Prof Steve Goodhew

University of Plymouth, UK

CobBauge: Natural, energy efficient, low carbon buildings


The CobBauge project is part of the European Union's effort to reduce the energy consumed for the building sector that currently represents 40% of the total energy produced, 60% of which is used by occupants to heat buildings. We need to build in different ways to achieve this goal.

Cob houses (made from soil and fibre) are commonly found in the Channel Regions of France and Great Britain and are a vernacular form of architecture, familiar to those that live and work in these geographical areas. Whilst they have very little energy embodied in them, it is difficult to get permission to build due to current building regulations in France and the UK. Thus the objective of the CobBauge project is to create new techniques and methods to thermally optimise cob material whilst still keeping the cultural and design clues that are so important to their occupants.

Steve Goodhew


Prof Goodhew is the Associate Head of Research at the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth. He researches into the sustainability and building performance of buildings both new and listed properties as individual units and also as urban groupings. He is an expert in the use of thermography and its use in relation to improving the building performance of homes and commercial properties. He also works in the areas of sustainable construction materials, particularly cob. He specialises in undertaking a variety thermal measurements and wider issues in relation to the energy use in buildings. Prof Goodhew is a Fellow of the RICS, CIOB and RSA.

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