About Us

Paul Fitzpatrick is the founder and director of the natural building company 'Strawhaus', which specialises in sustainable building methods.  He is a ‘time-served’ craftsman with many years’ experience in all aspects of the construction industry.

Paul entered the building trade at the age of 17 when he completed a 4 year apprenticeship in woodwork where he gained his Advanced Craft City & Guilds, and the award for Apprentice of the Year.  On completion of his apprenticeship, Paul then trained as a plasterer and spent the next decade learning all aspects of gypsum plastering and general building.

Paul also had a keen interest in aid work triggered by his early involvement in the delivery of medical supplies, by convoy, to Romanian orphanages and hospitals. In 1990, this led him to pursue a BSc in Anthropology at Goldsmith’s University.  This was followed by an MA in the Anthropology of Development at SOAS specialising in East Africa as an ethnographic region, where he then went on to obtain first-hand experience of a wide variety of aid-funded urban development projects in Kenya dealing with squatter upgrading programmes through community building schemes in the shanty towns of Nairobi.  It was at this time that Paul developed a deep interest in the way that people interact with, and are shaped and influenced by, the spaces in which they live. He also achieved a greater understanding of sustainable vernacular building practices, those which use natural materials such as earth, straw,wood, lime and clay.

Paul has spent the past 15 years, developing and extending this knowledge of traditional building methods. He undertook courses in ‘Advanced Lime Plastering’ at the Scottish Lime Centre, and also specialised in polished plastering: venetian, marmorino and tadelakt.  He has trained with Barbara Jones, author of ‘Building with Straw Bales’; with Kevin McCabe, a Devon cob builder, and has since gained a detailed working knowledge, and experience, of building with cob as the Site Manager for Adam and Katy of Clayworks (formerly Cob in Cornwall) authors of ‘Building with Cob’ and ‘Using Natural Finishes’, who are two of the UK’s leading experts in earth building and using natural finishes.

Paul continually promotes the use of low-impact building methods through his work with the Low Impact Living Initiative (LILI),  and is their expert on the use of lime and clay plasters.  He demonstrates and teaches the use of clay and lime plasters throughout the UK, in addition to demonstrating at exhibitions including Ecobuild and Grand Designs.

Paul is an approved trainer for the Traditional Skills Bursary Scheme and has trained English Heritage bursary students in the use of lime renders and clay plasters.  In 2011, Ned started working as an apprentice for Strawhaus learning all aspects of traditional building with the aim of gaining his NVQ Level 3 in Heritage Skills.

More recently, Paul has been using hempcrete: a carbon negative building system used in solid walls, solid floors, roof insulation and in the repair of historic buildings.  It has excellent thermal properties and is breathable.

Paul’s aim is to always bring together the best of both modern and traditional building methods in the creation of beautiful, healthy buildings.




s t r a w h a u s

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