Built by Nature Sponsors Major Biobased Material Exhibition

“Homegrown: Building a Post-Carbon Future”

Opens January 20th, The Building Centre, London 

Built by Nature is pleased to announce its sponsorship of “Homegrown: Building a Post Carbon Future”, to illustrate the potential and implications of locally grown, plant-based construction materials cultivated across the UK.  The exhibition, curated by Material Cultures, the design and research studio headed up by Summer Islam, George Massoud & Paloma Gormley, will see the transformation of the Building Centre into an active space of biobased materials learning and experimentation through workshops, talks and films.  

“Built by Nature is proud to be the headline sponsor of the Homegrown exhibition as it aligns entirely with our vision and efforts to challenge convention and the status quo when it comes to construction of our built environment”, said Built by Nature CEO Amanda Sturgeon. “With this visually compelling exhibition and its advocacy of more widespread adoption of biobased materials, Built by Nature has a unique opportunity to connect with new audiences and amplify our message of action toward a built environment that works in unison with nature.”

The partnership with The Building Centre provides Built by Nature with public programming opportunities to amplify our message and reach new audiences through bespoke events and seminars:

February 23rd – 6.30pm – “Homegrown: Timber Construction from UK Forests”

As the UK looks to expand forest coverage and increase the use of timber in construction, we’ll explore the potential of homegrown wood from different parts of the UK, examining the potential of varied tree species and forestry techniques to produce a range of wood products, from Welsh wooden windows to solid structural timber from Scottish trees and everything in between.  

  • CHAIR: Kat Scott, dRMM
  • Speakers to be confirmed   

March 29th – 6.30pm – “New Timber Prototypes”

Significant challenges have slowed the uptake of timber construction in recent years, but several cross-industry initiatives look set to overcome the barriers and establish a series of new model buildings that will enable the delivery of a new wave of timber schools, homes and offices. This talk will explore the New Model Building, a design standard for six-storey residential construction by Waugh Thistleton, and the Fawcett School Prototype, a biobased primary school prototype by CNMI for the Department for Education. 

  • CHAIR: Joe Giddings, Built by Nature
  • Speakers to be confirmed  

Mark your calendars and watch for more details.

The official media release follows:

Homegrown exhibition calls for natural solutions to tackle future environmental catastrophe

Homegrown: Building a Post-carbon Future opens at the Building Centre from: 20 January 2023 until 15 April 2023.

The latest exhibition from the Building Centre argues that a new approach to building is needed to answer the social and environmental crises we are facing – respecting geography, materiality, ecology, and place. It reveals the possibilities of locally grown, plant-based construction materials as an alternative to many of the carbon-heavy industry standards. The showcase will feature bio- based, low-carbon materials like wood, hemp and straw, inviting visitors to engage in a first-hand exploration of the ways that these can be used to build a better, more sustainable future.

Homegrown is curated by Material Cultures – a not-for-profit organisation led by Summer Islam, Paloma Gormley and George Massoud that advocates for sustainable building materials. These materials offer the opportunity to know your provenance, keep the supply chain local, sequester carbon and make a positive impact to the built environment. The challenge now is how to scale up biomaterials to make the most of their properties in a meaningful way with maximum impact.

The show will feature a large-scale thatched wall installation that represents the potential for natural materials to be put to use in construction, using prefabrication methods. The section is one thatchers square (100 square feet), which is a historic metric used by thatchers. The Triticale – a cross between rye and wheat – used within it is incredibly durable and could be added to buildings as part of a cassette system that would enable easy maintenance and repair.

The exhibition will also feature a series of specially commissioned new films by Material Cultures exploring themes of regenerative resources, supply chains, agriculture, land use, straw and timber. They show how we can learn from traditional construction techniques to incorporate bio-based materials in our buildings and develop stronger relationships between agriculture and architecture.

In a nod to its origins as a building materials bureau 90 years ago, the Building Centre will house a ‘material library’ display of innovative materials alongside the exhibition, to showcase a wide variety of possibilities for the built future.

The research that underpins Homegrown was also used to create a book – Material Reform (MACK, 2022) – which provides a clear and compelling blueprint for an alternative set of cultures, systems and ecologies for the built environment. The essays contained inside make the case for a reconciliation between the built and natural worlds.

A rich public programme of in-person and digital talks, workshops, and family activities will take place at the Building Centre throughout the exhibition run.

Opening times:

Free exhibition.

20 January 2023 – 15 April 2023

The Building Centre, Store Street, London. WC1E 7BT

Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm. Saturday: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm


@buildingcentre (twitter) @thebuildingcentre (insta)

About the Building Centre and Built Environment Trust

The Building Centre was founded in 1931 to represent and bring together the different disciplines that form the built environment. Today the Centre is operated by The Built Environment Trust. The Built Environment Trust supports people to build a better world. Our mission is to inspire, connect and empower people to improve the quality of our built environment. We recognise that the built environment shapes lives and communities and we are committed to involving all members of society as knowledgeable and active voices in determining how we construct our future.


  • Jachthavenweg 111
    1081 KM Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    +31 (0) 20 801 5150

  • KVK: 83326901
    RSIN: 862830667
    Policy Plan
    Privacy policy

    © 2021 Built by Nature