Green Architecture Day 2016: Approaches to Design

Green architecture day
Cutting-edge talks on green architecture brought to you by Brighton Permaculture Trust and Low Carbon Trust

Saturday 19 March 2016
10:30am to 5pm
Sallis Benney Theatre
University of Brighton
Grand Parade Building
Brighton BN2 0JY (Directions)


What is Green Architecture Day?

Green Architecture Day is an annual event Brighton Permaculture has run in partnership with Low Carbon Trust since 2002. Since then, the event has attracted over 2,000 participants to hear inspiring talks about how we can live and work in greener buildings. It has featured talks from speakers as varied as Ben Law, Christopher Day, Pooran Desai and Satish Kumar.

At Brighton Permaculture Trust, we believe that we need to give equal weight to sustainability in the built environment and regenerating our landscapes.

Who is Green Architecture Day for?

This event is open to anyone aged 16 or over and will be of interest to anyone interested in sustainability and buildings. The event has benefited students, home renovators, self builders, landlords, tenants, developers, builders, architects, engineers, planners and academics.

Who's Speaking at This Year's Green Architecture Day

Duncan Baker-Brown
BBM Sustainable Design

Duncan Baker-BrownDuncan Baker Brown has been a director of award-winning architects BBM Sustainable Design since 1993. He also teaches and researches at the School of Architecture in Brighton. He has had the good fortune to work on some of the UK’s most high profile green developments such as the Greenwich Millennium Village, RIBA's Futurehouse and The House That Kevin Built.

Duncan will open Green Architecture Day this year with a talk about his latest research into reuse.

Ben Law

Ben LawBen Law designs and builds using natural, local and sustainable materials. He trains apprentices in timber framing, woodland management and traditional crafts. Ben has been living within Prickly Nut Wood for twenty years. He is a woodsman and has integrated into this environment through immersion and observation. He has built several structures during this time, first with timber and canvas, then a yurt, and the famous Woodland House – the house that was the beginning of a new architectural vernacular.

At Green Architecture Day, Ben will speak about his 'resource first' approach to designing buildings: starting with local materials, designing from what is available. He will also focus on our woodland resource in the UK and how different management strategies can lead to a range of building materials. He will feature his buildings and the growth of roundwood timber framing locally and globally.

Nicolas Pople

Nicolas PopleNicolas Pople is an architect with his own practice in Sussex, a published author and lecturer at Southbank University School of Architecture in London. He specialises in sustainable design based on technologies that are part of a craft tradition, rather than industrialised processes. He believes that architecture's role is to make us more human in our social relationships.

At Green Architecture Day, Nic will talk about architecture inspired by nature and feature his recent church projects as well as small residential schemes.

Alice Edgerley

Alice EdgerleyAlice works with Assemble, a collective based in London spanning the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 15 members. Assemble seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice is interdependent, seeking to actively involve the public as both participants and collaborators in the realisation of the work. They were the first collective to win the Turner Prize in 2015 for their interdisciplinary design approach.

At Green Architecture Day, Alice will talk about Assemble's projects featuring community action and reuse, particularly the Granby Four Streets project in Liverpool, and the OTOProjects, a new workshop and performance space for the experimental music venue Café OTO in Dalston, Hackney.

Nicola Lang
Transition Homes Community Land Trust

Nicola LangNicola started volunteering with Transition Homes in January 2014. She went on to become project coordinator, doing whatever needs doing to get the project off the ground – planning, liaising with consultants, raising funding, research, arranging consultation events as well as having an input through the design group. Her background isn't in building though; she trained as a geochemist and climate change researcher. She pursued her interest in sustainable building by taking a straw bale building course at the Centre for Alternative Technology, and volunteering on builds around the UK and in Ireland. Her passion is for community-led solutions.

At Green Architecture Day, Nicola will speak about the challenge of achieving true sustainability: designing houses with a committee of passionate, principled people and the constraints placed on the design by the site, planning legislation, the local authority, costs, materials, the local community's needs, our design principles, and all that on a limited budget. She will feature their project for 27 terraced, timber frame and straw bale houses on a beautiful 7 acre site in Dartington, along with the country's first community-level compost toilet scheme, renewable energy systems, food growing, as well as the integration of training and education opportunities.

