mini Clayfest 2019 BOOK HERE


mini Clayfest 2019, 21st to 23rd June, Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Wales.

Clayfest @ CAT



Hello Earth Building enthusiasts, and welcome to EBUKI mini Clayfest 2019! - International Festival of Earthen Architecture in Machynlleth, Wales.

This will be our 5th Clayfest, the theme is Confidence in Clay. After four hectic years of Clayfest we are refocussing this year with a shorter event, Conference followed by a day of demonstration workshops. We hope conference goers will stay over and look at the latest developments in CobBauge while extending their networking from the conference day. This is part of a build up to a bigger Clayfest at CAT in 2020. With our partners at CAT this will cover new build, heritage, training, networking and get an EBUKI Welsh Regional Group well and truly established.

We are also running a training for trainers event on Saturday the 22nd to try out work we have been doing in the JUMP! T4T project. If you are an experienced earth builder who trains others we would love you to join us, please let us know

 Earth building is having a renaissance with people trying many new ways to work with some of the oldest materials and techniques. From the structural to aesthetic, thermal properties to colour we hope to encourage and show that earth in buildings can exceed all expectations.

Last year Clayfest got a lot of great feedback, most people rated it as very good or excellent, 80% said they would recommend Clayfest to others. It's a chance to try things out with a group of experts working together, asking and answering questions over four days, the biggest earth building event in the UK and Ireland!

Conference, Friday, June 21st

This will be EBUKI’s 11th annual conference. The theme this year is Building Confidence in Clay. Up for debate could be topics results from research, from exemplary new buildings, exemplary old buildings which show the longevity of clay in the built environment, work on new products or standards or training and much, much more. More information on our home grown and international speakers and their presentations will follow, for more details see below

Price for the day: £120, £75 concessions
Date: Fri. 21st June


Shindig, Friday, June 21st

After Conference, a day of inspiring talks, let your hair down, get your dancing shoes on and have the craic with your new best friends at our annual hooley. Enjoy dinner and a part to celebrate another years earth building.

The band are Tacla
Cymraeg yng ngogledd Cymru/ are based in North Wales
They will share with us some hot and spicy Gypsy swing to get us bopping through the solstice.
They use megaphone, guitars, violin, clarinet and double bass and do originals and some refreshing remakes of classics.

See them on Youtube here...

Price: Dinner and Shindig £25, £20 concessions
Date: Fri. 21st June


Clay Day, Saturday, June 22nd

For more about Clay Day CLICK HERE


Tour, Sunday, June 23rd

Wales has some of the best preserved earthen buildings as well as many new builds. This self-drive tour will allow you to meet the owners and conservationists who have cared for and valued these characterful homes. Information on featured buildings, routes and timetable click HERE

Price: Free
Sat. 23rd June

Getting Here and Staying Here

For everything you need to know about getting to Clayfest and where to stay CLICK HERE

European Funding

If you are in a position to apply for European funding to assist with the cost of your trip to Wales for Clayfest 2019, EBUKI is a registered charity
Earth Building UK and Ireland

PIC Number: 941 932 372

Contact if you need assistance (we might be able to help, but we might not!).




This will be EBUKI’s 11th annual conference. The theme this year is Building Confidence in Clay. Up for debate could be topics results from research, from exemplary new buildings, exemplary old buildings which show the longevity of clay in the built environment, work on new products or standards or training and much, much more. More information on our home grown and international speakers and their presentations will follow, for more details see below

Price for the day: £120, £75 concessions
Date: Fri. 21st June



Conference Speaker Lineup Friday June 21st.


JUMP! - training for change in eco-building.

Tom Morton.




Earth and other forms of eco-building connect us with the origins of how humans construct their habitats in a finite natural world. They are also a pathway to delivering a sustainable future, not just in the fabric of our buildings, but in the way we live and work together. But how can we make that change?

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.



Developing Earth (in the) Developing World.

Sourabh Phadke.



