University of Westminster flag

Cork is a genuinely ecological material – it is sustainably harvested from cork oak trees in southern Europe, and reconstituted in its block form without any additional binders. It is a natural vegetable product that is carbon neutral, is biodegradable, can be recycled, and has excellent thermal, acoustic insulative properties. Solid cork can also be exposed externally which will weather to a silver-brown colour over time.

Matt Barnett-Howland from MPH Architects is currently working on a government-funded research project exploring the innovative use of cork as a construction material. His research project aims to demonstrate how cork can provide all three fundamental functions of a building envelope – primary structure, insulation, and weather-proofing. As part of his research, Barnett-Howland is working on the world’s first building to use solid cork as a structural material for the roof as well as the walls.

For further details, contact Will McLean at [email protected]

Visit the Technical Studies website.