May 21, 2020

Mud, the ultimate building material - Becky Little

Mud, the ultimate building material - Becky Little

Rebearth is a Scottish company founded by mud mason Becky Little. Specialising in building, art and education using raw earth and natural materials.


This week we have a conversation with mud mason, Becky Little from Rebearth

"Rebearth is a Scottish company founded by mud mason Becky Little. We specialise in building, art and education using raw earth and natural materials.

We have 25 years of experience in earth building techniques including mudwall (cob),  wattle and daub, light clay and hemp, turf building, soft capping, clay plasters, earth sculpture and decoration.

By learning from the past and working with nature, we celebrate and develop the skills and traditions of earth building."

Why would you build with mud?

Building with mud has got to be the most sustainable way to create a home. In terms of embodied carbon, it's got to be one of the lowest materials available. In terms of performance it's actually one of the best performing materials with regards to moisture buffering, heat buffering and removal of VOCs from the air.

What are the properties of buildings made from mud?

Earth buildings are highly durable, have good humidity regulation and sound insulation, and are non-toxic, non-allergenic and fireproof. They provide excellent thermal mass and can be  insulation (light straw clay for example). 

Why are more buildings not made from mud?

I think the biggest issue, is that mud has an image problem! People see it as medieval, and peasant technology that we (with all our technological advances) have moved on from and bettered. But the truth is we haven't... we have created materials that are faster or cheaper to build with, but not that are good for human health or that of the planet.

Massive thanks to Becky for the conversation - Enjoy the episode!

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Mud as a building material podcast links

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Becky Little

Mud Mason

Rebearth was set up by myself, Becky Little in 2015, following a long career as a traditional builder with stone, earth and lime. While I still love learning from the past I wanted a more holistic approach to work (and life) and to share and develop my expertise with natural building materials. This ongoing journey has enabled me to work with a wide range of craftspeople, professionals and learners throughout Europe and beyond. These collaborations are wide ranging but in essence they are about being intimate with a place and it’s people; creating buildings and art in tune with nature and the seasons, while nurturing relationships, team building and personal growth. As a builder I have a pragmatic approach to making things work on time and budget. As an artist and teacher I can expand this view and help others find new skills and creativity.

So while Rebearth begins with me it also embraces a much wider network of learning and expertise which I tap into for every project and idea, big or small. I can only offer a glimpse of what we do in these pages but you can find more about our work via the social media links or by contacting me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.