Who are you?
Luka Lampret is a civil engineer whose interests include building houses from natural materials such as clay, straw and timber. He joined the Pioneers programme to gain more experience of natural building materials, particularly from abroad.
What did you do?
Luka’s placement was with INTROMAC (Technological Institute of Ornamental Rocks and Construction Materials) in Spain, which specialises in sustainability and energy efficiency, re-use and revaluation of waste, smart structures and virtual simulation, and construction materials.
Luca made connections with other professionals to collate information on different techniques and methods of construction using natural materials. Although straw bales are used in construction in some countries, it is not a widely recognised construction material and would require a CE marking to be adopted more frequently. On behalf of the Institute, Luka researched the use of straw bales within construction and the processes to develop a standardised certification at a European level.
The Institute is now exploring ways of using natural materials within construction and their certification.
My placement was the first time I had worked in a research institute and it was a fantastic experience. I learnt so many new ideas and gained a lot of contacts during my Pioneers experience.
What did you learn?
Although Luka already had a wide knowledge of natural building materials, he learnt of new approaches and uses for these materials during his placement. He gained experience in delivering workshops, which were delivered in Spanish, improving his professional level of the Spanish language.
Luka found the systems innovation tools useful during his analysis of the natural materials sector, particularly stakeholder mapping and analysis.
The teaching skills Luka gained were particularly valued as he will use them in his future work.
What happens next?
Luka has continued his interest in the use of natural materials, such as compressed straw bricks and clay materials in the construction industry and has made new connections with companies within Spain and Slovenia. Luka is also exploring opportunities through new networks for increased use of natural materials within the building industry.
Having participated in a workshop teaching people to use clay materials, he would like to explore the development of training in natural construction materials.