Adaptavate invited to House of Parliament for release of UK Green Building Council paper.

This month saw our founder; Tom invited to the Houses of Parliament as part of the
UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) release of an influential report on Healthy
House Building. The report aims to highlight the need to balance the need for
300,000 new homes a year with the quality to which these homes are built.


In a time when outdoor air pollution rightly gets a lot of exposure in the media, it is
important to consider the air quality of our homes and work places as we spend on
average 90% of our time indoors. The cost to the NHS of treating medical conditions
associated with poor living conditions is estimate to be as high as £2.5bn per year.

The UKGBC released a paper in 2016 highlighting the need and opportunity in this
space and has continued their work to date to bring it to the public’s consciousness
as the Prime Minister herself has recognised the connections between local environment and wellbeing in her 25 year Environment Plan.


It was a very well attended event with some of the big contractors, architects and
thinkers attending and an engaging address from Rebecca Pow MP, (Parliamentary
Private Secretary, DEFRA) and Ashley Bateson from Hoare Lea who were
collaborating on the report.

From Adaptavate’s point of view, this is a very informative paper and re-iterates that
the inclusion of the next generation of high performing, healthy building products
such as Breathaboard and Breathaplasta into the market is as important as ever.
This is combined with the fact that people are becoming increasingly aware of what
their homes are made of and how this effects their health.

This supports the notion that, as product developers, we need to continue to design
high-performing materials that don’t just ‘do a job’ but that can help improve people’s
lives, by creating healthy, liveable and beautiful spaces in which to work and play. It
is also our job to make sure that the materials are easy to use and specify and that
people across the spectrum understand the benefits in a clear and transparent way,
supported by substantiated performance claims and rigorous testing procedures.


Adaptavate exhibit with nbuk at ecobuild 2018

Adaptavate were excited to collaborate with Natural Building UK (nbuk) to promote the use of natural building materials and techniques at one of the UK’s biggest construction industry events, ecobuild ExCeL London 06-08 March 2018.

Natural Building UK took over a whole café area at the show and Adaptavate were there alongside some of the brightest and best of the UK natural building industry to showcase Breathaplasta and the benefits of high performance natural materials.



You could sense a real buzz at the show with a genuine excitement and enthusiasm for all things natural and healthy as live demonstrations of lime and clay plastering, hempcrete, straw bale building and many more engaged the crowds over the course of the 3-day event.

Breathaplasta was displayed within the timber framed structure sitting pride of place at the nbuk café. Exhibitors from nbuk were on hand to help and guide visitors on getting the best for their individual projects. In particular, Breathaplasta proved popular for being both a natural, chemical free material and time and labour saving choice – something that’s rarely associated with natural building technologies.


The Natural Building Café  was a real hit and was busy throughout the show with a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere from the experts on stand. Huge thanks to everyone involved for making it such a success and we look forward to being back next year!

In addition to nbuk, Adaptavate were featured as part of the ‘buildings as material banks’ travelling show from Holland thanks to our friend across the water, Richard de la Roy of Dutch company Eco-Makelaar. Richard is opening up some exciting channels into the European market for Adaptavate’s innovative products. Watch this space!









nbuk is a growing organisation that aims to promote natural material choices and techniques within the construction industry. From wood, stone, earth and straw to traditional thatch, natural insulation clay and lime plastering. Nbuk represents building contractors, architects, education providers and material suppliers in the natural building sphere.



Transforming Construction with the MTC and George Clarke’s MOBIE.

Following our work with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry last year we were invited to attend an event they recently hosted focussed on Transforming the Construction Sector. Various speakers addressed an audience of the leading building companies, developers, specifiers and product producers. It was also a great day, as George Clarke from the TV programs ‘Restoration Man’ and ‘Amazing Spaces’ presented his new baby – the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE)

George Clarke presenting MOBIE

Neil Rawlinson from the MTC stated that the construction sector is unique, in that it still combines many individual components, but not in a process controlled environment such as a factory – it is done on-site.  He highlighted the challenges the industry faces with a big skills gap, low margins, constant delays and accidents on-site and suggested a complete re-think towards a different system for designing and delivering buildings is needed. One where there is a modularity, where there are less components assembled on site, requiring less skilled labour and less handovers from one trade to another, reducing delays and reducing risk of accidents.