Understanding the earthen mind through the metaphor of earthen materials and technologies in India

Sourabh is an architect, earth builder and schoolteacher from India. He has been building in earth for the last decade and has been designing, building and training for & with communities in various parts of India. He also has been documenting and disseminating information regarding traditional building, sustainable sanitation and appropriate technologies.




CobBauge, an attempt at regulatory and technical optimization of traditional cob.

François Streiff.




The current confident use of cob in new building is of great interest in reducing energy expenditure and CO2 emissions during construction. But this performance does not meet current in-use thermal regulations. CobBauge, through the study of different plant fibers, the characteristics of different soils, seeks to give the keys to an optimization of the mixes and implementation processes making cob compatible with the regulations, economically more affordable, technically and aesthetically more acceptable.

François is an architect and one of the French specialists in cob building. He works in the Regional Nature Park of Marshes of Cotentin and Bessin to preserve the cob heritage and strengthen the redevelopment of this constructive culture in Normandy. He is also a trainer for professionals and a teacher at ESITC Caen and ENSA Normandie.



What does an anti-capitalist building site look like?

Emma Appleton.



This talk takes a deep dive the culture and economic system engrained on our building sites and within the wider industry. As entrepreneurs we have the power to build businesses that embody our values and in the process create a culture shift towards honesty, generosity and self care. How can we do that and what would it look like? What are anti-racist business practices? What is a feminist building site? In 15 minutes I will attempt to deconstruct the roots of the existing culture and explore some practical steps that embody a shift towards a community minded economic and social system.

Emma is a builder who has been working in the trades for the last ten years and trained in heritage wood work with the Princes Foundation. She builds new small houses that are warm, bright and just enough. And complete renovations of existing properties using natural materials. Based in Machynellth, she  works throughout the UK.



Training and education: challenges for unique buildings.

Nell Hellier.



Nell’s talk will focus on the disconnection between mainstream construction and more individual, unique forms of building in terms of training and understanding materials. She will talk about the challenges of ensuring that the next generation of builders know about traditional methods and materials, and the difficulties of educating builders, specifiers and building control about the performance of solid walled buildings.

Nell Hellier is Senior Built Heritage Officer at Carmarthenshire County Council. She is responsible for the delivery of the statutory listed building consent service in Carmarthenshire as well as running the Tywi Centre which deliver heritage building skills training to the construction industry across Wales. The Tywi Centre has played a key part over the last 10 years in the growth of traditional building skills in Wales, particularly supporting training in heritage plastering, carpentry and stonemasonry.



Integrated technical training for women in northern Nicaragua – AMCC’s history and experience with women, earth and the local community.

Helen Shears.




The Association of Women Builders of Condega is an autonomous organization with 30 years’ experience in technical training and women’s rights. Their work centres on promoting change to be able to face personal, social and institutional challenges and prejudices for women with a focus on integral education.

AMCC is working towards reviving the local traditional of earth building, consolidating its own self-build skills and incorporating other practices rooted in culture and exchange. This aims to transform the connection between production and the consumer, deteriorated in the globalised capitalist economy. This capitalist system, which promotes individualism and consumerism, is the manifestation of an interconnected system of oppression and exclusion that exploits and abuses natural and human resources.

Helen Shears: Technical teacher trainer, feminist and adviser. Trained in women's workshops (carpentry) during the 80's in the United Kingdom. Volunteer, development worker and collaborator with AMCC in Nicaragua since 1994. Masters in Education for Sustainability at South Bank University. Has done short courses in different building, photovoltaic and other related technologies and set up an off grid model smallholding in Nicaragua, with her partner. Currently in UK collaborating with AMCC and other mainly, UK based projects.

We hope that Amanda Centeno will be able to join us who is a founder member of AMCC, feminist activist and adviser 


Designing & Constructing for a Circular Economy.

Andy Simmonds.

Sorry to announce Andy is not able to speak this year, we'll try him again next time!





