What is Hempcrete?

Like its eponym – concrete – hempcrete is a mixture of materials that harden to become a construction material. It’s made of hemp hurd (also called shives) and lime.

Its primary purpose in construction is as thermal insulation. It can be used in the entire building envelope – walls, floors and roof. As hempcrete doesn’t have inherent structural benefits, it is typically used in conjunction with a structural timber frame.

Hempcrete can also be used to upgrade the thermal performance of an existing building (internally or externally).

 

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Is Hempcrete a replacement for concrete?

In short, no. The name is a little misleading (although there are similarities in the mixing and hardening and possibly the look of the material).

Hempcrete does not have anywhere near the compressive strength of concrete and so cannot be used as a structural element alone.

However, some entrepreneurial companies have come up with systems combining Hempcrete blocks with reinforced concrete or Lego-style Hempcrete blocks with a hidden epoxy structure as pictured above.

 

Benefits of Hempcrete

  • Eco-friendly
  • High insulative properties
  • Sound absorbing
  • Non-flammable
  • Thermal mass
  • Durable (it can last for centuries)
  • Easy to use
  • Pest-resistant
  • 100% natural and non-toxic

 

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Emily  Design for Me

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