About Us

The School of Natural Building (SNaB), which is the first of its kind in the UK, was established in August 2014 by social entrepreneurs, Barbara Jones & Eileen Sutherland.

Barbara is a strawbale building guru and author of Building with Straw Bales – the most comprehensive guide to strawbale building. Barbara set up Straw Works, amazonnails and Amazon Nails. Straw Works has been re-named Wellspring Architecture and the Straw Works website now exists as a resource and directory of information. which is a bespoke design company specialising in buildings made of straw and other healthy natural materials.

Eileen worked with Barbara on the strategic direction and infrastructure of SNaB and is now a Board member.


The School

Natural Building is an artisan craft. It involves intuition as well as skills, knowledge, technique and experience. However, most people can grasp it, as it is essentially common sense combined with practice.

Our courses are open to everyone whether or not you want to follow the full training programme. If you’d like to attend a course and not apply for SNaB, please check the website for dates and contact us at schoolofnaturalbuilding@gmail.com to make a booking.


Community Business

The School of Natural Building is a BenCom (or Community Benefit Society – CBS) and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Registration number 7284.

Our aim is to offer educational and training services for anyone interested in natural building, particularly for women and others traditionally excluded from the construction industry, and to raise awareness about the benefits of using natural materials in the built environment and for artistic and therapeutic purposes.

As a BenCom, we reinvest profits back into the business in order to benefit the community we are set up to serve. As much of our work is done voluntarily, if you work, want to work, or simply have an interest in natural building, joining as a member helps to support this network. We are currently in the process of setting up memberships, so watch this space for details of how to become a member…


Our Values

Empowerment

to encourage ourselves, others and institutions to do things we never thought we could, to be more than we thought we were, to take responsibility for ourselves and our world and push the boundaries of what we thought was possible.

Sustainability

to use what is enough, and no more. To live, work, design, build and teach with an awareness of and respect for the harmony of nature and our place within it. To use natural and low-embodied energy materials and systems, ensuring continuation without greed.

Passion

to truly believe in what we are doing, and why. To be full of enthusiasm for our choices, decisions, actions and direction.

Fun

to enjoy what we do, be lighthearted, humorous, playful, and to encourage others to be so too.


Board Members

As a BenCom, SNaB is managed by a board of directors and committee members. The first AGM was held in Feb 2015.

We are:

Barbara Jones (Director)

Eileen Sutherland (Director, also Secretary)

Rae Parkinson (Director)

Issy Budd (Membership sec)

Nessa Lyon (Accreditation)

Helen Freudenberg (Events organiser)

We are always looking to expand the board and welcome new members, so if you are interested in helping to run SNaB, please get in touch. You can read more about the board roles and what they entail here.


Equality and Diversity Policies

Click these links to see our Policies in pdf format:

Equal Opportunities Policy

Dignity at Work Policy