Sustainable and Traditional Buildings Fair 2024: What to expect!

11 May 2024

We are counting down the days until our Sustainable and Traditional Buildings Fair, taking place on Saturday 11th May 2024, here at the Tywi Centre! From 10 am, the event will bring together experts, suppliers, and contractors to share crucial insights and solutions for enhancing home sustainability.

The fair will be a free ticketed event designed to simplify the process of home improvements and assist attendees in transforming their homes for a more eco-friendly future.

Our Sustainable and Traditional Buildings Fair is set to be packed with interesting talks, demonstrations and entertainment! Let's delve into the scheduling of the day:

10:30am- Exploring Monolithic and Cavity Porotherm: Building the Future Block by Block

In his talk, Derek Barber from Weinerberger will introduce you to Monolithic and Cavity Porotherm products. These innovative brick systems offer a myriad of benefits that cater to both builders and homeowners alike. From enhanced thermal insulation to unparalleled durability, Porotherm bricks are setting new standards in modern construction.

If you're curious about how these advancements are revolutionizing the construction industry, then mark your calendars for an informative talk that promises to enlighten and inspire.

About Derek Barber

Derek has worked for Weinerberger for 29 years as an area manager. He has worked in the architectural, house builder and  builders merchant sectors, promoting Weinerbergers extensive range of clay facing bricks, Corium  brick tile cladding  system, SVK fibre cement panel system, Porotherm structural clay block walling system, clay domestic and commercial paving range. Most recently, Derek has worked as specification manager in the business development team, holding role of Porotherm champion for Wales and the South West

11:30am – Historic Buildings, heritage crafts and the narratives of place.

Join Dr Alex Langlands as he delves into the role and importance of historic buildings within our communities. Dr Langlands will explore the potential for giving traditional buildings a 'new life' and will illustrate, using case studies, why these buildings are not only a valuable part of our rich heritage (entrusted to us by our ancestors) but also essential contributors to contemporary life.

About Dr Alex Langlands

Dr Alex Langlands began his professional career as a field archaeologist before moving into broadcast media where he presented and produced the hugely successful Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm and Edwardian Farm for BBC Two. He now teaches history, heritage and archaeology at Swansea University where he is Associate Professor.


12:30pm - Building with Earth: a sustainable past, present & future

In our second talk of the day, Rowland Keeble will be navigating the relevance of earth building in the present day, and the role it plays within creating a sustainable future. At the heart of earth building, lies a profound connection to the environment; by utilising locally sourced earth, such as clay, sand, and straw, builders can minimise carbon footprint and reduce reliance on resource-intensive industries.

During the talk, attendees can expect to explore various earth building techniques, ranging from traditional cob and earth to modern new-build rammed earthen structures. Rowland will also discuss the thermal properties of earth construction, highlighting its ability to naturally regulate indoor temperatures and enhance occupant comfort.

About Rowland Keeble

Rowland Keable is a founding member of Earth Building UK and Ireland (EBUKI) and has 40 years of experience of building with earth from across the world. Alongside this, he is an Honorary Professor and UNESCO Chair on Earthen Architecture.


1:30pm - Building Legacies: Lessons of sustainability from Notre Dame de Paris

Midway through the day, guests can join Mike Dennis as he talks about his fascinating career with reference to the restoration of Notre Dame de Paris. Notre Dame de Paris stands as one of the most significant restoration projects of the century. Following the devastating fire in 2019, doubts arose about the possibility of reconstructing the expansive 13th-century roof structure. In this presentation, Mike will assess the rediscovery of ancient knowledge and explore the lessons we can glean for the future of timber construction.

About Mike Dennis

Mike Dennis' carpentry career has spanned the globe, encompassing diverse projects like the Kinsol Trestle bridge on Vancouver Island, a heritage centre in Guizhou, China with Carpenters Without Borders, and notably, restoration work on the Nave of Notre Dame de Paris as a carpenter and experimental archaeologist. Mike holds an MSc in Timber Building Conservation and an MA in Historic Buildings from the University of York. Presently, he is involved in the reconstruction of La Mora, the boat of William the Conqueror from 1066.


2:30pm - Developing a Green Building: New Velindre Cancer Hospital Design

In his highly inspirational talk, Phil Roberts will share his experience of working as a design advisor to Velindre University NHS Trust, in the development of its new Cancer hospital in Cardiff. The project aims to build a state-of-the-art, high-tech hospital using low-carbon materials and methods; employing the greenest and most sustainable technology; whilst ensuring its longevity for future generations.

During his presentation, Phil will share the project’s progress thus far. His objective is to clarify common misconceptions about utilising natural and recycled building materials in a project of this magnitude and intricacy. Phil will explore how this methodology applies equally to both existing and new structures.

About Phil Roberts

Phil Roberts, Design and Development Consultant, is currently Design Advisor to Velindre University NHS Trust, for its new Cancer hospital in Cardiff. A Panellist at the Design Commission for Wales, he has extensive experience in environmental architecture, building surveying, design, and renovation. For many years, Phil has run an architectural and building surveying practice, while acting as Director and Chief Executive, in the housing and renewable energy sectors.


3:30pm - Energy Efficiency- a whole house approach

Back by popular demand, we have Nigel Gervis returning to deliver an engaging talk on the role sustainable building materials have in reducing the Carbon Footprint of construction. Nigel will explore how natural and sustainable building materials, whether in new constructions or historic buildings, can enhance energy efficiency and effectively ‘lock in’ carbon. He will examine various materials and methods that can contribute to ensuring our buildings play a vital role in a sustainable future for Wales.

Nigel has provided talks, presentations, workshops and advice at most of our events over the last 15 years; his audiences are always left inspired to choose the most suitable materials for home improvements – we cannot wait to welcome Nigel back.

About Nigel Gervis

Nigel Gervis is Co-founder and Technical Director at the multiple award-winning business - Ty Mawr Lime Ltd. established in 1995. Nigel, along with his wife Joyce, have made an enormous contribution to resurrecting the use of traditional building materials in Wales. Consequently, Ty Mawr Lime has become a market leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of environmentally friendly building materials and systems, receiving several awards for its continued efforts.


All day - Demonstrations and Trade Stands

Alongside our programme of insightful talks, the Sustainable and Traditional buildings fair will provide an immersive showcase of advice and live demonstrations, including stonemasonry, lime plastering, traditional hand-forged metalwork, thatching, traditional carpentry and leadwork.

Fair attendees can also look forward to gaining insights into Sustainable Construction and Energy Generation from prominent specialist companies such as Birds’ Hill Rural Renewables, Celtic Sustainables, Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance (STBA), Green Skills Academy at Coleg Sir Gar, Wool Insulation Wales, EBUKI, Strawbale UK, Construction Wales Innovation Centre, Wienerberger, Vivus Solutions Ltd, and Dinefwr Orcharders. These leading organisations will make sustainable practices more accessible to homeowners within their respective fields.


For more detailed lists and to secure your tickets click here!

Book now