Mike Pitts from Innovate UK suggested there were some exciting developments with regards to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and how it may support manufacturing and construction particularly.  He echoed Neil’s points around taking learnings from other industries and suggested that a Component -> Platform -> Product approach may be the way forward. A component being building materials, systems and services, a platform being a modular house or a panel of a house and a product being the finished home. He suggested that if this approach was taken, combined with a mass customisation of a few ‘platforms’ or house offerings, then the industry could increase the options for the customers/homeowners but reduce the variables on-site and in the supply chain. Later in the day we got to see first hand some of the innovative work that the MTC is carrying out with Brydon Wood on this kind of approach for commercial, public projects – where they are assembling components in factories, in controlled environments to be assembled on-site to reduce time delay with projects in the build phase, improve quality and improve health and safety.

George Clarke introduced the MOBIE concept focusing on how the industry should not always be focussed on time and cost – there is the forgotten measurement of quality! The idea behind MOBIE is to educate and inspire the next generation of designers, architects and practitioners to look at how we can make buildings BETTER and we need to focus on making the industry as a whole more attractive for the up and coming bright minds. This is something we resonate with at Adaptavate and part of the reason why Tom has been asked to give talks at schools and universities – to inspire the next generation.


At Adaptavate, we believe that homes are our third-skin, a place of shelter, security, growth and where we bring up our families. We spend 90% of our time indoors so we need to make them healthy. This is something that MOBIE share with us – they want to innovate to develop BETTER and HEALTHY housing that looks great and inspire people to make this happen. A great message to resonate with change makers in our industry and we want to collaborate with people like this.


Adaptavate exhibit at The Listed Property Show

We were excited to collaborate with our friends Eco-Renovation UK on an exhibition stand at The Listed Property Show at Olympia London over the weekend 24 & 25 February. The two-day event saw crowds of people flock in from all over the UK, especially from London’s surrounding counties.

Adam Illes, Founder of Eco-Renovation UK and a damp, insulation and renovation expert for older properties was on hand to guide people through the complexities of renovating and treating listed buildings. His display of Hempcrete blocks created quite a stir with many unaware of the extent of thematerial’s insulative properties, thermal mass and ability to regulate moisture and improve indoor air quality. It was great to see so many people engaged with natural materials and clued up on the need for traditional and breathable methods of renovation and restoration. However, it was even more pleasing to see such a positive reaction from newcomers to the highly breathable hemp and lime-based biomaterials we were promoting – from hempcrete to hemp insulation panels and of course, our own high performance hemp and lime plaster, Breathaplasta.

Other show highlights for the heritage enthusiast were practical demonstrations of lime plaster, lime mortar and lead work, window restoration, brickwork and paint and master carvers at work. In addition is was great to see ISO Energy’s informative talk on sensitively integrating modern renewable technologies into our older listed buildings.

A feature display of Buildings at Risk in association with Historic England and SAVE Britain’s Heritage capped off a great exhibition and highlighted the responsibility and commitment required of those who take on our heritage buildings to restore them and to preserve their legacy.

Thanks go to the organisers and we look forward to introducing our high performance lime plaster and lime-based biocomposites to new visitors in 2019.

If you missed us at The Listed Property Show you’ll be pleased to know that we’re also exhibiting at ecobuild 06-08 March 2018 /ExCeL, London.


