2023 Earth Building Conference & AGM


Venue: Bamarang Bush Retreat  145 Bamarang Rd, Nowra NSW. A splendid earthen masonry compound full of spectacular dwellings designed and built by EBAA members.  

Speakers confirmed:

  1. Professor  Michele (Mike) Barbato, Ph.D., P.E. (LA, Italy), F.ASCE, F.SEI, F.EMI Professor of Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Co-Director, Climate Adaptation Research Center, Director, CITRIS Climate Initiative, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute. University of California                https://faculty.engineering.ucdavis.edu/barbato/ 
  •            Online hook up with Q&A 


  1. Art Ludwig is a top-selling author and international design consultant. Optimal, integrated design has been Art’s day job since 1980. His specialty is complex, deep green, integrated “systems of systems” for water, wastewater, energy, shelter, and transportation. Building these systems involves coordinating multiple specialties as well as original innovation to fill gaps.

          Art created his own program in integrated design at SBCC and UC Berkeley, and extensive independent study. His curriculum included calculus, chemistry, physics, cell biology, soil science, field botany, systems ecology, physiology, structural analysis, mechanical drafting, arc and gas welding, metalworking, business administration, marketing, and writing. As part of his self-education program, Art studied and worked in 27 different countries, and attained fluency in five languages.

     (UC Berkeley Oasis Design

  •           Pre-recorded with questions via video link if possible. 


  1. Nigel BellNigel is the principle, with over 35 years as a registered architect (ARBN: 4547) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects for his contribution to the profession. Elected to the AIA and the NSW Architects Registration Board multiple times, member of the bushfire Australian Standards, expert witness to the 2020 ‘bushfire’ Royal Commission, winner of multiple personal and project awards, Nigel has been an educational, sustainability and bushfire building/recovery leader for decades, sharing his enthusiasm and passion with the profession and community. (ECOdesign Architects + Consultants


  1. Tim Fletcher: retired as Director of Planning, Development and Environment Services at Shoalhaven City Council in 2017. He now has his own private planning and consultancy business. Tim has 35 years experience living in a high-risk bush-fire prone location and has implemented several mitigation strategies. Speaking on-site at Budgong, Kangaroo Valley as part of the ‘house tour’ (Sunday).


  1. Peter Hickson – Earth Building Association of Australia President; Professional Builder currently Licensed to conduct Building work in NSW, Australia. He has over 40 years of experience specialising in design and constructing homes of raw unfired earth and promoting earth building through training, education and practical examples. He was a founding member of the EBAA.  Earth Building Solutions Director.
  •          Case study on how to build to withstand bush fires and for climate change resilience.


  1. Ray Trappel – EBAA Treasurer, Architect. Ray has been involved in earth building for over forty-five years and is an active member of the Earth Building Association of Australia. He has devoted his time to many community projects – his most recent, The New Secret Garden at Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury.
  • “Simple affordable design solutions for earth houses in Bushfire areas”.


  1. Peter Hickson – Mudbricks and Cob
  2. Ray Trappel – Rammed Earth
  3. Rhiannon Morgan & David Mitsak  Mud Fun Musical Mud Stomping.  Mud Fun facilitators will fully engage your children for the duration of the conference, workshopping the musical mudstomp which culminates with an interactive presentation at the end where youth take on key roles.


The House Tour 

Tim Fletcher and Colleen Langan at 660 Bugong Rd, Budgong is booked for picnic lunch as well.  Tim will talk onsite about maintaining APZ, Evacuation/Fire Plan, Bunker design, landscaping features and fire fighting protection systems etc.  Tim and Colleen were in Qld so the home was unattended.  They have a short video of arriving home. Peter Hickson will also give a talk about the rebuild of the carport into the garage. Nicholas Carlile a neighbour, NSW NPWS ranger, was present for the fire and also lives in an corrugated iron outside, mudbrick inside home just up the road from the Fletchers.  He will also outline what the conditions were like on the day and how they changes and how he saved his home with a backpack water spray unit and rake. 


Note: The conference and venue will be a child friendly event. However, apart from the Mud Fun sessions across the weekend  but there an actual child minding services included. Also a reminder that no pets are permitted on the grounds of the Bamarang Retreat, except guide dogs.

Mobile reception at Bamarang is very low.


Architects can claim up to 6 formal CPD points by attending this conference.Click here to download and print CPD report form.   Continuing Professional Development for Architects EBAA.


Accommodation Fees at the Conference venue (Thursday – Saturday night; shared amenities; bring own toiletries) 

$390 Deluxe Queen Room

$355  Private Queen Room

$285 Double bed (shared space) 

$230 Double Sofa-bed

$190 Single Bed (shared space) 

$140 Bunk bed

$75   Camping


More details to be announced as we proceed with planning, including pricing and Covid-19 safe practices for the time will be applied and practiced. For further enquiries email our Admin. Or to follow up dates follow our Facebook event page,