Project Description

Welcome to Pangea Builders School.

Our intention of this course is to teach you all about the construction site, permits, regulations, inspections, organization and more. This is the setup process to allow construction to begin in a professional and efficient manner.

What will this course bring you?

  • Understand how a construction site works, how the permit and inspection processes work and how to understand code regulations.
  • Know how to setup a construction site, organize construction drawings and the permit application.
  • Know how, and possibly be able to submit a complete permit application.


A site plan takes into account the impact of the building on the surrounding environment and it’s intended occupants.

In an ideal case, design projects will start in one of two ways:
1) Either the team starts with a site and considers the best functions and uses for that particular location, or
2) The team starts with a function and determines the best location for that land use.

When selecting a site, one must consider many attributes of the overall system:

  • What is the local climate of the project?
  • Has the site been previously developed?
  • Is it connected to local infrastructure and public transportation?
  • What species in the area might use the site as habitat and be affected?
  • What is the nature of the street life in the area, and how can the project contribute to community?
  • Where do people in the area live and work, and how do they get back and forth?

Permission to Build

Already have money and insurance. now you are looking for land and ready to acquire land. do not buy land yet, make sure you will be allowed to do what you want to do. find out what the properties around you can do and what they cant. think long term.

Research the construction codes and regulations in your area!

It is absolutely CRUCIAL to understand what your team needs. Do they need a toilet on the land itself? A spot for camping and making fires? How many meals a day will you be providing? If you are also facing land limitations, then make sure you have a back-up plan. Being able to go to the bathroom during a long hard day of work is not to be taken lightly!

Residential and commercial building codes are very complex in the United States and Canada, so do plenty of research and make sure that your dream Earthship complies with both federal and state/provincial laws! Alternatively you can hire a lawyer, but you can definitely find out yourself if you put in the time and patience. Make sure you know:

What kind of zoning is my land considered? What building restrictions are there for that kind of zoning? Do I need a building permit from my local municipality or province?
How do construction inspections take place?
Am I allowed to use car tires as part of my foundation?

Do we need to build a toilet and set up a temporary living space on the construction site? If so, are there any local or federal regulations about it?

The Construction Site
An organized job site is the key to a successful build.

A successful building project requires efficient leadership on all levels. There should be one person who takes charge of such tasks. The stress and pressure during construction can be very hectic and difficult to manage if people are unsure of who to look towards for guidance and action steps. Keep in mind that a team leader is not someone who simply dishes out instructions but someone who can harmonize the skills and strengths of the individuals on the team. Each member decides what he/she is going to do for the build; the team leader then organizes all the tasks/responsibilities and keeps track of timing.

Our task forces:

  • Construction
  • Food and water
  • Volunteer/worker organization and morale (essentially HR)
  • Media (photography, videography, blog posts)
  • Finances and budgeting
  • Off-site errands

If you are organizing a large build spanning many days, it is crucial to organize a good kitchen crew with enough ingredients and tools to prepare the amount of food needed for that many people. Making food for yourself and your family is very different than cooking for 30-50 people! Preparations and cooking take the whole day, and it DOES get tiring, so it is very helpful to rotate the crew throughout the various meal times. There will be room for improvisation and experimentation, but for the most part the head chef will plan the menu and make sure that all the ingredients are ready for the day.

Lastly, do not underestimate how much food your team will need. It is always better to make too much than too little. Meals are precious times for relaxation, connecting, and refueling – make them memorable and fulfilling! Make sure you know:

How many task forces do we need, and who will take responsibility for each one?
What other experts and people do we need?
How much food will the kitchen crew need to prepare each day?
How are we going to get all the ingredients? Are we asking for donations or dumpster diving?

The Building Site

  • Qualities & Features of the site
  • Site Development Layout

Permission to Build

  • Codes & laws
  • Drawings: Construction Set & Permit Set
  • Submit for the Building Permit
  • Inspections

The Construction Site

  • 8 Characteristics of a great construction manager
  • Tools
  • Organize Materials & Components
  • Materials Awareness