Earth Building UK and Ireland

Presentation of the institution

Earth Building UK and Ireland, Ebuki, are a natioanl organisation fostering the use of earth in construction and conservation. We are a registered charity or NGO, meaning we pay no tax and we have no central premises. What we do have is a network of individuals and organisations working to achieve our goals in numerous ways from research, development, policy, building, training, events and awareness raising. In some ways this loose association is a weakness in other ways a strength. However it may be without a more secure funding stream that is how we have to operate as we have done since beginning in 2008. Below is a summary of projects and activities of the last year to give a sense of our scope and reach.
 
Clayfest 2019, our annual event was held at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales; a smaller than the previous year, with one day practical, one day conference and one day tour. The number of attendees was still impressive though, swelled by the presence of Jump! and CobBauge project members, coinciding as it did with a week of Jump! project sessions. Financially this event successfully brought welcome funds into the Ebuki reserves.
 
We are project partners in JUMP! a European Partnership KA2 Project involving six countries and managed by Federation Ecoconstruire France. It is an ambitious project which enables trainers to be trained in eco construction. Last year we hosted our partners for a week at CAT after Clayfest and attended meetings in Slovakia and Germany. The tangible benefits of the project are becoming clearer and starting to offer us tools for use in the organisation and in our member organisations.
 
We are also partners in CobBauge, an INTERREG project between NW France and SW UK seeking to bring cob in line with current thermal regs, lasting till 2022, which will involve full scale building in France and the UK as well as an ambitious training and teaching program. Following Ebuki’s instrumental role in the success of the first project phase, proof of concept, and subsequent successful application for the larger grant second phase, this year saw the beginning of that work, allowing us to question our network, map our existing heritage and examine the data in a range of metrics. EBUKI are beginning to gear up training events in the project – our major input in the project – and looking for trainee builders, professionals and students to work with on theoretical, practical and live projects.
 
The OWHL (Our Way Heritage Lives) Project is a new Erasmus KA2 project relating to sharing of best practice in adult learning in cultural heritage, in which EBUKI is a partner. This is a 32 month project involving 5 transnational meetings. EBUKI is employing a dedicated (part-time) project officer and enabling two of our members to participate. In 2019 there was the first visit to Lichtenstein.
 
The Tudor Trust are a private grant making body which is funding a pilot project to build an earth building network in Zimbabwe. This continues work in Standards for Earth Building in Zimbabwe and the region and seeks to build on that by creating confidence, education and knowledge across all of the building sector. Zimbabwe we hope will provide an example to neighbouring territories to build their own earth building networks and organisations. We are currently seeking match funding to extend this project.
 
 

Educational activities

We are currently running a two year project to design and implement training and assessment for the hard to reach. Project officer Becky Little has run courses in Scotland with organisations who are both match funding and coming back for more. This is a great success and gives hope for further work and wider application in England and Wales in the coming year(s).
It has also given Becky the opportunity to develop programs which can be assessed in the ECVET system and allow us to sign the ECVET Earth MoU which would then finally bring us in line with European partners. This offers further opportunities for receiving learners and funding and assessing and certificating in this country with either NVQ or ECVET systems
We have supported two now-qualified assessors Rebecca Reid and Becky Little to become the first trained earth building NVQ and SVQ assessors.

 

We have just confirmed further funding to send learners to partner organisations for training in the years 2021 and 2022 through the Erasmus+ KA1 Mobilities program. This is the second such grant we have received and we are looking forward to the opportunities this will give us as an organisation and to our members working in a variety of related fields.

 

Photo gallery

More informations

http://ebuki.co
https://www.facebook.com/earthbuildinguk
info@ebuki.co

Notes

Playing an active and creative part in the development and growth in earth building and conservation requires energy, flexibility, taking risks, pushing boundaries which is both exciting and potentially nerve wracking. This well describes all aspects of earth in construction and conservation, ironically we have few models to follow in the creation of confidence and use of this most widespread and universal practice. Making networks and learning from others is something we try to do institutionally to enable our members to benefit from projects, ideas and events which individually they don’t have time, energy or money to develop themselves. Judging what needs to be done, setting priorities and goals are all set against the availability of opportunity and finance and the willingness of our network to voluteer time, energy, ideas and experience. All of this means we rely a lot on good will and a friendly attitude to achieve what we do, not waiting for others to give us permission.


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