Alternative - Mitigation - alternative low carbon building materials: 2009 Hemcrete - sustainable building materials

1. Project Title
Renewable building materials

2. List the main RWS theme(s) relevant to your project
Countering climate change/Quality of life

3. Short Project Description
Locally sourced timber and hemp, plus lime, have been combined to create a novel building construction system. With timber providing the structural frame, in-filled with hemp and lime in the form of blocks, butts or spray rendering. This ‘new’ system is in effect a modern rendition of the traditional wattle and daub construction method.

4. Project Status

5. What has been undertaken to date?
Two development sites in Suffolk have pioneered the combined use of these materials for housing. The Haverhill project was carefully tested against the conventional bricks and mortar approach to house building and the outcomes were broadly comparable.

6. Any specific lessons learned?
Although largely equivalent, there are distinct marginal advantages to the use of the ‘new’ system over typical bricks and mortar construction. In particular there is reduced environmental impact (arising from lower manufacturing process energy consumption), transport costs are cut (through local product sourcing) and improved thermal performance in the finished homes with higher temperatures and lower condensation levels.

It is possible that, as builders’ familiarity with this ‘new’ technique grows, construction costs could also be significantly reduced.

Effort should clearly be addressed to encouraging builders to embrace this ‘new’ construction technique.

7. Future Developments
The use of this ‘new’ construction method for further developments is being encouraged.

8. Contact Details
(? Preferably email and web address)
Website by Dynamic Creative.