Glynis Kirkwood-Warren was born and raised in Tottenham, North London, Glynis was brought up on the principles of sharing, helping and supporting others, so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that she would be part of a unique community led project to redevelop a forgotten and unloved local park in the heart of one of the most deprived and misrepresented areas of London. The successful redevelopment of the park was completed in 2012, but who was going to run the newly built strawbale, timber framed passivhaus in the middle of the park? Enter Glynis with another ridiculous idea, a band of passionate locals and a learning curve of epic proportions……
Murray Davidson is Head of Parks and Natural Resources at Hastings Borough Council. Over the last 30 years he has been at the forefront of influencing biodiversity policy and practice in the public sector at the local and national level. As Vice Chair of the Association of Local Government Ecologists he has given evidence to Government Select Committees on Biodiversity and is a member of the British Standards Institute panel responsible for the UK’s first British Standard for Biodiversity and Planning. For the last 5 years he has led the project to provide a new straw bale visitor centre at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve with European Interreg grant aid. Murray will offer an insight to public sector procurement for the straw bale industry.
Herbert Gruber is chairman of ASBN, the Austrian Strawbale Network and a Natural builder since 1992, straw bale builder since 1999, trainer in straw bale construction workshops since 2006. Documentation of Austrian and European straw bale buildings in books (wrote the study “Building with straw” for the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture and the book “Bauen mit Stroh” and “Neues Bauen mit Stroh in Europa”, presentations, databases and websites (,,,, Cooperation with European Straw Bale Networks. Member of the board of ESBA (European Straw Building Association).
Mary Clear is a dreamer and schemer; she is living her life on the edge. Mary sleeps like a baby because every day is filled with adventure. She is an Activist, in a hurry to do her bit for a better world. Food and growing are important to her, she believes in the saying “Be the change you want to see”. She thinks nothing can be nicer than feeding a crowd round the kitchen table.
Incredible Edible Todmorden is seeking to make a kinder world; we use food and growing as the lever. We have achieved more than anyone reckoned was possible, by having oodles of passion and a sense of fun. We have no offices, paid workers or worries, we use the gifts and energy of the community.
Bjorn Kierulf was originally an industrial designer and is now a Passivhaus specialist. A Norwegian, he arrived in Slovakia in 1989 – before the revolution. Now he is working on the next revolution in Slovakia – the passive house standard. In the architectural studio Createrra he mainly concentrates questions concerning passive house standard and natural building materials. In cooperation with the Lithuanian company EcoCocon he is developing a modular building system with the use of straw. His visions are cost effective, high quality passive houses built from natural materials.
Hugues Delcourt is the Coordinator of the Cluster Eco-Construction team for Up Straw. Originally an agricultural engineer, he worked over the last years on the conception of green building as a consultant for certifications and recently as an HVAC engineer. He is programming the construction of the new centre for eco-building in Namur in Belgium.
Elke Kirst is an architect who studied in Munich and Zurich. She has worked on competitions and big scale projects for Auer Weber. Then she taught housing and timber construction at TU Munich. Elke is now working for Hirner & Riehl, an office specialized in wood construction, public buildings and the renovation and extension of monasteries. She is planning a 30-bed-guesthouse with kindergarden for an abbey, using wood from their own forest, straw from their own fields and clay from the area. Convinced that climate change is the main topic for her generation to work on and knowing that the building sector is responsible for about 1/3 of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, Elke's motivation is to combine renewable and locally available materials with contemporary aesthetics.
Jakub Zucha-Wihan’s professional career as a Civil Engineer began in 1996 – upon receiving a Diploma from the Czech Technical University in Prague. But finding passion in his profession didn’t happen until 2002 when he met amazonails at a European Strawbale Building conference. He has been promoting and practising straw bale building around the world with many different strawbale building professionals initially but realises that he keeps being totally inspired by Straw Works and the School of Natural Building. They allow him to take part in something very rare & precious – in something much larger than building with straw…
Richard Dormandy became a vicar in South London in 1989 and for the past 30 years has been involved in personal, spiritual, and social repair and renewal. On April Fool’s Day 2017, Richard’s church near Brixton began leading the community in digging out the foundations for the largest urban straw bale building in Europe. So far, the shell of the main hall has been built, and by the end of 2019 the kitchen, plant room and link will connect the annex to the church. 2020 will focus on the entrance, basement, and stairwell, at the end of which the facility will be basically usable. 2021 will be the year of fitting out. £630k of our £850k budget has been raised, mostly through sacrificial donations by church members.
Martin Twamley is UK Technical Manager of Steico UK Ltd and has 25 years’ experience within the Construction industry having worked for an Architectural practice, a national material supply company and now as the UK Technical Manager of STEICO, who are Europe’s largest producer of wood fibre based materials. With a degree in Environmental Sciences he has a keen interest in Sustainable and Natural building processes and his background gives him a unique understanding of the requirements within this competitive and growing sector.
Fredi Fuchs has been a Strawbale Architect since 2003 in and around Berlin and North Germany. She is running the architectural studio STROH Unlimited in cooperation with her associate Britta Imhof (structural engineer) who she met in 1992 during a training programme for carpenters. Since 2006 STROH Unlimited has completed more than 50 Projects (in different roles; planning, calculating static, teaching building as craft, women in carpentry and straw bale infill). STROH unlimited is also active in the German network Fasba. The main focus of her work now is planning and building with co-housing groups and affordable organic architecture
Wouter Klijn is a board member of the Dutch Straw-bale Building Association. Within the Association his attention is focused on the technical aspects of building with straw, on the international cooperation and on the sharing of knowledge and teaching of straw construction methods. About 10 years ago, he was involved in an association that wanted to develop an ecovillage in the area where he lived. And he came in contact with straw. But now it was “straw bale construction”. After 5 days of the ESBG-2009 in Riemst-Belgium, he found himself addicted to this beautiful material.
Chris Hawker has been building with straw since 2010, having trained with Strawbuild. Now with over 27 straw bale projects under his belt, as well as an MSc in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies from The Centre for Alternative Technology and E.C.V.E.T. clay plastering qualifications.