Fran Bradshaw
Anne Thorne Architects15-40

Fran BradshawFran is a partner at Anne Thorne Architects, a women-led firm exploring ideas through practice, participatory design, bringing together natural building materials with high tech components for beautiful building performance, sharing space through collective agreement, using post occupancy evaluation to feedback into briefing and complete the design circle, among other things. ATA is part of the 15-40 architecture collective, and Fran is deputy chair of the AECB (the Association for Environment Conscious Building).

At Green Architecture Day, Fran will illustrate some of these ideas through talking about designing and building a new thatched and straw bale low energy house with friends and family - a project full of pleasurable contradictions.

Michael Mehaffy
Sustasis Foundation

Michael MehaffyMichael Mehaffy is a long-time colleague and former student of Christopher Alexander, the highly influential architect and author of A Pattern Language and The Nature of Order. Michael came to architecture in the 1970s after studying music and philosophy, and after forming a deep concern about the unsustainable nature of modern civilisation. He has held teaching or research appointments at six graduate institutions in five countries, and he is on the boards of two international journals of sustainable urban development, and three international NGOs dedicated to sustainable development. In recent years he has been working on the upcoming Habitat III conference and on implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the COP21 Paris conference on climate change. View his presentation at the 2014 Urban Design Forum.

At Green Architecture Day, Michael will be joining us by Skype to talk about redefining architecture to work with natural processes, integrated with human settlements and ways of life. He will feature examples of Christopher Alexander's work as well as his own, illustrating the characteristics and qualities of an "architecture of life".

Cat Fletcher
FreegleBrighton Waste House

Cat FletcherCat Fletcher is a waste activist who sources and matches up tonnes of unwanted goods and materials with people who can reuse them – preventing untold local waste. A founder of UK's Freegle reuse network (2.3 million members), she also manages the Brighton Freegle group (27,000 local members). She is currently the only reuse manager for a UK local authority and is ensuring that Brighton and Hove reuse resources wherever possible through innovative, collaborative and creative projects like the City Reuse Depot.

At Green Architecture Day, Cat will run tours of Brighton Waste House, which is very close to our venue, in the morning and at lunch time on Green Architecture Day. Cat was part of the design team and sourced most of the materials for award-winning building.

Waste House Tours and Stalls

Included in Green Architecture Day is the opportunity to visit the award-winning Waste House, as well as stalls from Brighton Permaculture Trust and Permanent Publications. The Waste House will be open before the event starts and there will be tours at lunchtime with Cat Fletcher.


The café/bar at Sallis Benney will be serving vegan soup and bread.


Fees include tuition, handouts and refreshments.

  • £85 - Sponsored/organisation rate
  • £85 - Individual income more than 25k/yr
  • £70 - Individual income 18-25k/yr
  • £55 - Individual income less than 18k/yr
  • £40 - Individual, concessionary rate (check eligibility)

We endeavour to make our courses and events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding for most of these and rely on large amounts of voluntary input.

See the cancellations and refunds policy.

Booking Green Architecture Day

Booking in advance is recommended. If not sold out, there may be limited places available on the door.

Online bookings can be made until midday the day before the course/event. A place is not secured until we have received the requested payment.

Paying for your place

Please read this section carefully.

When you complete the booking process, you will receive a confirmation email from us. If you haven't received that email within the next few hours, please contact us immediately, as this email contains vital information regarding your booking.

You can pay when you book your place using a credit/debit card or PayPal, or you can tick the 'Pay later' box (in the Event Fee section), which gives you the option to pay by BACS or send us a cheque after you have booked. If you choose to pay later, you will have 7 days to pay for your place. Bookings that remain unpaid on our system for longer than that will expire. You will receive notification of this expiration by email. If you then decide you want to come, you will need to contact us to see if there is a still a place available for you.

If you are booking within two weeks of the event, or the event is nearly full, you will not have the option to pay later. Instead, you will need to pay immediately at the point of booking using a credit card or PayPal.

Be certain that you understand ALL the information on this page, then:

Book your place


Contact us

For further information or if you have problems with your registration, please contact us.

Green Architecture Day archive

Presentations from previous years can be found in our archive.