Intructor Ben Graham to present at upcoming conferences

Yestermorrow instructor Ben Graham has a long term vision to bring natural building methods to a wider audience of builders, architects, designers and people in general. This winter he will be taking a clear step in that direction by presenting on natural building at two of the biggest conference/trade shows in the northeast. The first one in February is the Vermont based conference, Better Buildings by Design put on by Efficiency Vermont in South Burlington. The second is in March at the NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association) Building Energy conference in Boston.

This is an important marker in the development of natural building which has been considered a part of the fringe. Ben hopes to create awareness of local, natural materials as another element of a designer or builder’s pallet amongst many. Especially those interested in energy efficiency and low impact methods, natural materials and techniques offer important benefits as we develop structures for the future that use less energy and are healthy for people and the world.
Ben will show how his company, Natural Design/Build, based in Plainfield, VT, has been working with natural materials to create high performance buildings that can not only meet rigorous energy efficiency standards but also offer benefits such as recycleability, durability and life cycle costs that out perform many products widely used and raise the bar for what it means to be green.

The details:
Better Buildings by Design
February 10 -11, 2010
Sheraton Conference center, Burlington, Vermont
Natural Building 101: Tradition meets the future of energy efficiencyBen GrahamNatural Design/BuildLearn about how natural materials and methods are being redefined to become the next high performance system for low impact construction. You will see the latest details for straw bale, light clay and earth plaster solutions for the northeast and beyond. We will look at the building science and the latest data that supports using natural building methods to achieve high-level energy efficiency.R / Beginner Builders, Contractors, Architects

Building Energy 2010
March 9 – 11, 2010
Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA

Natural Materials: A New Look at the Old Ways Tuesday, March 9- 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Workshop Speakers: Ben Graham Terry Brennan
This workshop will look at natural materials in two parts. First we will cover the materials themselves. There will be a discussion of the availability, cost and performance of different materials such as Durisol, Strawbales, clay plasters and wood fiber batts. We will cover thermal, hygro, permeability and durability performance based on test studies. The second part of the workshop will cover how the materials stack up in building assemblies. We will go over effective construction details and real data showing how natural building methods perform in a whole building.

Building Materials - Health Challenges and Natural Construction Alternatives
Thursday, March 11 - 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Session Speakers: Liz Harriman Ben Graham

This session will first look at potential human and environmental health hazards from construction materials such as finishes, plastics, additives, brominated flame retardants, fluoropolymers, and other substances. This will be followed by a presentation on natural building materials and systems that are minimally processed and are potentially more sustainable for our natural resources and human health. A view towards energy efficiency when building with natural materials will also be provided.