Experienced with a range of natural materials and an expert in straw applications, Chris provides steady input to our designs and onsite management.
David Copeland's meticulous attention to detail carries through to his straw bale and pre-fab panel building experience as well as his decorating, carpentry and hemp & 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.
Carlo Micheletti is an engineer, low impact buildings designer and builder. He uses natural and zero carbon materials and studies new solutions to guarantee efficiency, comfort and wellness of buildings. He is a Partner at the Topography Department of the University of Brescia. With the collaboration of his team, he has designed the structure and building technology system of more than 140 straw bale buildings.

He is one of the founders of Promopaglia, the Italian association for straw bale builders, designers and instructors.
Mark McKenna is a founding director of Down to Earth Project and Down to Earth Construction – 2 award winning social enterprises based on the Gower peninsula in Swansea, south Wales. Mark brought together his interest in sustainability education and working with marginalised young people through a Masters (MA) programme at Swansea University. The subsequent Spinout in 2005 kick-started a remarkable 14 year journey of putting vulnerable communities at the very centre of building their own community infrastructure using sustainable and local materials. If you imagine innovation in health care and innovation in education delivered - at the same time - through the medium of sustainable construction and being outdoors, you’ll get an insight into why Down to Earth is known as a trailblazer.
Chris Magwood is obsessed with making the best, most energy efficient, beautiful and inspiring buildings without wrecking the whole darn planet in the attempt. Chris is currently a director at The Endeavour Centre. The school runs two full-time, certificate programs: Sustainable New Construction and Sustainable Renovations and hosts many hands-on workshops annually.
Chris has authored seven books on sustainable building, including:
• Essential Sustainable Home Design (2017)
• Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction (2016)
• Essential Hempcrete Construction (2016)
• Making Better Buildings (2014)
• More Straw Bale Building (2005)
Professor Sandy Halliday, Principal, Gaia Research is a chartered engineer and highly respected author and communicator with extensive experience of inter-disciplinary working. She has been working as a researcher in built environment issues and as a sustainability adviser to private, public and third sector organisations since 1986. She established Gaia Research in 1995 to develop sustainable solutions for the built environment. The practice portfolio at any one time embraces research, design, evaluation, dissemination, training and capacity building.
Cécile Varache is in charge of energy and environment issues in the New-Aquitania Region’s department of construction and real estate. The Region deals with a large amount of buildings to maintain or to build, working towards sustainable construction and energy efficiency.
Gauthier Claramunt is an Associate architect at Dauphins Architecture. The office specialises in bio-based building. They try to get the most environmental design for public buildings.
Arnaud Charles is a Thermal, environmental and sustainable design engineer at 180° Ingénierie. He is a specialist of energy efficient building design, and tries to make buildings that reach a high level of comfort with the least technology possible but with the physical properties of natural materials.

Yannig Robert is an engineer who originally specialised in timber structures and who has realised that straw is a material of choice to build healthy buildings with a small environmental footprint. Yannig is now working for the Ville de Rosny sous Bois where a team of like minded engineers and architects are together designing schools as kind as possible to the people using them and to the environment. That involves using natural materials sourced as locally as possible including straw as a loadbearing material. Convinced that mainstream engineers must eventually see these techniques as workable Yannig is an active member of the "paille porteuse" group which has just started to write technical guidance on the use of straw as a load-bearing material.
Martin Brown is an innovative sustainability ‘provocateur’, advocate and business improvement consultant with his Fairsnape practice, based in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire (UK). Building on 45 years of UK and overseas experience in project management, business improvement and sustainability, Martin now supports many leading organisations and practices on their regenerative sustainability journeys.

He is a Living Building Challenge advocate, a strategic advisor to ILFI Europe and Vice Chair of the European COST Restore action, a Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Champion and Chair of Constructing Excellence Lancashire.
Bee Rowan is Director of Strawbuild and co-founder of Blueprint Alliance - building regenerative human settlements. Bee has taught at CAT for 20 years on its Masters and residential courses on straw bale and natural materials, and was amazonails head of training for many years. Her more recent partnerships & work include Ireland’s first public building made of straw; the UK fire test on straw bale walls; promoting and building with Ecococon straw panels; testing & building the first miscanthus bale house, and designing and delivering training courses in disaster resilience with natural, local materials. She is co-author of ‘Building with Lime Stabilised Soil' due out this year with Practical Action. Aside from ongoing straw builds, her current areas of disaster recovery work include Pakistan, Nepal, India, Kurdistan and Mozambique.
Jean-Luc de Wilde is the executive director at the cooperative Paille-Tech in Belgium, which builds prefab houses combining wooden frame, straw bale insulation and clay plastering. In 10 years existence, the company counts about 60 exemplar realisations, including a school, a big store, 2 restaurants, a brewery and even a wine cellar. As an economist, Jean-Luc is preoccupied by the straw building business model and the way to boost companies in order to allow them to make more and larger buildings. He wrote and launched, with Manas Melliwa, the EU funded UP STRAW project.