UK: Hemcrete Specified for Renewable Social Housing Scheme

By David Ing for Hemp News

Hemcrete Specified for Renewable Social Housing Scheme An ambitious sustainable social housing scheme, designed to meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes through the use of renewable materials, has achieved planning approval. The development is being delivered by Crossover C-Zero LLP in partnership with Flagship Housing, one of the largest providers of social housing in East Anglia and will be built using Tradical® Hemcrete® thermal walling system from Lime Technology.

Based at Denmark Lane, Diss, the scheme will see the construction of 114 housing units and will be the first major affordable homes project proposed to seek Level 4 rating of the Code for Sustainable Homes. To aid its completion, the development has managed to obtain £3 million in funding from the Housing and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), who earlier this year offered financial aid for the delivery of social housing schemes that used renewable materials.

Developer C-Zero will be working in conjunction with Flagship Housing. Their groundbreaking use of sustainable materials is central to the success of the development and was influenced by the highly successful DECC funded and NNFCC delivered Renewable House project. This scheme saw the construction of a 3 bedroom house at the BRE Innovation Park and demonstrated the viability of building low cost, thermally efficient houses from renewable materials.

The Denmark Lane scheme, like the Renewable House, will be built using Tradical® Hemcrete®, a renewable and highly thermally efficient alternative to conventional masonry cavity walls. It will also use other renewable materials such as timber windows and natural fibre insulation in the roof. Tradical® Hemcrete® is produced from UK sourced hemp and a lime based binder. The product is carbon negative, as the hemp absorbs CO² during its growth – and as such has 130kg CO²/m² less than conventional brick and block in a normal wall section.

Alongside its environmentally beneficial production, Tradical® Hemcrete® offers superb insulation properties. The low U-value of walls built with the renewable system make it an ideal material for meeting the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes, essential for the Denmark Lane development.

Homes built with Tradical® Hemcrete®, also have excellent thermal inertia, meaning that they change temperature very slowly. This ensures that heating needs are lower than in lighter weight buildings of the same U-value.

Highly vapour permeable, especially when used with lime based renders and plasters, it ensures a healthy environment. Tradical® Hemcrete® also has high fire resistance, making it a safe choice for any construction.

102 of the 114 homes of the Denmark Lane development are designated as affordable and earmarked for the local community. 15 dwellings will be purchased by Flagship housing and 87 will be sold to local people at a large discount to open market value, allowing a three bedroom house to be purchased for around £99,000 leasehold.

The proposed development will prove a benchmark in moving UK housing towards a sustainable model and stimulate the growth of eco-friendly construction methods. By carefully integrating specially chosen environmentally friendly products such as Tradical® Hemcrete® the scheme is illustrating the future potential and attainability of sustainable housing.

Aerial View (1417x974):

Panoramic View (1417x974):

For further information on Tradical® Hemcrete® visit or feel free to contact David Ing at david @