About Earth Building UK and Ireland

We are a registered charity working to foster earth building in all its diversity. In Lingala, a common language in Congo, EBUKI means 'I work, I dance'; we like that ...

 

Where we started

EBUKI started with a meeting, in 2007, of people and organisations interested in increasing and normalising earth in construction. To make earth building normal requires more research, more teaching and training, more standards, more assessment, more information, more networking, more built examples, more experienced professionals, in other words more of lots of different activities! So, we agreed that an organisation, which fostered the use of earth as a building material in all its forms was essential. We have had a great deal of success and continue to grow our organisation from strength to strength.

What we do

  • increase awareness about earth building
  • keep our website and social media resources updated on a range of earth building topics
  • provide expert speakers and workshop leaders at our National events
  • arrange information gathering and dissemination
  • work with National and International partners to write, publish and set new standards for earth building techniques
  • develop accredited standards in training for earth builders
  • send earth builders, trainers and assessors for accredited training
  • work to develop a library of information about materials and techniques
  • work to develop a mapping facility of UK and Irish earth buildings
  • act as an umbrella for research, development and practice funding applications
  • participate actively in a European earth building network
  • pursue a range of agendas, which make the use of earth much easier
  • encourage similar earth building organisations in Africa
  • coordinate with joint research (Currently exploring opportunities in India)

Our achievements so far

Since our first meeting we have:

  • held annual earth building conferences with a broad range of themes (9yrs)
  • run an annual earth building festival 'Clayfest' (2yrs)
  • joined a network of European earth building organisations and co-written training standards with them for Clay Plasters and all the major Structural Earth techniques
  • written a UK National Occupational Standard (NOS) For Level 3 Learners
  • written a UK National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) For Level 3 Learners
  • pursued agendas on training and assessment to ensure the NOS and NVQ are available to employers and training organisations
  • ensured that the same practice can be taken up in the Republic of Ireland
  • published regularly in social media and on our website, advertising upcoming events, workshops and projects, plus educational information
  • published an informative newsletter
  • become a partner organisation of the UNESCO Chair on Earth Architecture, linking us to other organisations around the world

Who we are

The Trustees and Executives of our charity are all volunteers who have been involved in sustainable building. We are a group of academics, builders, researchers, trainers, architects and engineers. Trustees play a key role in the oversight and strategy of the organisation, but cannot be paid for their time or efforts. Executives, likewise, do a lot of unpaid meeting and working, only being paid as Project Officers when funded work is being done. 

Trustees

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Daniel Maskell
Treasurer

Daniel is is a Research Associate at the University of Bath working on the ECO-SEE project. His passion for earth construction is mainly within the new build sector; which is fostered by his PhD work. It is his belief that mainstream adoption of earthen construction can utilise the environmental benefits on a wider scale and have a significant and measurable impact. This approach has become the rationale for his current research and will become key to his planned future work in academia.

 

Mike Lawrence
Company Secretary

Mike Lawrence is a Lecturer in Low Carbon Design within the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. He specialises in Natural Building Materials and in the optimisation of the fabric of buildings to minimise in-use energy consumption. Mike is currently company secretary.

 

Louise Cooke
Chair of Board of Trustees

Louise studied at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, undertaking an MA in Managing Archaeological Sites. Her PhD researching is in the conservation of earth structures. Her fieldwork was undertaken in Central Asia and the Middle East with particular focus on the multi-period earthen cities of Ancient Merv (Turkmenistan).

 

Peter Walker
Trustee

Pete is a chartered civil engineer and a member of both the Institution of Engineers Australia and The Institution of Civil Engineers (UK).  Having previously worked in Zimbabwe (University of Zimbabwe) and Australia (University of New England), Pete joined the University of Bath in 1998. He was promoted to Professor in 2006 on becoming Director of the newly formed BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials.

 

Executives

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Tom Morton
Project Officer

Tom has considerable expertise in ecological construction, conservation and the reuse of old buildings. He has managed a wide variety of projects for private and community clients and leads Arc's research activities. Tom is RIAS accredited in both conservation and sustainable design.

 

Rowland Keable
CEO

Rowland works with rammed earth as a material in a wide range of situations. This includes consulting, bringing the technical knowledge of the material to a design team in a new build context. Rowland also provides technical liaison, working with commercial and academic testing facilities in the context of live projects and research work. Teaching mainly to academic students and small workshops. Training particularly on-site in a commercial setting. Regulatory work, writing, developing and harmonising national standards.

 

Féile Butler
Executive

Féile Butler is an architect based in the NW of Ireland. Having designed and built her own cob and straw-bale home with her husband, Colin Ritchie, they founded Mud and Wood in 2011. The business offers practical training, architectural services, building services and consultancy for natural building projects. Féile is also accredited in conservation architecture. Mud and Wood is listed on the Irish Georgian Society's Traditional Building Skills Register and she has advised on the repair of centuries old mud-walled buildings. She is passionate about getting earth recognised as a valid and viable contemporary building material.

 

Robin Britain
Executive

Robin is an architectural and building consultant based in the East Midlands. He is interested in cementitious and conglomerate building materials and pursued this during an architectural degrees and how they relate to environmental, ecological and heritage building with research at post-graduate level; looking at plant fibres specifically hemp and lime. He has continued to research the use of plant fibres with low-impact binders focusing on earth and other natural materials. He is interested in vernacular use of natural resources in construction and impacts including toxicity, health and well-being. He was a volunteer director for the Heritage Skills HUB for the Midlands, promoting and supporting heritage building, crafts and skills.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Becky Little
ECVET Project Officer

Becky is a craftsperson and has worked with earth since the early 90s. With a background in conservation of earth, stone and lime buildings she has wide experience of mudwalling (cob), earth mortars, wattle and daub, light earth, turf building and clay/lime finishes in both repairs and new build.

Her company Rebearth specialises in these earth techniques as well as materials research, training and education. She is currently developing a range of decorative earth finishes using local natural materials.

 

 

Sally Mareike
Executive

Sally's interest in earth building stems from her undergraduate studies, her career as a potter, and an MSc from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Machynlleth, Wales. Her thesis experimented with creating a low-impact, insulating, healthy, breathable clay plaster, containing clay, hemp and cow dung.

In 2014 Sally set up and has since worked with Building Naturally Ltd to promote the use of natural materials in construction.

Working with EBUKI, Sally's intentions are to help increase the knowledge and provision of healthier buildings, to re-skill society for a future without fossil fuel and to reduce CO2 emissions through low-impact construction techniques. Earth can do it all!

 

Rebecca Reid
Executive

Rebecca's first earth building experience was in the Midlands working with wattle and daub and thatch. She developed her practical craft skills working with different specialists repairing traditional solid wall buildings. Rebecca has worked up and down the UK on a range of projects - from cob walls in Cornwall to lime harl in Orkney.

Rebecca continues to work on conservation and new build projects, current projects are earth/lime renders in Somerset and clay-fibre composites for buildings in the Himalayas.

Rebecca has recently begun working with Earth Building UK and Ireland to help implement training and assessment for the new Earth Building NVQ.