highest possible standards and get it right the first time.
You are a building official or policy maker wanting to learn how leading edge green building intersects with current codes and alternative compliance pathways.
You have no previous building experience but you’re seeking a career shift onto a more engaging, meaningful and impactful path in design or construction.
After you graduate
Graduates of Endeavour’s Sustainable Building & Design course have found employment in a wide range of roles, in Canada and around the world. Some have gone on to become sustainable building contractors, others have specialized in sub-trades such as straw bale wall builders, earthen floor installers, natural plastering, renewable energy installation, green roofing and timber framing. Others have found roles in the design field and as consultants. A few graduates have gone on to build their own sustainable homes. Further training is also possible, with some graduates continuing their education in fields like architecture, building science, carpentry and electrical.
With Endeavour’s strong connections among sustainable builders and designers in Canada and around the world, many pathways open up for our graduates! Over 70% of our graduates have found work in their desired field.
Explore some of our graduates’ stories.
Plastering has been a revelation in my life since 2007 when Chris Magwood from Endeavour introduced me to natural plasters. I did not know back then that this would become such a game changer in my life and those around me.
Endeavour exposed me to a way of building that feels good, rooted in sustainability, practicality, ingenuity, science and generosity.
It was clear I needed a new approach to building better homes, and the Endeavour Centre helped me understand the fundamental issues of the built environment and provided clear actions to combat those issues.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Have a look at these FAQs for our Sustainable Building & Design program or check out our general FAQs.
Does the course fee include accommodation and/or meals?
No. Endeavour does not directly offer or provide accommodations or meals. We can offer support and leads for your accommodation needs, but all arrangements and costs are your responsibility.
Are there any prerequisites for this program?
No. We accept participants with any level of building experience, from seasoned pros to keen newcomers. Our learning environment is designed to support you regardless of your prior experience. If you are motivated to learn, we want to help you on your individual path.
Do I need construction experience to take the program?
No. We accomodate beginners who have never worked on a construction site. Newcomers to building will have a steep learning curve, but one on which we will fully support you to develop your “building chops.”
Will I get a certificate after this program?
Successful graduate are given a certificate of completion at the end of the program.
Endeavour’s certificate is not a professional designation or a licensed trade document. It is, however, well recognized in the natural and sustainable building fields internationally and our graduates are able to translate their certificates into jobs and careers, locally and around the world.
CAN I GET COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY CREDIT FOR the sustainable building & design PROGRam?
Participants of Endeavour programs and workshops have successfully received credit at public and private post-secondary institutions. Arrangements and approvals must be obtained in advance by the participant, and Endeavour will support your efforts with information as required by your institution.
What is the cancellation policy for this program?
If the program is canceled due to covid-19 you will receive a full refund.
If you need to cancel your participation in this program:
- The deposit fee is non-refundable
- Cancellations 4 weeks prior to the start date of the program will be refunded in full minus the non-refundable deposit and a $500 processing fee
- No refunds for cancellations less than 4 weeks prior to the start date
- Refunds will not be issued after the commencement of the program
Do you provide a payment plan or financial aid?
We do not currently have any internal form of financial aid for attending Endeavour programs. While we would love to be able to offer support, we are a small, not-for-profit organization and our programs are priced as affordably as we can manage.
Participants have been able to apply funding from a variety government and training programs to attend this course, but all arrangements and prequalifications for such funding are the responsibility of the participant.
We do offer several payment plans to spread the fees out over the duration of the program.
What jobs/careers can i pursue after the program?
Graduates of Endeavour’s Sustainable Building & Design course have found employment in a wide range of roles, in Canada and around the world. Some have gone on to become sustainable building contractors, others have specialized in sub-trades such as straw bale wall builders, earthen floor installers, natural plastering, renewable energy installation, green roofing and timber framing. Others have found roles in the design field and as consultants. A few graduates have gone on to build their own sustainable homes. Further training is also possible, with some graduates continuing their education in fields like architecture, building science, carpentry and electrical. Check out our Graduate Stories page!
DO YOU ACCEPT INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS? ARE INTERNATIONAL FEES HIGHER?
We accept and welcome participants from anywhere in the world, and our fees are the same for all participants. To date, people from 20+ countries have attended Endeavour and we love the knowledge and cultural exchanges that happen when participants come from other places!
For those coming from outside Canada, all travel arrangements, visas and other requirements are your responsibility. We can provide letters of registration and fee payment if required for visas.
Please note that due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic, we may not be able to accept international students in 2020/2021.
What tools will I need?
Please see our textbook & tool list for the most recent list of requirements.
Who are the project clients for whom we build?
Our Sustainable Building & Design students put in a great deal of time and effort to complete projects for our clients, and we are respectful of this fact. We prioritize projects that serve a community function and provide exceptional educational experiences for our participants. Our ideal client is a not-for-profit organization needing a building that serves the public interest. When we build for private clients, the resulting building serves a local need like affordable housing or densification. All our projects are selected for the educational opportunities they offer for our participants.
Please check out our past projects to see the types of partnerships and buildings we choose for this program.
Are there additional expenses for books and tools?
Yes. You will need to have the core textbooks and a basic personal tool kit and protective equipment for the on-site portions of the program. You can use our book and tool list to estimate the cost of these items.
Is the program full time? What are the hours?
Yes. Sustainable Building & Design is a full time program. We operate Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm for construction days and 9 am to 4 pm for classroom days. There is a limited amount of homework to be completed outside of regular program hours. We observe all statutory holidays. It is not possible to participate in the program part-time.
How do I find housing for the program?
Each participant is responsible for their own accommodation arrangements. Most participants use Kijiji, Facebook and other online resources to seek appropriate places to stay. We will assist with contacts and to help coordinate shared accommodations with other participants.
Is there a minimum attendance requirement for this program?
Participants are expected to be in attendance for the majority of the program hours in order to receive a certificate of completion.
We are able to accommodate time off on a case-by-case basis. You can coordinate time off with the lead instructor.
WHO IS A TYPICAL STUDENT in this program?
We don’t really have a “typical” student at Endeavour! Our participants range in age, ability, experience, gender, race, nationality and any other categorical definition.
Endeavour participants are united by a strong desire to learn and grow and by a commitment to building a better future for people and the planet.
Is there a minimum age requirement for this program?
Yes. Participants must be 18 or older for this program.
Do I need a car for this program?
Not necessarily. We attempt to find projects located for accessibility by bike and public transit whenever possible, and try to arrange for car pooling among participants for projects that are less accessible.
Please check to see where the program will be located to have a better understanding of the transportation requirements.
Our jobsites include a tool lockup so that you will not be required to travel with your tool kit on a daily basis.
Can this program contribute hours toward my Red Seal apprenticeship?
Yes. Our participants have been able to log hours toward the completion of apprenticeship requirements. You will be required to track your hours according to your apprenticeship requirements and have your instructor sign off on a weekly basis.
We have been able to sign off on hours retroactively for graduates who have decided to pursue an apprenticeship after the program.
Do I need insurance to take this program?
For Canadian students: We strongly suggest that you carry a personal insurance policy that provides coverage for short-term and long-term injury and disability. If you decide not to carry such a policy, we will ask you to sign a waiver indicating that you acknowledge our advice to carry such a policy and have knowingly declined to do so.
For international students: We require that you carry medical insurance that will cover you for accidents and injuries that occur during trades training. We also strongly suggest that you carry a personal insurance policy that provides coverage for short-term and long-term injury and disability. If you decide not to carry such a policy, we will ask you to sign a waiver indicating that you acknowledge our advice to carry such a policy and have knowingly declined to do so.