Jan. 6, 2022

Building with Hemp, a Circular, Bioregional Construction Economy - George Massoud & Summer Islam - BS066

Building with Hemp, a Circular, Bioregional Construction Economy - George Massoud & Summer Islam - BS066

We discuss the report created by Material Cultures and ARUP which examines the potential positive impacts of a bioregional construction economy, from improvements in biodiversity to an increase in construction jobs and security; building a case for redistributing the values of the construction industry towards a cleaner, sustainable methodology for growth that is beneficial to all. It can be viewed here.

Until recently, little attention has been paid to the carbon impacts of the construction and refurbishing of buildings, with the majority of focus on their operational performance. Substituting carbon intensive technical materials with regenerative resources and materials from the biosphere, which absorb and store natural carbon, could have a significant impact on both the carbon footprint and economy of the UK.

The built environment is responsible for almost 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions. If we intend to halt the progress of the climate and ecological breakdown, we must find new ways to design and to build.


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George Massoud

George Massoud AA Dipl ARB RIBA is a Director at Material Cultures. He is an architect, educator, activist and cultural worker. In practice, George has extensive experience working on a range of arts projects, complex refurbishments and commercial developments. He is a founding director of Studio Abroad, which he established with Summer Islam in 2014. George is Unit Master at the Architectural Association, exploring how alternative social ecologies are shaped through material and spatial politics. He is also producer and founding member of POA, a feminist, queer community platform for reimagining value systems through mutual interdependence.

Summer Islam Profile Photo

Summer Islam

Summer Islam AADipl (hons) ARB is a founding Director of Material Cultures. She has extensive experience of leading prominent cultural and community projects from inception to completion. Her work is focussed on the holistic integration of construction technologies and design. Summer co-runs 'Construction in Detail' in the Spatial Studies department at the University of the Arts London. Summer has taught at the Bartlett, University College London, the London Metropolitan University, the Architectural Association and the University of Cambridge. She was previously an associate at award-winning design practice 6a architects in London. Summer co-founded architecture and design practice Studio Abroad with George Massoud in 2014.