Based in Sheffield, Natural Building Specialists focus on timber furniture and structures with a low environmental impact and an emphasis on local, reclaimed, and sustainably sourced materials.
Our work uses traditional skills and techniques and is carried out to the highest standards, making features of the handmade, traditional joints and the natural timber.
Our work is custom designed and made, with a varied portfolio including pergolas, decking, shelters, tree houses, indoor furniture, garden furniture, benches, outdoor classrooms, and play equipment,.
The environment is important to us, and nature inspires our designs from the materials we use, to where they come from.
Timber for our products is local and sustainable, and selected for it's durability outside without chemical treatment.
Nature also affects the style of our work, where we make the most of natural features such as bark and knots.
Before establishing Natural Building Specialists in 2008, Peter trained and worked in a wide range of timber building disciplines from site carpentry to traditional oak framing, and low impact building such as straw bale, cob and green roof. With a passion for structural timber framing, and working with natural timber straight from the forest, Peter developed techniques for adapting traditional framing skills to work with characterful roundwood. Nature and intuition are at the heart of design, and Peter's more unusual projects often evolve in the making.
Originally trained as a Physiotherapist, Peter has worked with varied groups of people from children to the elderly. These skills have transferred to Natural Building Specialists as Peter runs courses on traditional timber framing, green woodwork, and strawbale building. He also regularly works with schools and community groups, and volunteers with mental health problems or behavioural difficulties. He has worked closely with adults with learning disabilities at the Sheffield workshop, who have helped on several projects from furniture to shelters.
Traditional skills and techniques are used to produce beautiful and unique natural furniture. All our furniture is bespoke, designed closely with you to cater exactly for your needs. We use a variety of timbers, chosen for their interesting grain patterns and natural features. We also use reclaimed timber, from old gate posts to floor joists, lovingly restored to create interesting and unusual furniture.
For our outdoor furniture we use timber that is naturally durable without the need for chemical treatment, including oak, yew, larch and douglas fir. Furniture is finished with linseed based oils such as danish or tung oil, which protect the timber whilst allowing it to breathe.
Using sawn timber or 'roundwood' (small diameter, unprocessed trees), we can create structural frames for a variety of uses such as pergolas, garden shelters, play equipment, treehouses and outdoor classrooms. We will design with you to provide a structure that will exactly fit your requirements.
We can build and install a variety of projects from playground benches to outdoor classrooms, natural play equipment to school shelters, and decking to covered walkways. We will work closely with you to develop concepts that fit your space and design requirements perfectly.
We also work directly with pupils and volunteers, providing expert guidance, skilled labour, and sensitive leadership to guide your volunteers to create your home-grown space.