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Professor Walker
Professor Walker
Peter Walker with a wall made of straw
Peter Walker with a wall made of straw

Press Release - 15 January 2009

Public lecture: Grow your own building from earth, hemp and straw

Local people have the chance to hear about research into new ways of using traditional building materials such as earth, hemp and straw as a greener choice for modern construction, at a free inaugural lecture at the University of Bath (Thursday 22 January).

The construction industry is a major contributor of environmental pollutants and Professor Peter Walker will talk about research into low carbon alternatives to building materials currently used by the industry.

“We are looking at a variety of low carbon building materials including crop-based materials, innovative uses of traditional materials and developing low carbon cements and concretes to reduce impact of new infrastructure,” said Professor Walker, who is Director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University.

“As well as reducing the environmental footprint, many low carbon building materials offer other benefits, including healthier living through higher levels of thermal insulation and regulation of humidity levels.”

The BRE Centre was recently awarded £257,000 for a project called the 'BaleHaus' which uses prefabricated straw bale wall panels to build load-bearing, low rise residential buildings. The study will consider material performance, product design and the manufacture process.

The BRE Centre is a joint collaborative partnership between the University of Bath's Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE). It conducts leading research, development and consultancy in the field of innovative and sustainable construction materials.

The free lecture will be held at 6.15pm in 2 East 3.1. Entrance is by ticket only: please see the related links section.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: