Centre for Alternative Technology

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Sustainable Building Materials

  • Mon 13th - Sat 18th May 2019.
    Course starts at 1:30pm and ends at 2pm on the last day.
    Course fee including full board accommodation:-
    Waged £700, Low Waged / Concessions £625.

  • Dates, Times & Fees

Course details

This course will enable participants to evaluate the environmental impacts, social and health implications and performance of various building materials, which can be used in isolation or in combination with each other.

Covering availability, cost, physical properties, ecosystem enhancement, construction methods, ease of use, mainstream acceptance, design limitations and logistical considerations, the course provides in-depth knowledge of building for comfort, practicality and sustainability.

This course joins a module of CAT’s Sustainability and Adaptation MSc. Taught through a series of lectures, demonstrations, practical workshops and tutorials, the course encourages an active exchange of views and experience.

Main topics of study:
• Resource limitations
• Natural and synthetic fibre insulations
• Moisture handling and materials in renovation
• Straw bale construction
• Cementinous materials (limes and cements)
• Hemp and binder construction and use in renovation
• Composite materials and boards
• Modular pre-fabricated building components
• Timber use
• Earth and clay building (e.g. Rammed Earth, Light Earth)
• Environmental assessment methods (e.g. life cycle assessment, embodied energy, embodied carbon)
• Modern methods of sustainable construction
• Environmental impacts (CO2, biodiversity)
• Health impacts and safety issues
• Materials testing
• Practical implications of use

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
1. Assess materials for environmental impact, social and health implications and sustainability.
2. Evaluate and critique designs using sustainable materials.
3. Recognise the effect that conventional attitudes towards sustainable materials can have on the uptake and use of such materials.

Things you need to know

Due to the nature of this course some practical work will be done outside. We strongly advise you to bring waterproof clothing and steel toe-cap boots are mandatory.

You must be over the age of 18 years when this course starts.

Booking, Fees and Cancellation policy

To book a place on a course, please choose one of the following options:

• Book Online- the “Book online” button is either below, or in the top right corner of the screen and follow the instructions.

• Call the Courses Department on 01654 704 966 with your bank card details.

Please note: a £250 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place.

The balance of the course fee is due 28 days before the start of the course.

Our course fees include full board accommodation, tuition and materials, unless otherwise stated.

Please also note our Cancellation & Refund Policy
a) The £250 deposit is non-refundable.
b) For courses of 2 days or more when you give us notice that you wish to cancel:
• 28 days or more – refund minus your £250 deposit (if applicable).
• 27 days notice or less – no refund.
c) CAT reserves the right to cancel any courses. Deposits and fees will be returned in full should this happen.


Course Fees.

Start Date

Bed & Breakfast the night before the course starts

Book Now!

Email courses@cat.org.uk
or phone 01654 704 966

There are places available on this course.

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