Hemp House

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UK: Work to Start on Kevin McCloud's Hemp Housing Scheme

By Jon Land, 24dash

UK: Work to Start on Kevin McCloud's Hemp Housing Scheme Work is due to start on an innovative green housing development in Swindon that is the brainchild of 'Grand Designs' presenter Kevin McCloud.

HabOakus, a partnership between Kevin McCloud's development company Hab Housing and Oakus Wiltshire, has been given approval to build 42 homes that will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, but with the potential for upgrading to zero carbon status.

The scheme, called the Triangle, is due to be built from Tradical Hemcrete, the innovative hemp and lime thermal walling system developed by Lime Technology.

Tradical Hemcrete, is a mix of hemp and a lime binder, which together create a material that combines sustainability with performance. The product absorbs CO2 in its manufacture (hemp, in common with all similar plants, captures carbon dioxide during its rapid growth and releases oxygen back out to the atmosphere) so has negative embodied CO2. For a typical wall section, Hemcrete will have 130kg CO2/m² less than traditional brick and block.

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, The Triangle will be built on the site of a former caravan park and plant nursery, just off Swindon’s Northern Road.

Due to start on site in January 2010, with completion scheduled by December 2010, HabOakus hopes to ensure the sustainable development acts as a springboard to introduce green initiatives locally.

UK: House Of Hemp And Straw Passes Fire Test

A house built from straw-bales and panels of hemp has passed an industry standard fire safety test which exposed it to temperatures above 1,000C.

By BBC News Writer

UK: House Of Straw And Hemp Passes Fire Test BaleHaus@Bath is part of a new research project at the University of Bath into how renewable building materials can be used for homes of the future.

The house is made from prefabricated cells of timber filled with straw or hemp, rendered with a lime-based coat.

TV presenter Kevin McCloud will officially open the straw house later.

During the fire resistance test for non-loadbearing elements, the panel had to withstand heat for more than 30 minutes.

Eco-friendly

After more than two hours it had still not failed.

A panel had previously been put through structural tests for loadbearing elements and had passed.

Researchers Dr Katharine Beadle and Christopher Gross, from the University's Building Research Establishment Centre in Innovative Construction Materials, will be monitoring the house for a year.

North Carolina: Building With Hemp - Asheville On Forefront Of New Green Technique

By John Boyle, Citizen Times
Photo by John Fletcher, Citizen Times

North Carolina: Building With Hemp - Asheville On Forefront Of New Green Technique Leave it to Asheville to be the first place in the country to build not just one, but two houses largely out of hemp.

Well-established as a green building center, Asheville has two homes under construction - one in West Asheville, another off Town Mountain Road - that use hemp as a building material. The builders and Greg Flavall, the co-founder of Hemp Technologies, the Asheville company supplying the building material, maintain that they're the first permitted hemp homes in the country.

"This area is known to walk the talk of being green," Flavall said, adding that the Asheville area has by far the largest percentage of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, builders of anywhere in the country. Hemp is derived from the same plant that marijuana comes from. Although it contains very little of the active ingredient that gets people high and is completely impractical to smoke, it's still illegal to grow it domestically.

But builders can import industrial hemp products like Tradical Hemcrete, the material Hemp Technologies sells. When mixed with water and lime, it makes remarkably strong, resilient walls. Some builders generically refer to the walls as hempcrete.

UK: Rapid Growth In Hemp-Based Construction

By Eco Composites, Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! A visit to the Innovation Park at BRE in Watford has been arranged as part of the Natural Fibres 09 conference, which takes place at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London from December 14-16.

The park showcases modern methods of construction and features over 200 different emerging technologies in a number of demonstration properties, including the Renewable Hemp House.

Speaking at the 60th annual congress of CELC – the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp – which took place in Strasbourg, France, from November 4-7, Claude Eichwald of French organisation Construire de Chanvre, said that the use of hemp in concrete was growing, with between 2-4,000 houses now constructed completely from hemp concrete, and many more employing it with mixtures of other building materials. The CELC conference also heard from Rémi Perrin of Strasbourg-based Soprema, which is now manufacturing flax roofing membranes, and Vincent de Sutter of Sutter Freres which has been making natural-fibre based door panels for almost 50 years.

In the latest copy of its journal, CELC outlines the components of a house entirely constructed from natural fibres, as show in the illustration above.

The unique energy efficient house made from hemp at the UK BRE Innovation Park meanwhile, showcases the future of low carbon and sustainable buildings.

UK: Government Funded Renewable House Is Launched

The Renewable House, a new demonstration house that has been designed to illustrate that low cost and low carbon are compatible, has been officially opened.

Press Release

There is a truth that must be heard! The Renewable House, a new demonstration house that has been designed to illustrate that low cost and low carbon are compatible, has been officially opened.

