Dr Jim Carfrae

Dr Jim Carfrae

Lecturer CobBauge

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Lecturer in Building Physics, Energy Use in Buildings and Low Impact Materials


Jim has had three different careers in the last 30 years, but they all involved designing and making useful objects; shoes, loudspeakers and buildings. Analysing, design and construction are the key skills.

2010 Completed PhD in 'The Moisture Performance of Straw Bale Construction in a Temperate Maritime Climate'

Jim also runs his own business, designing and building low impact dwellings - particularly using straw bales.
This means that Jim can bring to his work an all-round knowledge of how buildings work, and how to build them.

Research interests

The moisture performance of Non-Food Crop building materials.
Moisture profiles through straw bale walls

The balance of embodied energy to energy in use in low carbon dwellings


Carfrae J, de Wilde P, Littlewood J, Goodhew S, Walker P. Development of a cost effective probe for the long term monitoring of straw bale buildings. Building and Environment. 2011;46:156-64.

Goodhew S, Carfrae J, de Wilde P. The current issues related to straw bale construction. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability. 2010.

Conference Papers

Carfrae J, De Wilde P. The Leechwell Garden House: A passive solar dwelling built from renewable materials. PLEA 2011 – 29th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture. Belgium2011.

Carfrae J, deWilde P, Littlewood J, Goodhew S, Walker P. Long Term Evaluation of the Performance of a Straw Bale House built in a Temperate Maritime Climate. 11th International Conference on Non-conventional Materials and Technologies (NOCMAT 2009). University of Bath2009.

Carfrae J, Goodhew S, deWilde P, Littlewood J, Walker P. Detailing the effective use of rainscreen cladding to protect straw bale walls in combination with hygroscopic, breathable finishes. Detail Design in Architecture 8. University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK: University of Wales Institute, Cardiff; 2009. p. 99-108.

Carfrae J, deWilde P, Goodhew S, Walker P, Littlewood J. Totnes Eco House: interaction between design and in-situ monitoring. PLEA 2008 – 25th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture. Dublin, Ireland2008.


Jims website: www.carfrae.com