Andy will talk about the rammed earth projects he was involved in, starting at Hooke Park, and some experiments eg hybrid thinner walls, and end with some questions about how earth construction sits as part of a circular economy (questions not answers!)

Andy is the Chief Executive Officer of the AECB (part-time). Andy is also an architectural designer and builder and a partner in Simmonds.Mills, a practice which specialises in ecological design.


Rethinking sustainability as heritage.

Louise Cooke.



In August 2017 Historic England added ‘Underhill’, West Yorkshire, to the National Heritage List for England. Underhill was designed in 1969 and constructed in 1973-5, Underhill was listed as a Grade II building and the listing description notes the architectural interest in the low-impact, innovative construction of the first modern earth sheltered house constructed in Britain. This gives us the opportunity to rethink innovative and sustainable construction of the later half of the 20th century as heritage This talk will explorethe development of a conservation toolkit for the Centre for Alternative Technology
to identify heritage assets on site, to use the conservation plan approach and apply the processes of assessing significance for heritage in context
how the concept of heritage has evolved and how it can be applied in contemporary practice
how sustainable construction of the later half of the 20th century can be considered and valued as heritage

Dr Louise Cooke is a lecturer in conservation in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. Her expertise is in the conservation of earth structures on archaeological sites, and she has research interests in climate change, sustainability, historic buildings, archaeological sites and landscapes. She joined the University of York in 2016 and is involved in conservation research and projects in the UK and overseas, most recently as an invited expert to the World Heritage Young
Professionals Forum as part of the World Heritage Committee Meeting in Bahrain.



Zoë Quick.



cerdd:earth/work - binding our storied selves into Welsh earth by digging, daubing, dancing, kneading, dying, decorating, firing, eating...

Zoë Quick is an architect and academic working across fields of architecture, art, performance and ecology. She is fascinated by the way material myths, metaphors and magic bind culture with nature.



Living, Trowel in Hand.

Paul Fitzpatrick.



Paul Fitzpatrick is a cob builder, clay plasterer, adobe vaulter and general top earth bloke. Based in Cornwall, many of you will have met Paul and learned from him at Clayfest in recent years. This year he is going to share his experience of building with earth and training people while building on site.


Clay Day,
Saturday June 22nd

We'd like you to stick around after conference, join us for a delicious meal and the band, then stay on to immerse yourself in our free Clayfest activities on Saturday! Clayfest was started to give people a chance to network while getting their hands dirty, to "extend the tea break" and really find out what others are doing. This is our mini version.

This is a day for builders, self-builders, designers, producers, clients and skill seekers to get to know each other; see and experience first hand, some of the latest developments and best practice in earth building.

Home owners or self-builders can start to get a sense of what is needed to repair, extend, maintain or improve their properties, while builders get to look at some of the latest innovations in the earth world by speaking to the experts and producers, and can even place orders!

CobBauge: Get involved in experimenting with cob and fibre to meet UK Building regs (part L) CobBauge insulated cob.

Rammed earth: Be part of building an innovative rammed earth vault.

Clay plastering: Gain some clay plasters skills and experience with our visiting experts on coloured and decorative finishes which could be part of your next dream bathroom!

Carazas Cube experiments: see how earth reacts to different compression and moisture levels or the addition of natural fibres, all of which can influence the viability of these materials for earth building.

Manufacturers and suppliers: Check out their earth-based products in person. Place orders.

Network with a wide range of earth builders, designers, producers and clients..

Sponsors area: contact here for sponsorship information and opportunities. This is a chance to reach a fully engaged earth building audience for your fantastic earth and related products and services.

This event is free, but it doesn’t stop you making a kind and generous donation to help us to the hard work we’re doing. Better still, how about becoming a MEMBER?!
Price: Suggested donations, unwaged FREE, waged £50, for business owners £100 to EBUKI, we are working hard to give you the goods...

Saturday 22nd June

Clay Day event is free but normal entry charges apply to the CAT site, for more on this click here. Clay Day is free but please follow the booking link and let us know your coming, its a free signup, BOOK NOW