conference agenda

Innovation in the development and specification of materials for the construction industry is at the heart of the conference agenda for 2018. With two packed days of talks from industry knowledge leaders, you’ll be sure to find seminars that will expand your awareness of the ever-changing world of materials for architecture, construction and design.


Ruth Slavid returns as Conference Chair
We are very pleased to welcome Ruth Slavid back as Conference Chair. A freelance writer, editor and consultant who specialises in architecture, landscape and lighting, Ruth has written for a wide range of magazines and organisations, as well as chairing conferences, judging awards, lecturing, giving CPD sessions and leading an architectural walk. She is the author of seven books on architecture and has a degree in metallurgy and materials science from the University of Cambridge. Click to view bio


11:00 am

Opening Address


11:00-11:30 Through the lens of materiality, an integral part of the studio’s work and design process, Nick will speak about the studio’s commitment to finding innovative design solutions, with a ...


11:30 am

The compelling sustainability case for aluminium in architecture: infinite recyclability and long-term durability


11:30-12:00 The compelling sustainability case for aluminium in architecture: infinite recyclability and long-term durability will discuss the role of aluminium in the built environment and human cult...


12:00 pm

Innovations in zinc building envelopes: timeless aesthetics and versatile function


12:00-12:30 The presentation will give a brief history of zinc and show how it has been used by architects over the last 200 years. Modern advances in technology will also be highlighted thus showing ...


12:30 pm




1:30 pm

Materials in modular construction


13:30-14:00 Timber, concrete, steel, hybrid solutions? What is the correct approach to choosing the structural options for modular frames? We will review the bases of design of the materials and the c...


2:00 pm

Copper and copper alloys for facades: advanced architectural approaches


14:00-14:30 This presentation explores copper's transformation to a thoroughly modern material for contemporary architecture. It will explain the natural, protective oxidisation and patination process...


2:30 pm

Flint, the versatile stone


14:30 - 15:00 The Flintman Company have a special interest in exploring creative and innovative ways of working with the material. In doing so they explore and expose the inherent beauty of vernacular...


3:00 pm

Expanding possibilities: the performance characteristics of auxetic materials, and their application as architectural systems


15:00-15:30 This talk will introduce the topic of auxetic materials, what they are and how they lead to important enhancements in properties of interest in architecture. Examples will be presented of ...


3:30 pm

3:45 pm

The new face of solar PV


15:45-16:15 Translating latest R&D in Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPVs) into design and construction Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) provide an opportunity to integrate renewable ...


4:15 pm

Bamboo – beyond the hype


16:15-16:45 Separating the facts from the myths about the use of bamboo in construction Bamboo is frequently referred as a very sustainable, highly renewable and strong-as-steel material that could re...


4:45 pm

Ceramics for sustainable architectural technologies: possibilities and innovations


16:45-17:15 ECAlab will present their latest collaborative work with thirteen ceramicists which is currently exhibited at the RIBA North in the exhibition 'Cerámica'. We will explore the possibilitie...


5:15 pm

Pushing the envelope


17:15-17:45 A look at some recent case studies of innovative facades from concept to delivery Our understanding of materials and how they are to be incorporated into a façade is key to successful del...


6:00 pm

Evening Reception


18:00-20:00 A Young Researchers Forum will invite architects, specifiers, industry, and academia to become inspired by new and exciting material creations for the architecture and construction industr...



10:00 am

Let’s make brick great again: evolution of brick cladding and concrete composites


10:00-10:30 The presentation questions how masonry has been used as a primary load bearing material and how its role in buildings, and particularly facades, has become more cosmetic over time. Solutio...


10:30 am

Low-carbon concrete: Latest advancements in sustainable concrete for a low-carbon future


10:30-11:00 The presentation will provide the latest guidance on specifying sustainable concrete including low-carbon cements, recycled aggregate and responsible sourcing. It will include strategies f...


11:00 am

Light, as a building material: Illustrations of structural lightness


11:00-11:30 Studio Seilern Architects is interested in exploring how a particular theme could transcend across a variety of media, materials and craftsmanship. The theme of apparent structural lightne...


