Holy Trinity’s Airtightness testing

Airtightness testing

Last year, SBUK member Dr Judith Thornton wrote a paper on Airtightness, of which we referenced here: https://strawbalebuildinguk.com/airtightness-and-natural-building-materials-by-judith-thornton

Richard Dormandy has now made short videos in which he too refers to Airtightness on his group’s Holy Trinity Tulse Hill Straw Bale build.

What does Airtightness mean and how does it affect the performance of your building?

Watch all of The Holy Trinity videos here


A network of architects and built environment professionals met tonight to see the unveiling of The Carbon Footprint Of Construction.

Led by ACAN – Architects Climate Action Network – over 300 delegates participated in tonight’s launch, listening to expert Speakers and colloborating in workshop/Breakout rooms.

If you want to help to decarbonise the construction sector, here is what you can do:

  1. Read the Report
  2. Sign the petition
  3. Send the Briefing Report to your MP

sbuk’s video presentation from NSBRC’s Virtual Building Systems Workshop – Saturday 12th December 2020

SBUK’s Treasurer and Huff and Puff proprietor, Phil Christopher, took part in the (NSBRC) National Self Build and Renovation Centre‘s Virtual Building Systems Workshop in December (2020).

A well executed presentation drawing in all of the topical points in ‘strawbuilding’ construction including, ‘load-bearing’, in-fill’, ‘straw-panels’, ‘fabric first’, ‘cradle to cradle’, ‘fire-resistance’, ‘retrofit’, ‘standards’, ‘wall finishing’, and more!

His 30 minute presentation is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVJxTyQvzk0

You can see the whole programme of workshops on the link below at the bottom of the page (Building-Systems-Workshop-Recording-Links-Dec-2020)

UPSTRAW – Building for change – Online training programme – Session 2

Happy New Year! Session 2 of the MOOC is now online.

In keeping with the global advancement of online learning, the straw building project, UPSTRAW, has partnered with the sustainable platform, MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

Offering free training, open to all, its is accessible wherever you are 24 hours a day!

Starting from the origin of straw construction, discover the energy performance of this material, the management of a straw construction project as well as the finishes.

It is aimed at designers (architects, design offices, construction economists) but also builders (masons, carpenters), wishing to discover straw insulation or deepen their knowledge. It may also be of interest to students in training or anyone wishing to learn more about straw construction.

The course is bilingual French / English.



About MOOC:


To enroll for the course, click on the link at the bottom of this page and this will open up to a registration form, which is in French. N.B. Google Chrome is the best operating system to utilise this

On the top right of this registration form is an option to complete it in English, should you prefer (see image below).

To register, click here


call for entries for ASBP 2021 Awards

ASBP Awards 2021

Supporters of enviromentally friendly building products ‘The Alliance for Sustainable Products’ (ASBP) are calling out for entries of their prestigious event, #ASBPAwards

To say that it has been a tough year would be quite an understatement, and next year’s award is consciously proposing to reflect the innovation utilised in the UK.

“We want to shine the light on transformative ideas and the people behind them. Ideas for which the time has come. In essence, we want to showcase your lockdown epiphanies, personal insights, innovative ideas, or radical action.” (Click on the image above for more information)

Deadline: 18th December 2020

Good Luck!

Constructing Excellence SECBE ‘People’s Choice Award’

Richard Dormandy and his team of ‘Holy Trinity’ in Tulse Hill are finalists in the ‘Construction Excellence SECBE – ‘People’s Choice Award’, in the catergory ‘Sustainability’.

We visited them last year and reported on the brilliant work that they are doing in not just utilising strength in community spirit (500 volunteers!) but in constructing this formidable build in an eco-friendly style (479 tonnes CO2 saved instead of 400 tonnes CO2 emitted) Tulse Hill Straw Build

Closing date is midnight Wednesday 1st July. Just one click is all that is needed. Vote here

UPSTRAW Database of Strawbale Buildings

The School of Natural Building team are drawing up a complete and comprehensive database of strawbale buildings in the UK and Ireland!

Interreg Database of Strawbale buildings
Through their partnership with other European countries, funded by Interreg and called UP Straw, the School of Natural Building (SNaB) is drawing up a database of all known strawbale buildings in the UK and Ireland. This database will be made public, (those parts that are not confidential), via a map held on the European Straw Bale Association website and elsewhere including that of SNaB. Part of this information is required to see if the activity of the partnership has increased the numbers of strawbale buildings in Europe, so dates of build are important. A major reason for publicising the numbers and locations is to show that this is indeed a viable and growing sector of construction, and to help our sector gain credibility nationally.

Please give as much information as you can about each project, but don’t omit a project if all you know is a few facts – they can do further research if they know where to look. Also, please include all projects you know, apart from those by Amazon Nails or Straw Works as they will capture those. And finally, please pass this on to anyone you think may have further information.

It would be most helpful to us if you could fill out the excel sheet with all the information you have. Follow this link. If you are unable to do this however, please use the table in Word and copy and paste it for each separate project. Follow this link for Word version. Once completed, please email it back to us.

We would like to get a really up to date idea of exactly how many strawbale buildings and of what type there are in the UK and Ireland, and to compare this with other European countries.

SBUK are sub-partners with SNaB on this project, and would very much appreciate it if you would share this as widely possible.

Thank you
The SNaB & SBUK team on behalf of UP STRAW


A new online publication has arrived: UPSTRAW YEAR BOOK 2019

This edition begins with an introduction on the benefits of building with straw.

Watch out for forthcoming issues!

These will feature projects on the INTERREG project and technical articles ➡️ ➡️ ️ ➡️ UPSTRAW

The UK’s group, as part of the UPSTRAW project are called ‘Constrawtium’. They are hard at work building the new Visitors’ Centre – Hastings, UK

Futurebuild 2020

Visiting @FuturebuildNow today?

Go see Barbara Jones @strawworks at the #NaturalBuilding area, stand G70

Together with @Terra_Perma_EB, @EarthBuildingUK, and @lime_products it is a full day of building demonstrations lined up for today and tomorrow!