Iris Anderson, BBIA Ambassador

shogun-himejiI have recently returned from a trip to Japan and was struck by the nation’s fast pace and technological advancement.

The Japanese still utilise biomaterials for important projects especially when restoring monuments of significance. One such amazing edifice is the Shogun castle at Himeji, which is built entirely from wood and uses a special render to give its characteristic white look.

The render is made from numerous materials which include lime, powdered seashell, hemp fibre, seaweed and sand.

There are many opportunities to use biomaterials in the UK construction industry not only for the fabric of the building – for example straw board and bale, hemp-lime, hemcrete, wood, bricks made from recycled paper/waste – but also insulation, adhesives, water and energy solutions.

shogun materialsSuppliers need to work with major construction companies to mainstream their products and highlight the climate change and embodied energy gains from such products. BBIA welcomes members from the construction industry.

I also wanted to bring to your attention a new exhibition at the V&A, London, from 18 June to 6 November – “Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design”, which has been reviewed by the Guardian.