11:30 am

11:45 am

Maggie’s Oldham by dRMM: Realising the potential of hardwood CLT


11:45-12:15 Maggie’s Oldham floats above a garden, with a tree growing through the middle; bringing both nature and light inside. Designed by dRMM, winners of the 2017 Stirling Prize, the cancer car...


12:15 pm

Disruptive timber: Engineered mass timber and cutting-edge CLT design at Oakwood Timber Towers


12:15-13:00 The proposal by PLP Architecture, with University of Cambridge Centre for Natural Material Innovation, and Smith and Wallwork engineers, for an 80-storey. 300 metre mass timber and CLT tow...


1:00 pm




1:45 pm

Developing a new approach to affordable zero carbon housing


13:45-14:15 Manufacturer and architect working together to apply ceramic GRP technology for modular, highly efficient, zero carbon housing In their talk, Neven Sidor, partner at Grimshaw, and Anthony ...


2:15 pm

Focus on fumes


14:15-14:45 How high performance composites can minimise toxic fumes - as well as fire and smoke - in building & construction applications This seminar will cover the recent changes to Building &a...


  • Mr Neil Gray Global Market Manager, FST Performance Systems - Scott Bader

2:45 pm

Down to earth: building at scale using rammed earth


14:45-15:15 Rammed earth is an ancient building method, one of a number of techniques which use clay as a binder. Using unfired clay gives a number of benefits to the built fabric from temperature buf...


3:15 pm

Can designers save the planet?


15:15-15:45 The construction industry worldwide consumes about 50% of all raw materials mined and grown annually. For every 5 houses built in the UK, one house worth of material ends up in landfill wi...


3:45 pm

Phase-change: the smart materials that offer ultimate thermal efficiency


15:45-16:15 “The NewMass system is an exciting innovation in hybrid cooling systems. As climate change becomes more prevalent it’s important we invest now in more resilient low energy solutions to...



Ms Ruth Slavid

Architectural Writer & Editor

Mr Jan Lukaszewski

Technical Manager


Dr Hector Archila


Amphibia BASE Ltd

Mr Graeme Bell

Sales & Marketing Manager


Mr Duncan Baker-Brown

Architect, Academic, Activist

BBM Sustainable Design Ltd

Mrs Chris Coonick

Senior Consultant

BRE National Solar Centre

Dr Mark Dowson

Associate, Sustainability

Buro Happold

Mr Anthony Morgan


Carbon Free Group

Mr Marek Behnke

Technical Manager


Dr Michael Ramage

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Natural Material Innovation, University of Cambridge

Mr Patrick Usborne



Mr Paolo Vimercati

Associate Principal


Mr Nick Ling

Technical Design Lead

Heatherwick Studio

Mr Rory Bergin

Partner, Sustainable Futures

HTA Design LLP

Ms Amanda Wanner

Senior Lecturer; Director

Leeds Beckett University; ECAlab

Mr Chris Loyn

Architect, Practice Principal

Loyn + Co

Professor Michael Stacey


Michael Stacey Architects

Mr Neil Dobbs

Senior Facade Manager


Mr Kevin P. Flanagan


PLP Architecture

Mr Simon Groves

Consulting Director


Ms Miriam Butti

Façade Engineer


Mr Rowland Keable


Rammed Earth Consulting CIC

Mr Neil Gray

Global Market Manager, FST Performance Systems

Scott Bader

Professor Andrew Alderson

Professor of Smart Materials and Structures

Sheffield Hallam University

Mr Cezary Bednarski


Studio Bednarski Ltd

Mr Luis Monteiro


Studio Seilern Architects

Mr James Walsh

Creative Director


Ms Elaine Toogood BA(hons) Grad Dip Arch RIBA

Senior Architect

The Concrete Centre

Mr David Smith


The Flintman Company

Dr Rosa Urbano Gutiérrez

Senior Lecturer; Director

University of Liverpool; Ecalab

Mr Jonathan Lowy

Operational Marketing Manager

VM Building Solutions UK

Mr Dave Lomax

Senior Associate

Waugh Thistleton