Féile Butler is an architect based in Sligo, who graduated with honours from the School of Architecture in Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street in 1997 and became an member of the R.I.A.I. (Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland) in 2001. Having lived and worked as an architect in Dublin, London, Sydney, Adelaide and Queenstown, New Zealand, her experience in the southern hemisphere exposed her to a vast range of alternative materials and building technologies which, in turn, sparked her interest in sustainable design. On her return to Ireland in 2004 she worked with a leading sustainable architecture practice in Sligo for four years.
In 2005, Féile and her husband, Colin, trained in the art of cob (earth) building with the Cob Cottage Company. The following year, they attended the School of Natural Building in Coquille, Oregon, run by Cob Cottage. In 2008, they embarked on building their own 130m² hybrid cob-and-timber-frame home. The house, completed in 2011, was built from soil excavated on site and over 80% of the other building materials were salvaged.
Gaining her Conservation Architect Grade III Accreditation from the R.I.A.I. in 2009, she has since advised on the repair of a number of 150+ year old mud-walled and earth-bonded cottages and is listed on the Irish Georgian Society's Register of Traditional Building Skills.
Féile set up her own practice, Roots Architecture, in 2009 which now focuses on one-off new-builds, extensions and renovations using natural building materials. She also specialises in the conservation of vernacular buildings, with a particular interest in their earth-based components.
She became a director of Earth Building UK in 2014. Ireland formally joined Earth Building UK and Ireland in July 2015. To celebrate, Féile co-organised Ireland's inaugural Earth Building Day in November of the same year. The event was a huge success. She went on to organise MudFest during Heritage Week 2016 where the public attended earth-based workshops in 7 different counties across Ireland.
Féile presented a paper on Earth Building in Ireland at Terra 2016 in Lyon, a conference attended by 800 earth building practitioners and academics from all around world.
Féile has run natural building and design workshops with Colin since 2010 at the Mud and Wood House, as well as private workshops for school children, college students, conservation practitioners and numerous community group.