A concrete free future

Falmouth University educates future global innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. The university influence students through its actions, through the curriculum, and through the stewardship of the physical environment. Therefore, the university is taking bold action and putting environmental issues at the forefront of learning and teaching.

A concrete-free future

The built environment plays a significant role in the climate crisis. The concrete industry is one of the world’s greatest polluters, both in the extraction and manufacturing process of making cement and in its usage. Recent reports show that cement is responsible for 8% of the world CO2 emissions globally. Likewise, much of the most common types of insulative fabrics are derived from petrochemicals, which create pollution risks from their extraction and production and generate harmful emissions during the manufacturing of materials.

It’s essential that those responsible for designing the buildings of the future are part of the solution. That’s why Architecture students at Falmouth do not use concrete, petrochemical derived insulative materials or non-renewable sources in their designs.

There are many alternatives, and Falmouth University is committed to better understanding and research to assess and promote their full potential and to train a new generation of architects who place environmental sustainability at their heart of their practice.

Rethinking the fashion industry

The Fashion and Textiles Institute at Falmouth is driven by the environmental, ethical and moral challenges of our time.

The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater, so how can designers take more responsibility for their work and reduce the environmental impact?

Through education, innovation and the use of new processes and materials, Falmouth’s fashion courses are helping to reshape the industry and reduce the environmental cost of our consumption.

Tackling sustainability with design thinking

Across its course portfolio, students and staff are tackling environmental issues with though design and innovation.

For example, Niall Jones graduated from Sustainable Product Design in 2020 and started his own environmentally-conscious business, Benthos Buttons. The business uses ethically sourced marine nylon from old fishing nets to create sustainable buttons for fashion garments.

Not only is the business reusing discarded plastic, using the latest 3D printing technology, it can reduce waste and offer custom components made to specification.

A third of Britain’s native bee population has disappeared over the past ten years; finding creative ways to repopulate the endangered species is crucial for the future of our planet.

Senior lecturer in Graphic Design, Kate Christman, also a co-founder of Green&Blue, created the revolutionary BeeBrick in direct response to this challenge, creating habitat for species displaced by the construction processes within urban and suburban communities.

BeeBricks are designed to house non-aggressive solitary bee species, including sole bees, red mason bees and leaf-cutter bees, but they’re also specifically intended to be an integral part of a build, offering the dual function of being a construction material that also promotes biodiversity.

Made in Cornwall from 75% waste material from the Cornish China clay industry, the Beebrick can be found in developments across the UK with construction companies such as Legacy, The Duchy of Cornwall, Wainhomes and Kier integrating them in new builds.