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Real-life Retrofit: Case studies – 3. Pragmatic Retrofit with Low Carbon Materials – Online

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The third in our series of three events looking at challenges and solutions within different retrofit case studies


Real-life Retrofit: Case studies

The built environment is a major contributor to the environmental pressures our world is facing. Rather than demolishing existing buildings, retrofitting of existing buildings can play a crucial part in meeting net-zero carbon targets. Retrofit involves modifications to existing buildings that will improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand.

In this online event series, we have documented three different retrofit case studies in the Bristol area, each building with a unique history and retrofit plan. We focus upon retrofit in real life to show the challenges and solutions in upgrading the performance of older buildings.

Session #3: Pragmatic Retrofit with Low Carbon Materials

When Hawkland Ecological Construction’s clients had a new baby on the way, they were keen to retrofit their home using non-toxic materials for a healthier family home. Poor insulation within the mansard roof of the older house led to the Hawkland team suggesting hempcrete as a natural, insulative and vapour-permeable solution to control moisture and avoid heat loss. The ability to install room-by-room has meant that this home has been successfully retrofitted in stages to avoid excessive disruption to the family and to work within the project budget.

We welcome Hawkland’s directors, Chris Hawker and David Copeland and Ben Nother to share their experiences of using alternative materials on the project.

About the speakers

Chris Hawker, Founder & Co-director, Hawkland Ecological Construction

Chris has been building with natural materials since 2010. He now has almost 30 straw bale projects under his belt (from timber-framed to load-bearing systems, along with hybrid frames and external straw wraps) as well as an MSc in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies from The Centre for Alternative Technology and ECVET clay plastering qualifications. Experienced with a range of natural materials and an expert in straw applications, Chris is an integral part of the design, onsite management and renovation work that Hawkland undertakes.

David Copeland, Founder & Co-director, Hawkland Ecological Construction

David’s meticulous attention to detail carries through to his straw bale and prefabricated panel building experience, as well as his decorating, carpentry and hemp and lime renovation work. David has a degree in Environmental Management and an MSc from The Centre for Alternative Technology, providing an excellent academic and theoretical background and perspective to his well-rounded practical skills.

Ben Nother, Architect and Co-director, Hawkland Ecological Construction

Ben is an ARB-registered architect with 15 years’ experience in practice and education, along with 20 years in the construction industry. Having worked alongside Hawkland for several years, Ben came on board as a director in 2022. Ben studied the Part 2 Professional Diploma in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Ben qualified as an architect after completing the Professional Practice and Management in Architecture course at University of the West of England.


£25 Green Register members / £35 Non-members

Special offers

  • Book 3 places for the price of 2 - when registering enter discount code: 342

Each event can be attended as a stand alone session, or if attending the whole series they will complement each other.

What did our delegates say about the first event in the series?

"Real and relatable... there is so much talk about sustainability - it is really refreshing to see real examples. It is too easy to just say 'we need to insulate our homes' however it is not easy to do so I was interested to see how they did it."

"Excellent and frank insight from the design and construction teams"

"Very informative on assessments, detailing and products. Nice to see it from different perspectives, ie architect, SE and builder."

"A fantastic case study!"

February 17th, 2022 16:00 through 18:00
Event Fee(s)
Members of The Green Register (this event only) £25.00
Non-Members (this event only) £35.00
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