Campaigns: Environment - BaleHaus offers renewable alternative

Campaign: The BaleHaus@Bath project
Client: University of Bath and Modcell
PR team: University of Bath in-house team
Timescale: July-December 2009
Budget: £1,500

BaleHaus@Bath is part of a major new research project by the University of Bath in collaboration with several industrial partners to explore how straw and hemp can be used as renewable building materials.

A house made of prefabricated straw and hemp panels (a BaleHaus) was built on campus to test how the materials performed.

Objectives

- To attract national and international academic and industrial interest, plus involvement in the research project

- To encourage hemp and straw use in mainstream construction

- To drive visitors to the dedicated website.

Strategy and plan

The PR team created a dedicated microsite about the project, its objectives and progress. The site included: a webcam to allow visitors to watch the construction live; regular blogs by researchers and designers; specially created research films and links to the Uni Twitter and Facebook pages.

Kevin McCloud of Channel 4's Grand Designs officially opened the BaleHaus.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated 80 pieces of coverage, including national and trade outlets.

Results

More than 21,000 people have visited the BaleHaus@Bath site since its launch. The research films have received more than 3,500 views on YouTube.

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