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Bespoke Workshops

Come to a Workshop

For groups of 10 or more it may be possible to organise bespoke training. Bespoke tours last 2 hours and take the Courtyard tour further and target to your group’s interests and level of expertise. Bespoke tours can be run face-to-face or online.

We customise these tours to meet your needs and interests. Examples of themes for bespoke tours currently offered include:

  • Co-housing and community organisation
  • Self-build
  • Sustainable design principles
  • Zero Carbon Homes
  • Campaigning for social change
  • The Pioneer in me

Further details of what we typically cover under each topic area are included below.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we are unable to offer workshops at the moment. However, you are welcome to register your interest here and we will be in touch once we schedule our next workshop.

Cost Benefits

£45 for individuals

£25 concessions

  • Find out what you don’t know you don’t know.
  • Understand how to get started on your dream project.
  • Understand better what it takes to succeed.
  • Save thousands of pounds through avoiding pitfalls if you choose to embark on a project.
  • Have a more successful and less stressful journey if and when you go for it.
  • Personalised advice from sustainability, self-build and co-housing experts, that may avoid spending hundreds of pounds n consultancy fees.
  • A great afternoon!


  • The benefits of co-housing and community living
  • A tour of the Courtyard and its co-housing features
  • How to start and run a successful co-housing project
  • Mortgages and lending
  • Case studies and lessons learned
  • Pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Privacy in co-housing
  • Legal structures, available options, pros and cons
  • Community constitution
  • Relying on open intelligence
  • Time for reflection and discussion

Self-Build Part 1

  • An insiders tour of the Ashley Vale Community
  • How to start and run a successful community self-build project
  • Legal and policy context
  • Ownership models
  • Mortgages and lending
  • Building warrantee
  • Taxes
  • Practicalities of building as a group
  • Pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Easy wins for reducing costs
  • Time for reflection and discussion

Self-Build Part 2

  • A tour of the Courtyard and its self-build aspects
  • The benefits of self-building your home
  • The benefits of community self-build
  • Options for a better quality of life
  • Options to live more sustainably
  • Community features, pros and cons
  • What it takes to succeed
  • Relying on open intelligence.
  • Community constitution
  • The principles of Unity and Service
  • Case studies and lessons learned

Sustainable Design Principles

  • A tour of the Courtyard and its sustainable design features
  • Zero carbon design principles
  • Passive House design
  • Sustainable and natural building materials
  • Design and beauty
  • Case studies
  • Time for reflection and discussion

Zero Carbon Homes

  • A tour of the Courtyard and its zero carbon technologies
  • Energy efficiency design principles
  • Renewable energy and low carbon technologies, pros and cons
  • Indoor environmental comfort
  • Emerging technologies
  • Subsidies and grants
  • Easy wins: what you can do on a low budget
  • Options for both existing and new build homes
  • Other ways of reducing your carbon footprint
  • Lessons learned and recommendations
  • Time for reflection and discussion.

Campaigning for Social Change

  • How to get support from your local authority for self-build communities
  • Self-build register
  • New custom build and self-build legislation and its implication for you
  • Solution focussed campaign methods
  • Stakeholder communication
  • Tips of getting planning permission
  • Case studies
  • A tour of the Courtyard project and sharing our direct campaigning experience
  • Time for reflection and discussion

The Pioneer in me

  • Meet the Courtyard pioneers and hear them share their experience
  • What makes a successful pioneer?
  • Why are pioneers essential for successful eco-community building?
  • Your innate knowing
  • The pioneer in me
  • How does it work in practice?
  • What support do I need?
  • What support is available
  • Time for reflection and discussion.