Organiser: INTBAU

Event Detail



17 November, 2023




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According to UN-Habitat and World Bank figures, by 2030 up to three billion people will need new housing and basic infrastructure. Sustainable, indigenous, traditional, local, and vernacular design solutions have the potential to create built environments that are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. However, many of the best ideas never make it to the mainstream.

We’re looking for proposals for new or existing plans that support, advance and adapt building traditions around the world with the aim of creating better places for people to live.

Are you a researcher, designer, entrepreneur, architect, start-up or small business owner?

Do you have a solution that responds to today’s built environment challenges but need funding to take it further?

We want to hear from you!  INTBAU is launching a small grants programme to provide funding support for grassroot projects that test ideas rooted in local responses to climate and context. In the first round we will be awarding five small grants of up to £5000 to applicants with the greatest potential to create positive impact on the future of our built environment.

Here are some examples of projects we would love to hear from.  This list is not exhaustive. We want to hear your ideas!

Demonstration projects

• the construction of a community centre with local and renewable materials,

• a prototype for a seismic resistant school,

• experiments in turf cladding,

• a home extension using biomaterials such as straw, cob or hempcrete.

Training and workshops

• workshops imparting a skill or building technique such as adobe construction,

• the creation of online tutorials for youth groups that raise the awareness of the benefit of traditional, contextual and climate-resilient design,

• training events for resident-led collectives seeking to implement a community retrofit strategy,

• apprenticeships that will train recipients in a relevant construction technique


• a research project looking at adapting a local vernacular housing typology to a changing climate or changed availability of materials,

• analysis of the lifecycle and embodied energy for a traditional building,

• research that demonstrates the benefit of using natural materials in a structural capacity,

• travel to conferences to support the dissemination of research already completed,

• the creation of additional resources to tell the story of your research findings more effectively.


Successful proposals will show us five things:

  • 1. What your idea is.
  • 2. How your idea offers a solution to built environment challenges that incorporates local context.
  • 3. Who you are and why you’re the right person/people to take this forward.
  • 4. How much funding you need, and what you’ll spend it on.
  • 5. The potential for your idea to create longer term impact on the built environment challenges of today.

How to Apply!

For your initial application, please send us up to 3 pages of text or a video of up to 3 minutes addressing the five points noted above. We are more interested in good ideas than perfectly worked up proposals. If creating a proposal in English is challenging, please let us know and we can work out a way to help. We can only accept applications by email to [email protected]

The Selection Process

We will review applications in a two-stage process. Initial applications will be reviewed by an international selection committee at the end of November. If your application is shortlisted, we will come back to you with questions and requests for additional materials. Final decisions will be announced in January 2024.



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