msc module review: sustainable materials in the built environment – cat

As part of my MSc in Green Building – Centre for Alternative Technology ( at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) we had great fun on the “Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment” module in May 2022 experimenting on site with clay, lime, hemp, straw, miscanthus, cork, rammed earth and other novel materials.  It is a fantastic group of students from many of the different MSc and MArch courses taking part bringing great energy, passion and imagination to solving the Environment Emergencies. 

The experimenting involved building a hempcrete arch, using miscanthus to create “cob” bricks and sourcing alternative fibres from the surrounding landscape. 

Straw bales featured as many students’ favourite material with excellent tutoring from Kit Jones and John Butler who had students building Nebraska method and CUT method straw bale walls. 

Highly recommended to anyone to anyone wanting to learn more about practical solutions for our changing planet.  Inspiring tutors, site, history and students comes together to make for an extraordinary experience.  

by Andy Baylis –

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