Material of the Month – January – Hempcrete

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Why it inspired us…
Everyone knows Columbus carried over 80 tonnes of hemp sails and rigging to America, and it had a very fruitfull life as a woven material, but it never really caught on as a modern building material until 1986 when the French innovator Charles Rasetti first used Hempcrete in the restoration of ‘Maison de la Turque’ in Nugent-sur-Seine. It wasnt until the turn of the millenium in the UK did it get used in the construction of two test dwellings in Haverhill by Modece Architects. Still to this day it’s use isnt as widespread as it could be, but we always hope!

Why we would like it to inspire you…
A hemp aggregate made from the stem of the hemp plant. It is chopped, graded and de-dusted to give a natural, sound and breathable product which is cultivated in the UK. Hemp is binded with hydraulic lime and pozzolanic materials. A bio-composite building material that is a unique, highly sustainable system for the creation of walls, doors, roof insulation and plasters. It is a blend of specially prepared hemp shiv and a special lime based binder. This mix can also be used to surround the wooden structure of a construction, with the timber exposed or not. The product can be applied in new build or for renovation of existing framed structures. The particular advantage of vapour permeability of the Hempcrete, maintains the necessary humidity balance for a long lasting breathable timber structure.

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