Adaptavate feature in Fat Lama’s top 10 Green Business Ideas 

We love what we’re doing at Adaptavate and we know the positive social and environmental impact we can have, but it’s still nice to be told so every once in a while. This month we’re chuffed to bits to feature in Fat Lama’s top 10 Green Business Ideas alongside great companies like Bio-Bean, Grow Bristol and Impossible Foods.

Who are Fat Lama? I hear you say. Well click here to find out more about their groovy online sharing platform dubbed the ‘AirBnB for stuff’. One of their many benefits is that by opting to borrow, not buy, we can put the brakes on unnecessary mass-manufacturing and carbon intensive distribution systems.

Like all these companies, Adaptavate is a business founded to do good in the knowledge that our industries can work in more efficient and more sustainable ways and it’s great to see some of the really interesting and exciting work being done in the fields of sustainability, health, wellbeing and empowerment. We were thrilled to feature alongside these international brands and will be watching them as they grow and flourish. You can click here to see the full list of Fat Lama’s top 10 Green Business Ideas.

  1. OLIO

London based software company. OLIO connects neighbours and local shops so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.

  1. Good Guide

Good Guide is an app that rates products based on safety and health and empowers consumers to choose products based on their health and environmental credentials.

  1. Conscious Step

New York based Conscious Step was created to bring more awareness to the problems faced by the world today and the organisations fighting these problems. Every pair of socks is partnered with a different non-profit so you can support the causes you love simply by purchasing these items of everyday wear.

  1. Molekule

A San Francisco-based startup with a sleekly designed molecular air purifier that uses nanotechnology to break down pollutants – moulds, bacteria, viruses and chemicals.

  1. Adaptavate

A biomaterials company based in Stroud, England that is re-thinking the material flows within the construction industry. Their products are designed to replace conventional materials but utilise crop waste making them renewable and compostable avoiding landfill. They are even high performance in use, leading to healthier and more energy efficient homes and buildings.

  1. 31 Bits

Using jewellery and design to empower people to rise above poverty, 31 Bits is a fashion company with a difference. Every time you make a 31 bits purchase you have a direct impact on women’s lives in Uganda where their products are made.

  1. Bio-Bean

A London based company founded in 2013, bio-bean is the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced bio fuels.

  1. Grow Bristol

An innovative start-up based in, you guessed it, Bristol! Turning old shipping containers into agricultural sites, they use aquaponics to produce ultra-local leafy greens without the air miles. It also uses 80% less water making it a win-win!

  1. Impossible Foods

Based in California, Impossible Foods Inc. is possibly the most ambitious environmental food company out there. They have a team of scientists and food experts working to develop plant-based meat and dairy products made without animals. The meatless Impossible Burger is ground-breaking and looks and tastes just like the real thing.

  1. My Green World

A Melbourne-based social enterprise dedicated to addressing global wildlife and environmental challenges through innovative, youth-focussed education.


Breathaboard. High performance biocomposite board.

Why we do what we do at Adaptavate – designing products that bring a breath of fresh air to the construction industry.

It is in almost every home and building you live and work in and is on most of the walls around you now. It is one of the most widely used construction products with up to 1.3 million tonnes of waste produced every year. And it is a controlled waste that has to be segregated from other waste streams costing around £250 per tonne for disposal. It is plasterboard.

Plasterboard was developed early in the 20th century, but it didn’t really take off until World War II when quick, easy and inexpensive building materials were needed to offset labour shortage and war costs. By the time the war ended, plasterboard had earned its place as the dominant building material and the post-war boom saw houses built in a fraction of the time and cost of pre-war construction. There was a real explosion in use throughout the 60s and 70s and plasterboard was now the go-to solution for quick and efficient internal lining in the construction sector. Today, around 270 million m2 is produced annually in the UK alone.

