Hemp has many amazing properties and uses, but for us the building material that can be made from the hemp stalk is one of the most exciting. On this page we will concisely highlight this materials many benefits and we hope to be able to make this material available after our harvest for some exciting local projects.
The inner woody core, mixed with lime and water, is used to make a building material that has been called Hempcrete. In true hemp style this material has many outstanding qualities and benefits to the humans using it and the environment as a whole.
Hempcrete breathes. It regulates a buidling, or a rooms, level of humidity and tempreture. This has a big impact on the comfort level, as well as the ongoing cost of heating and cooling of a home:
Condensation is greatly reduced which reduces the chances of mould. This makes for a healthier living environment, especially here in the UK. Walls are a simple construction, negating the need for multi layered damproofing.
Hurd’s open structure allows it to store warmth, or to release it, relative to the environment.
Hempcrete is highly fire-resistant on its own and doesn’t include the use of any toxic materials that leach into an environment over time.
Hempcrete is also naturally avoided by mice, rats and ants.
This mixture can be applied to an existing wall to give it all of the same properties listed above so it is great to renovate old buildings that already use breathable materials, damp or hard to heat rooms etc
No other material can compete with hemps beneficial impact on the environment by being grown and then being used in construction.
Both the hurd and the bast fibre provide outstanding insulation properties with a great number of applications;
There are some other interesting and innovative uses for hemp stalk raw material that are being experimented with including using it in cob building, replacing the traditionally used straw.
Hemp adds its own unique properties to this mix which could be preferable in some cases to either traditional cob or hempcrete. We are pleased to have become aware of the trials the CobBauge project is doing in testing different plant fibre, including hemp, and cob mixes to find the most effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly combination. Plymouth university is the lead partner in this project and we look forward to seeing the results of these trials.