Built at the BRE Innovation Park and officially opened at Insite 2009, the Renewable House is a demonstration of the commercial viability of building affordable homes from renewable materials.

The house has been designed to meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with a build cost of £75,000, excluding groundworks and utilities.

Unlike many other houses that meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, the Renewable House features very few additional technologies. Instead the performance of the house has been made possible through the ingenious use of materials which have been used to create a thermally efficient and low carbon building envelope. By using limited technologies – which can have a short life span, therefore require on-going replacement, upgrading or maintenance – the house has also clearly demonstrated cost efficiencies.

Europe: Hemp Homes To Be Built In Government Drive

Experimental homes made out of hemp are to be built under new government plans.

By Ben Leach, Telegraph.co.uk

There is a truth that must be heard! A prototype three-bedroom house, funded by the taxpayer, will go on show today. The home is part of a government drive to build more housing with a smaller carbon footprint.

The "renewable house" features walls made from Hemcrete - a mix of hamp and lime - and was built thanks to a £200,000 grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), which built the home, said building it used half the energy that building a traditional brick home would use.

It claims energy bills for the home owners would be as low as £150 a year, and predicts building on thousands of houses could begin soon.

Dr John Williams, head of materials at the NNFCC, told The Guardian: "The forecasts are that we could roll this out very quickly if someone places an order for 25,000 homes.

"Increasing numbers of farmers are growing hemp because it fits in with their current growing cycles between April and September and it is a good break crop for wheat.

"If just 1 per cent of the UK's agricultural land was used to grow hemp, it would be enough to build 180,000 homes per year."

The hemp house provides a cheaper alternative to traditional brick and mortar housing, with a build cost of £75,000 excluding groundworks.

Europe: Hemp Material 'May Aid Green Homes'

By Press Association

There is a truth that must be heard! A form of cannabis could be used to build carbon-neutral homes of the future, university researchers have said.

A consortium, led by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University of Bath, has embarked on a housing project to develop the use of construction materials made of hemp.

Hemp-lime is a lightweight building material made of fibres from the fast-growing cannabis plant, bound together using a lime-based adhesive.

The hemp plant stores carbon during its growth and this, combined with the low carbon footprint of lime and its efficient insulating properties, gives the material a "better than zero carbon" footprint, researchers said.

Professor Pete Walker, director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, said: "We will be looking at the feasibility of using hemp-lime in place of traditional materials, so that they can be used widely in the building industry.

"We will be measuring the properties of lime-hemp materials, such as their strength and durability, as well as the energy efficiency of buildings made of these materials.

"Using renewable crops to make building materials makes real sense - it only takes an area the size of a rugby pitch four months to grow enough hemp to build a typical three bedroom house."

New Zealand: Another Green Insulation Uses Hemp

By Susan Wilson, Blorge

One type of green insulation that you won’t find in the United States but will find in Europe and New Zealand is Hemp. Europe and New Zealand are allowing Hemp to be grown as a boost for local farmers since so many products can be made from it.

They allow what is called “industrial hemp” to be grown. This is a type “of low-narcotic hemp“.

We can’t grow it in the United States because too many government organizations get money from our “War on Drugs” which spends an inordinate amount of time catching small time marijuana growers. This is a shame since hemp is such a productive crop for farmers. This is an excellent crop that can be used for a myriad of legal purposes like making durable cloth, rope and now insulation.

Like sheep’s wool insulation, hemp insulation comes from a renewable resource. Just like sheep’s wool insulation, hemp insulation is biodegradable. It is also breathable - absorbing and releasing air moisture. It has excellent sound absorption and repels mold and insects.

Some hemp insulation is a combination of hemp and sheep’s wool. Other types have bi-component fibers, and soda for fire retardation. Still other kinds of hemp insulation use polyolefin or some other thermoplastic binder to keep the fiber together.

Hempcrete - Hemp Building Materials - Hemp For Houses

by Rolf B. Priesnitz, Hemphasis.net & Wikipedia

Houses built from hemp have been found to use less energy, create less waste and take less fuel to heat than conventionally constructed homes.

Hemp is perhaps best known for its Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that make it a great addition to a healthy diet, and as a cotton substitute in ecologically-sound clothing and bedding. But it is also a versatile, environmentally-sound building material.

A hemp crop can be grown without the use of herbicides or insecticides and produces up to four tonnes of material per acre per year. Hemp is categorized as a bast fiber crop. It has a stem consisting of an outer skin containing long, strong fibers and a hollow wood-like core or pith. Processing the stems results in two materials: hurds and fibers, both of which have properties that make them extremely useful in building construction.

A variety of wood-like products, such as fiberboard, roofing tiles, wallboard, paneling, insulation and bricks, can be made from the compressed hurds. The fibers can also be used like straw in bale wall construction or with mud in a sort of modified cob style of building.

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