Plasterboard is one of the great versatile materials in modern construction, but it does come with an environmental cost. The main environmental impacts associated with plasterboard result from the production process and disposal. Production and calcination of gypsum, the main feedstock of plasterboard and finishing plaster, are energy and heat intensive. In addition, the longevity of gypsum feedstocks is far from secure. Gypsum has 2 sources: from virgin deposits in the ground and secondly, from the ‘scrubbing’ from coal and lignite-fired power stations. Both sources have questions around their long-term security

Gypsum, the main feed stock for plasterboard, has 2 sources. Firstly, virgin deposits in the ground which have to be mined and secondly, from the ‘scrubbing’ from coal and lignite-fired power stations.

Probably the main environmental cost associated with plasterboard is waste. Gypsum, though non-hazardous, requires segregated monocell landfill disposal due to it emitting a toxic gas, Hydrogen Sulphide, when in contact with water. There have been improvements by the industry to minimise the amount of material going to landfill by specifying the right size of sheet for the design to reduce off-cuts, reduce over-order to sites to reduce wastage of virgin material and manufacturer take-back schemes, but it is still only possible to include around 20% recycled material into new product.

Almost every skip you pass seems to have some plasterboard sticking out. But plasterboard correctly disposed of will end up in segregated waste to avoid harmful emissions. This currently costs around £250 per tonne.

The current waste disposal figures are staggering.

  • Manufacturing waste is currently around 500 tonnes annually.
  • New construction waste of virgin material is approximately 300,000 tonnes per year. This is due to over-ordering, incorrect specification, damaged plasterboard and off-cuts.
  • Waste from demolition and refurbishments could be as much as 1 million tonnes.

Collectively, this is the weight of more than 100,000 London buses!  Every Year!

More than 1,300,000 tonnes of plasterboard is disposed of to landfill every year. That’s the equivalent weight of 100,000 London buses!

There must be a better way. Our founder, Tom Robinson, took on this challenge around 4 years ago when studying for his MSc in Sustainable Architecture. His experience working on building sites and seeing first-hand the sheer volume of plasterboard waste generated daily and destined for landfill made him determined to design a mainstream alternative, an easy use ‘drop-in’ solution that would reduce the impact of waste, minimise energy used in production and ensure security of feedstocks for the future. This is how Breathaboard was conceived.

Breathaboard is a high performance biocomposite alternative to plasterboard that uses plant material for 60-70% of its volume. Its design makes it just as easy to handle and install as regular plasterboard and even gives it improved performance in-use, managing and regulating moisture in the atmosphere and improving indoor air quality. Therefore, the benefits of Breathaboard are not only in reducing hard to treat waste to landfill – it also has the ability to breathe with the people in the building, reducing problems with condensation and mould. You can read more about this on the Breathaboard section of our website by following this link.

Breathaboard is a high performance biocomposite alternative to plasterboard that uses plant material for 60-70% of its volume and can be composted at end of life.

Breathaboard offcuts, wastage and used material can all be composted.

Breathaboard is a fundamental shift in mainstream construction materials, it’s a move away from the linear model of take, make and waste to a circular model where materials are grown, products are manufactured using less energy and resources and they are then simply broken down and composted at end-of-life. Matching ease of use, high performance and low environmental impact in products is essential if we are to enable long-term, sustainable growth in the construction sector.

Tom believes now is a really interesting time for disruptive ideas in the construction sector and particularly ideas that reduce waste to landfill and that bring with them increases in productivity. “We are living in a period of increasing uncertainty and the future landscape is not clear. However, I believe that this provides massive opportunity for businesses and ideas to completely re-think the conventional way materials are made. We have to reduce the colossal amounts of waste going to landfill, reduce energy demand in production, add to productivity in the UK to create jobs and exportable products and we can additionally bring health benefits to consumers. This is all key to ensuring long-term sustainable growth. We need to do this at the same time as shifting to a circular economy with a lighter footprint on our fragile ecosystems. I believe it is now, more than ever, time for businesses to step up and find new ways of doing good, alongside doing well”.

1 2 3
Newsletter Signup


Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound

Copyright 2019 @ Adaptavate. All rights Reserved.