Sustainable Construction classes for students with CLIMAVORE

Construction students at West Highland UHI had an opportunity to gain an understanding of sustainable and alternative building materials that could be part of the construction industry of the future during their course last year.

see full size image
L to R: Students Lewis Colven, Donatas Neverauskas, Bryony Anderson and Pierre Mahler with James Wilson from Climavore.

Climavore collaborated with the college to develop workshops for our students in Portree – though, locally, Climavore is possibly better known for its work exploring food and climate change which has been nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize 2021. 

Students benefited from a series of interactive workshops in a collaboration with Climavore exploring how innovative materials could be used as potential alternatives to traditional building materials.  The students were actively involved in making roofing materials out of seaweed, floor tiles out of crushed shells and a concrete alternative from hemp to better understand how these materials could be used as part of a circular construction economy locally.  The workshops were recently featured by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their newsletter 

Traditionally courses such as the Construction Skills NPA course would only usually cover a very broad range of subjects in a fairly traditional way. But the collaboration with Climavore has meant that a new element has been introduced for students to engage with. 

Course Leader Claire Thomson explained: 

"I’m excited to include the ‘Regenerative Construction Materials’ unit in our Level 5 course, to introduce the concept of sustainable, regenerative and alternative materials at an early stage in the students’ construction careers. This encourages them to embrace sustainable construction from the outset and widens their horizons with regard to what they will be comfortable to use, specify and construct as they develop along their career paths.” 

Students can study Construction courses in both Fort William and Portree college centres.