Hemcrete: Carbon Negative Hemp Walls

Hemcrete: Carbon Negative Hemp Walls

 

Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint buildings is at an all-time high. Now there is a new building material that is not just carbon neutral, but is actually carbon negative. Developed by U.K.-based Lhoist Group, Tradical Hemcrete is a bio-composite, thermal walling material made from hemp, lime and water.

What makes it carbon negative? There is more CO2 locked-up in the process of growing and harvesting of the

hemp than is released in the production of the lime binder. Of course the equation is more complicated than that,

but Hemcrete is still an amazing new technology that could change the building industry.

 

Good looking, environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable, Hemcrete is as versatile as it is sustainable. It can be used in a mind-boggling array of applications from roof insulation to wall construction to flooring. Hemcrete is waterproof, fireproof, insulates well, does not rot [when used above ground] and is completely recyclable. In fact,

the manufacturers say that demolished Hemcrete walls can actually be used as fertilizer!

 

Available for years in the U.K., Hemcrete is only now finding its way into North America. The species of hemp used to manufacture Hemcrete is illegal to grow in the U.S., making Hemcrete an expensive option for U.S. builders for now. As pressure for more sustainable building materials grows, lawmakers are certain to revisit this and other similarly restrictive statutes, particularly if there is money to be made. And judging from the success of Hemcrete in Europe and elsewhere, there is plenty to be made; it is so profitable overseas that Hemp Technologies, one of the biggest manufacturers of hemp products in the UK, is actively recruiting as many new growers as it can.

 

Bevan Architects recently completed construction on this simple, light-filled Hemcrete holiday cottage on a riverside apple orchard in Northern Ireland. Hemcrete is a carbon-negative material made from the hemp plant that provides excellent insulating properties and a much lighter environmental footprint than other building materials. The low-impact retreat beckons visitors to escape from urban life and experience a breathable, natural dwelling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bevan Architects‘ peaceful rural holiday cottage offers a discount for travelers who arrive on foot or bicycle. The home responds to its rural context by incorporating elements of local building vernacular and using low-impact and high-performance materials. The frame is built from locally sourced Douglas Fir timber. The home is located next to (but well above) the flood level of a fast flowing river, and the northern side features a green roof. To the south a slate roof ensures the cottage blends in with the more traditional buildings of the area.

 

Not only do Hemp and lime walls sequester carbon, they also provide fantastic thermal and acoustic performance. The walls are breathable and able to absorb and emit moisture, creating a far healthier interior space than conventional building methods. The roof of the cottage is insulated with 350mm of sheep wool insulation, so there’s no chance of even the tough Northern Irish winter seeping in. Due to the insulating properties of the hemp-lime composite, no plastic membranes or toxic membranes were used in the build. Videos document the techniques involved in creating the walls.

 

With a total construction cost of less than £100,000, the 70 square meter home is a great model for individuals or small families interested in building their own carbon negative abode. Thanks to excellent documentation of the project, a recently published book on hemp lime construction, and a feature spot in the Guardian’s top 10 eco homes, Bevan architects are well-poised to help others create location-sensitive, energy-efficient dwellings.

 

 

Carbon Negative walls 7x stronger than concrete

 

 

Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint buildings is at an all-time high. Now there is a new building material that is not just carbon neutral, but is actually carbon negative. Developed by U.K.-based Lhoist Group, Tradical® Hemcrete® is a bio-composite, thermal walling material made from hemp, lime and water. What makes it carbon negative? There is more CO2 locked-up in the process of growing and harvesting of the hemp than is released in the production of the lime binder.

Of course the equation is more complicated than that, but Hemcrete® is still an amazing new technology that could change the building industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good looking, environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable, Hemcrete® is as versatile as it is sustainable. It can be used in a mind-boggling array of applications from roof insulation to wall construction to flooring. Hemcrete® is waterproof, fireproof, insulates well, does not rot [when used above ground] and is completely recyclable. In fact, the manufacturers say that demolished Hemcrete® walls can actually be used as fertilizer!

 

Available for years in the U.K., Hemcrete® is only now finding its way into North America. The species of hemp used to manufacture Hemcrete® is illegal to grow in the U.S., making Hemcrete® an expensive option for U.S. builders for now. As pressure for more sustainable building materials grows, lawmakers are certain to revisit this and other similarly restrictive statutes, particularly if there is money to be made. And judging from the success of Hemcrete® in Europe and elsewhere, there is plenty to be made; it is so profitable overseas that Hemp Technologies, one of the biggest manufacturers of hemp products in the UK, is actively recruiting as many new growers as it can.

 

 

 

Source: http://inhabitat.com/bevan-architects-carbon-negative-and-breathable-hemp-walled-eco-retreat-could-inspire-home-builders/