2019 Earth Building Conference & AGM

The Future With Earth: 

Creating Positive Outcomes Through Earth Architecture. 

EBAA’s 2019 Earth Building Conference presents the opportunity for all of us to share in a 3-day programme of workshops, seminars and papers on the subject of affordable and sustainable housing through the use of natural and unfired earth construction.

3 Day Programme:

Two days of talks / seminars / discussion /lectures and demonstrations of how to do it ( how to make and lay mud bricks, how to build in rammed earth walls and how to build in cob and also other earth building techniques demonstrated / explained). 




Speakers Confirmed So Far

Keynote Speaker;  Graeme NorthFNZIA, BArch, Dip Perm, representing EBANZ ( Earth Building Association of New Zealand), has over 45 years experience with hundreds of projects to his credit. A dedicated eco-designer, his work can be found from Otago to Northland in New Zealand, garnering him both a national and international reputation for his design of natural buildings. He has specialised in designs that use a wide range of natural materials and appropriate building technology as well as offering specialist assistance or peer review in these specialties for other owners, designers and/or Building Consent authorities. www.ecodesign.co.nz 

Dong Chen of The CSIRO Energy Rating Team; Updating On New Assessment Method For All Naturally Ventilated Buildings. With the background in mechanical and chemical engineering, Dong’s research interests are in the physical and numerical modelling of building thermal performance, climate change impact and adaptation, building air conditioning and ventilation. Dong got his double degrees in mechanical engineering and Chemistry at Tsinghua University in 1987 and his PhD degree in Chemical engineering at Auckland University in 1997. Since 1986, Dong has been researching thermal and energy efficiency systems. He has worked as an assistant research professor in the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). Dong joined CSIRO’s Building Thermal and Ventilation team in 1999, at which point he invented the fine bubble building ventilation modelling technique which is used in research institutes worldwide. In 2000, Dong led the empirical confirmation of the occurrence of multiple ventilation rate solutions in wind/buoyancy coupled natural ventilation in buildings. Dong is currently leading the further development of AccuRate and the Chenath engine, the benchmark software tool for the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) in Australia. He is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for NatHERS Software Development. Dong has published 48 Journal papers, 53 conference papers and over 100 research reports. The CSIRO Energy Rating Team 

Ian Sercombe  Architect;   How He Sees It As An Architect Working With Earth. Our practice specialises in energy-efficient architectural solutions for residential and small commercial projects. We value good design and healthy environments, adding value to a property as well as contributing to the health, creativity and well-being of the occupants.  www.greenarchitect.com.au

Tim Adams of F2 Designs;  How To Get Earth Through Ratings – Performance Based Solutions.  40 years of building design experience and early adoption of energy rating tools, places F2 as a leader in the field of energy efficient house design. Tim Adams has investigated zero energy design responses for a number of years and was the instigator of the highly successful 10 Star Challenge in 2011 when President of the Building Designers Association of Victoria.  www.f2design.com.au

Martin Freeney  of Earthship Ironbark;  Post Occupancy Monitoring and Earthships In The Suburbs. As the owner-builder/designer of Earthship Ironbank  (the first Earthship in Australia to be approved by both Michael Reynolds (Earthship Guru) and local government.).  He has background in design and drafting, permaculture, and his recent PhD studies, investigated the performance of Earthships in various climates.  www.earthshipecohomes.com.au

Peter Hickson of Earth Building Solutions & EBAA President;  Iran Courtyard Designs and Yakhchals With Earth   How Earth Building Fits With a More Holistic Sustainable Future. Peter Hickson is a Professional Master Builder currently licensed to conduct building work in NSW, Australia.  He has 31 years experience specialising in designing and constructing homes of raw unfired earth and promoting earth building through training, education and practical example.  He was a founding member of the Earth Building Association of Australia, and has served on the EBAA committee for many years including as Vice President and as President.   Earth Building Solutions

Stephen Dobson of Ramtec  WA.  The Future of Earth Building. BEng., BCom., Registered Builder,  Joint Technical Committee Member of Standards Association of Aust and Standards NZ for a Standard for Earth Building for Australia and New Zealand. Executive.  Steve built his first Rammed Earth home in Darwin 1976 and is a founding member of the Earth Building Association of Australia and long term committee member.  Managing Director, Ramtec Pty Ltd est 1979. Ramtec has built over 650 structures over approximately 40 years.  With his vast knowledge and experience he is regularly invited overseas to give keynote talks. He is one of Australia’s consummate exponents of Rammed Earth.  Ramtec

