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Sustainable and natural building design
Sustainable and natural building design

Tue, 04 Oct



Sustainable and natural building design

Join our guest speaker, Hugh Conway Morris from Manifest Design Workshop, to talk about how we can move from traditional to sustainable construction, using natural building techniques and materials with low embodied carbon.

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Time & Location

04 Oct 2022, 20:00 – 21:00 BST


About The Event

We will start with an overview of traditional construction – what this means, the great variety of techniques used to build, and the geographical variations across the country.  We will discuss the stock of historic buildings as a teaching resource for new low-carbon construction today, with a particular emphasis on natural building and low embodied carbon in materials (covering their extraction, processing, transport and use as well as eventual disposal).  We will discuss natural building techniques and materials which are not evidenced in the historic building stock, such as straw bales, sheepswool insulation etc., and look at recent advances and innovations in this field.

The presentation will cover such points as embodied carbon/energy of materials and processes, and the performance of contemporary natural buildings in use, together with other subjects such as toxicity of components and “off-gassing”, the parts that can be played by local economies, and how the sustainable production of building materials can mesh with other sustainable industries, particularly food.  We will conclude with thoughts on contexts and landscapes, and how natural building can help each of us feel more at home in our local area and ecosystems.

About our speaker:

Hugh Conway Morris is an architect and natural builder, working chiefly in the conservation of historic buildings, and the use of traditional and low-carbon materials and techniques in contemporary sustainable construction.  Having studied at the University of Sheffield, Hugh worked for several years in the organic school of architecture in Hungary and Transylvania (Romania), as both architect and carpenter.  Returning to the UK, he then trained in traditional English oak framing under Peter McCurdy, before setting up his own practice in Oxfordshire – Manifest Design Workshop.  Hugh now carries out a variety of work in design and construction with an emphasis on conservation, natural building, oak framing and earth construction.  He also works extensively with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), serving on their Technical Committee and teaching the craft of lime-burning on courses and working parties. 


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    Everyone is welcome to this free talk.

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