Study, study, study
But there are some cautionary tales. The key here is how it’s done. One of the most interesting studies comes out of the University of Bath, in the UK, and the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction materials, with Peter Walker and Dr. Mike Lawrence. It’s called “Developing hemp-line low-carbon construction for mainstream uptake through innovation and optimization,” and explores spray applied hemp-lime, specifically, as a place to focus research and experiments in usage.
This study stresses the spray application of hemp-lime as a recent innovation. It is said to “increase the rate of application [of material] and has potential for wider adoption by mainstream construction.
It also offers opportunities for significant innovation with both material formulations and forms of wall construction” However, there are barriers which are interfering with its use, the study argues, including “a lack of confidence in the use and performance of a plant based material; lack of design guidance (including construction details and specification); and limited understanding of hygrothermal material behaviour.”
There are other reports from the ground and cautionary tales. Hempcrete can only be used if it holds up over the long-term and is found to have excellent durability. That would be a normal expectation.
There have been instances of cracking and softness, causes of which are not entirely understood. It’s likely that strict ratios were not followed. Experimental projects are therefore necessary, and will need funding together with the help of politicians to spread the word.
Errors are simply a reflection of a new building product where we haven’t, so far, had the resources or demand to properly research and develop.
The person who is in charge of the hempcrete portion of the building must have full construction training and must not be new to natural building techniques employing hemp and lime.
Without solid expertise one could easily imagine having the wrong ratios of material components, improper curing methods, not enough soak time etc., and needless to say this could lead to cracking or softness. It’s experimental. However, we can expect that a hemp building material, produced through industry, will receive the R&D needed for it to be durable and viable.
Final point. The U.S. Green Building Council contains the stat. that [traditional] buildings account for roughly 38 percent of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the country alone (Source: Pew Climate.org). That alone dictates a need to make much greater and significant use of hemp composites in our construction industry.
Hempcrete is fire resistant rating =
Hempcrete buildings sound proofing, acoustically insulated rating =
Hempcrete building has dramatically improve inside air quality and reduce the amount of airborne moulds and toxins that can cause respiratory disease. rating =
The hempcrete material is resistant to rodents
Hempcrete has excellent thermal insulation properties rating = and saving =.
Lime does not need high temperatures for production compared with cement.
Hempcrete building costs of building calculation using whole stalk avoiding expensive hemp fibre separation process.
Hempcrete is attractive so you don’t need to render, plaster, paint or insulate.
Grow your own hemp and using only simple machinery, process the stalks to provide enough material to build your own house of hempcrete nearby.
This method uses the WHOLE hemp stalk in your hemp building project.
Hemp building locks up over 110Kg of carbon per cubic metre.
The best way to maintain the breathability of your hemp building. Avoid respiratory diseases.
How to control minimise the amount of moisture from rain that will penetrate hempcrete.
How to install and frame windows and doors
How to create openings in the hempcrete for your electrical and plumbing fittings
The best way to support heavy fixtures to your hempcrete walls