What is ‘No Building As Usual’?
Tell me more!
Nest House – NBAU 2021
Past live builds
Sponsor A Student

Archive content: I’m A Student. What Next?

What is ‘No Building As Usual’?

Current educational structures have delivered very little shift in terms of ethnicity and gender balance, we therefore require innovation in educational practice.


‘No Building As Usual’ is a cross-sector live-build summer school addressing diversity and the climate emergency. The project offers the opportunity for hands-on construction experience, teaching participants how to design and build in response to the climate emergency.


Summer 2021 sees the launch of this ambitious, collaborative programme. Studio Bark has run many ‘live build’ projects in the past, but this is the first time we are leading a collaborative programme bringing together students and practitioners from across the building sector.

For the latest build developments, please see the student’s weekly blog on our news page.

Tell me more!

No Building As Usual is a collaboration between Studio Bark (project lead), Structure Workshop (supporting engineer) and other expert collaborators from across the building sector.


Through integrated teaching about construction and the climate emergency, No Building As Usual aims to:


– Work with people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and
– Increase cross-sector collaboration within construction
– Educate using real projects with real clients
– Increase ‘carbon literacy’ and ‘energy literacy’
– Raise awareness in performance standards such as Building Regulations vs Passivhaus
– Educate in sustainable construction methods through hands on 1:1 building
– Introduce environmental principles and specific technical skills
– Develop skills in using low-energy hand tools
– Increase ecological knowledge and understanding of environmental impact of supply chains
– Provide project and site management experience and team-working including different types of leadership skills
– Take an open book approach, running the programme as a not for profit arm of Studio Bark.


More information

Nest House – NBAU 2021

This year, No Building As Usual covers a construction project called Nest House on a real site, for a lovely couple who desperately need help. The site is located in the rolling countryside of Herefordshire.


Nest House is a new 2 bedroom, fully accessible house with the following rigorous environmental design principles:


– No concrete building – Unique foundation design eliminates the need for energy hungry foundations
– Radical adaptability / design for disassembly / circular economy principles
– Fabric first approach – designing out the need for excessive bolt on technologies
– Low embodied energy / Natural building materials
– User responsive, smart heating system
– Integrated planting and green roof and landscape enhancements


The home will be constructed using Studio Bark’s modular, low embodied energy, low impact construction system called U-Build.




– Groundworks: Feb – May 2021
– Studio Bark Projects Mobilisation: Apr – Jun 2021
– ON SITE: No Building As Usual Live Build: Jun – Aug 2021


More information about the Nest House build

Past Live Builds

Studio Bark is passionate about teaching sustainable construction. We have been running live build projects with students since 2012. Our live builds have grown in scale and environmental ambition, with Box House, a more recent project, being filmed and broadcast as part of Channel 4’s Grand Designs: The Street.


Download our portfolio of past student live builds.


Sponsor A Student

We’re looking for individuals and businesses who share our vision and are able to sponsor a student through the No Building As Usual 2021 summer programme.


What are we asking for from you?

£1980 (ex VAT) will cover all the costs for one student for 10 weeks (if you can sponsor more, then we will pay the students an honorarium of the same amount).


We also ask that one of your experienced team support your student beneficiary as a temporary mentor (target 4 no. 1-hour sessions)


And in exchange?

– You will play a part in levelling up the construction sector and giving an opportunity to someone underrepresented in our industry
– You will build your reputation as a forward-thinking organisation that supports meaningful social and environmental enterprises
– You will have the opportunity to collaborate with us and the wider No Building As Usual team through mentoring, networking, events, and talks
– You will be named as a key sponsor on our No Building As Usual webpage and on project marketing.
– We will issue a personal thank you message to your organisation through Instagram/Twitter accounts (over 18,000 followers across Studio Bark and U-Build)


Please note, we’re running No Building As Usual as a not for profit initiative. All sponsorship will go to the students.


More information for sponsors.


Or, to speak with a member of our team please email nbau@studiobark.co.uk


Sponsor a student via our crowdfunder page



NBAU Archive

I’m A Student. What Next?

We are looking for students from the following backgrounds:


– Architecture
– Structural Engineering
– Construction
– Building Services Engineering
– Cost consultancy / Quantity surveying


If you are a student, and are interested in being part of a select student build team, please complete this expression of interest form by midnight on Monday 17th May.
For answers to student FAQs and to view a picture gallery of our past live build projects please click here.

Full project programme 


No Building As Usual is supported by:


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