Bobbie Bayley & Owen Kelly,  degrees in architecture University of Newcastle; The Grand Section,  7650kms of Australian Architecture. A year long bicycle odyssey in 2017, across Australia’s grand section along the 25th latitude, Uluru’s latitude – from Fraser Island to Dorre Island off Western Australia, to better understand the relationship of country to architecture.  Stopping for one week in 19 places to engaging with locals, analysing and documenting materials and the place; how and why people are living the way they are, presenting their findings back to the communities they stayed with. The Grand Section findings have toured nationally in the 2018 exhibition “Girthy; with Slim Edges”. This work and contribution to the Australian Architecture profession has been recognised by several prestigious scholarships and a national architecture award in July 2019. Their current research, now sees them working with the Australian NGO, Healthabitat and pursuing passive design in arid climates. www.thegrandsection.com

Ron Knight of Ecoheat Solar Air Heating System. Ecoheat is an innovative solar air heating system that is powered by the sun’s energy.  Originally designed and developed with the cool climate region of Australia’s Snowy Mountains in mind. Over 10 years of product development and refinement through a partnership with the University of Wollongong. This technology harvests the sun’s energy through solar collector panels that are mounted on your roof. This natural energy is delivered straight to your home as fresh, warm air. In summer, it acts as a ventilation system providing fresh, cool air during the evening. Ecoheat has been installed into many homes  in other areas with climates that are far less extreme as the Snowy’s, but still very much experience cold winters and hot summers. This innovative heating system can now be found everywhere from the disparate climates of the Gold Coast and Brisbane, to Sydney, Canberra, the Blue Mountains and throughout Victoria and South Australia.   Ecoheat Australia


Technical experts with decades of experience, will be there available throughout the whole weekend to mingle with all attendees for networking and discussing all that is earth building.




On the last day, there will a drive tour of  the local area visiting existing unfired earth buildings, as we depart the conference venue.


Announced 1st Sept;  The will three places we will visit on the Sunday tour. 

  1. Tomerong, (30 min South of Nowra) A Mudbrick dwelling under construction and container studio with earth floor,  ‘best cubby house ever’.   

      2. Kangaroo Valley, (50 Min North of Nowra),  A Formed Cob Dwelling, which is now completed.

    3. Jaspers Brush, (15 Min North of Nowra)  Rammed Earth Dwelling.

The Tour and the Conference will conclude at Jaspers Brush to enable a short distance to public transport in Nowra and the Princes Hwy, for attendees to easily depart homeward. 


Conference contributors; We are currently seeking expressions of interest for potential papers, workshop presentations, and our “5 X 5 Show and Tell” for any attendee  ( 5 digital slides i.e. powerpoint presentation, for 5 minutes).   Please contact us to register your interest 

This conference attracts Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points, if you require them. 


Dates and Venue for the 2019 Earth Building Conference:

The Conference is held over 3 days 27, 28, & 29th,  September 2019 at the mud brick built, Bamarang Bush Retreat10 minutes west of Nowra in the Shoalhaven area NSW.  

Accommodation is also available here exclusively for conference attendees, however is limited to approximately 100 people. It is mostly shared ‘dormitory style’ quarters, approximately 4 to 6 to a room , there are a few private rooms and a camping area.  Separate accommodation in the Nowra township is available 10 minutes away, if you prefer so.

All meals are fully catered for and included in the Conference price using local produce with a menu catering for vegan needs as well.


Evening fireside social gatherings. Attendees who are musical are welcome to bring your acoustic guitars, hand drums, woodwinds etc) for some impromptu jamming.


Come along for just one day, or two, or for the whole three days.

Everybody is welcome, professionals to novices. The event is also kid friendly and safe.

Share our page to your social media friends. Links at bottom of page. Facebook users are welcome to engage with EBAA Conference 2019 Facebook event page also. 



    3-day Conference Package Deal (Includes attendance, lunch, snacks and dinner)

            Individual non-member      $ 350/person

            EBAA member                       $ 290/person

            Student/Unwaged                 $ 200/person

            Group of 3 or more              $ 315/person

     Accommodation at the venue is available (from $45 to $210 for 2 or 3 nights, breakfast included). Beds are limited, so book early.

     If unable to come for the whole 3 days, you can build your own package at standard rates. Details provided in the booking window.

About EBAA:

The Earth Building Association of Australia (EBAA ) supports well designed sustainable and affordable high thermal mass buildings that are net zero carbon and require little or no energy for thermal comfort, Australia wide. Such buildings are commercially available or able to be built by owner builders themselves, over most of Australia. Learn how to get such a home designed and built or ideas on how to build it yourself from the Earth Building Association of Australia

See improved thermal performance and less greenhouse gas emission from an unfired earth wall building.  Also…Rather than the endless insulation and sealing of buildings to lessen air conditioning costs, EBAA proposes building with thick massive unfired earth walls, climatically well designed and free running.  At the same time using sustainable, economic and low embodied energy, earth building methods.  The aim is low carbon in construction and in lifetime running of the buildings to overall be carbon neutral, as well as meeting other sustainable and healthy building and affordability metrics.



By Email
Email EBAA Conference Team

By Phone
0429 321 104