the organic approach

"Organic buildings are the strength and lightness of the spiders' spinning, buildings qualified by light, bred by native character to environment, married to the ground." Frank Lloyd Wright

falling water

When Frank Lloyd Wright wrote his famous quote on organic architecture he was referring to a concept whereby function and form were one of the same within an environment. Although he was discussing modern architecuture, the fundamentals go back a lot further.

At The Organic Building Company we believe that the building techniques employed and the material used should be incorporated organically into the fabric of the structure. This approach ensures conservation of the essential features and results in a building suitable for 21st Century living.

rotting sole plate

Steady water ingress has rotted this sole plate

Much of the remedial work carried out on historic buildings is the result of two faults. The first is ingress of water and the second is the result of water trapped in the structure. The net result is the same. Timber frames rot, mortar disintegrates and serious problems result.

Traditional materials allowed buildings to "breathe", through a combination of porous materials, adequate ventilation and moderate background heat. If a building is not allowed to breathe (for instance, through the use of hard render), moisture is trapped in the walls, floors and timbers and that's where most problems start.

Wherever possible the Organic Building Company advocates materials contemporary with the structure. So, lath and plaster walls instead of plaster board for internal walls; and wattle and daub instead of breeze blocks for external walls. We do not have anything against modern materials, but we feel that their use is better suited to modern buildings that have been designed and built around different principles. Indeed the use of some modern materials is desirable, particularly the use of breathable membranes within roofs.

rotting sole plate

Carving a replacement green oak beam to match existing woodwork

The Organic Building Company makes the most of both traditional and modern materials were appropriate. We have a team of highly skilled craftsmen in carpentry, masonry, joinery, leadwork and general building work. Our craftsmen have a wealth of experience of working on Grade I and II properties from extensions to existing properties to Historic buildings, Churches and important early timber framed vernacular buildings. We always work inclose partnership with the conservation authorities and architects to ensure that the work is carried out to meet their requirements for conservation while at the same time restoring the structure to fulfil the requirements for modern living.