The International Straw Building Conference (ISBC) is nearly here! In a week’s time, Methven, will be buzzing with natural building designers, builders, engineers, scientists, building officials, students and homeowner builders ready to learn as well as share their experiences and knowledge.
The ISBC begins on 3 March at the Mt. Hutt Memorial Hall with a Mihi Whakatau by Charles Croft of Ngai Tuahuriri and from there the 5 days will be filled with 23 hands on workshops and demonstrations as well as 50 presentations. However, on Sunday, 6 March from 2:00pm 5:00pm the ISBC is opening it’s doors to the local community for free!
Sarah Johnston, a member of the ISBC Organizing Team, comments ‘One of our intentions with bringing the ISBC to New Zealand was to involve the local community in different capacities. We want to be able to share the incredible knowledge base of the people gathered together at the ISBC so that natural building gains momentum both locally and on a national level. An open afternoon for the locals is a way of achieving one of our goals especially since natural building inherently enhances community spirit. Many conferences come into towns, have their conference and then leave, but our hope is to have a positive impact within the community while we are here but also after we have left.’
During this open afternoon, the following sessions will be occurring in the hall: Catherine Wanek (USA), A World of Natural Building, SHAC Competition entries on display and student presentation of the community bus shelter and a Panel Discussion: Self Building Tribulations and Trials.
While outside in the Carpark, the following workshops and handson demonstrations will be occurring: Pat Mawson (NZ), Earth plastering on straw bale walls, Liam Flannery (NZ), Finish plasters (lime and earthen) and professional trowelling skills Richard Walker and Verena Maeder (NZ), Adobe veneer construction.
‘It’s a great opportunity for the local community to meet some very talented professionals working with natural building materials in our modern world’, says Sarah. We do hope the local community joins us on the open afternoon of the ISBC!’