A Civil Engineering student at the University of Bath interested in enhancing knowledge in sustainability and new technologies.Student
Harnessing Heat from Hemp
Hemp-lime concrete, also known as hempcrete, is a combination of three constituents; hemp shiv, lime-based binder and water. The hemp shiv acts as the aggregate within the hemp-lime mix, and its low density provides a lightweight concrete. I suggest that future housing estates are built using hemp-lime to reduce the carbon content, increase thermal insulation thus reducing the energy demand for heating of the building. Hemp-lime can be cast in-situ or used in pre-fabricated panels to form walls.
Experiments into the life cycle assessment of hemp-lime have shown it to be carbon negative. During the growth of the hemp plant, carbon is absorbed and stored throughout its life-time in a process named carbon sequestration. When installed in place as a wall, the lime in the material undergoes carbonation, furthering the amount of carbon in the material. The use of this material can aid the reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and minimise the amount of embodied carbon in building materials.
Hemp-lime has an excellent hygrothermal performance; the effectiveness in providing a comfortable internal environment, in terms of thermal comfort and humidity. The material works by having a low thermal conductivity meaning the amount of fabric heat loss from the internal environment to its surroundings is low. In addition, the hygric properties of hemp ensure a comfortable relative humidity of the building as the material takes in moisture to ensure the humidity remains in equilibrium. These two effects reduce the need for heating and mechanical ventilation, and therefore lower the requirement for primary energy usage within buildings.
The use of hemp-lime could help revolutionise the building industry to improve air quality for occupants of the building, reduce the carbon footprint of the building and lower the energy demand. The material cost and construction methods are feasible and not too dissimilar to conventional building materials.
Featured articles and news
What is Modernism?
Modernist architecture and its many international variations explained.
BRE support Europe-wide strategic heating plans for local and national authorities.
Work set to begin on 'one of America's greatest parks', which will be 10 times bigger than Central Park.
One of our most popular articles - RSHP's Mike Davies writes about the concept design process.
As Cuba mourn the death of Castro, major renovation of this symbolic landmark may be a reflection of the country's fresh start.
How cannabis plants are used to create an alternative building material with plenty of advantages.
What does Mayor Sadiq Khan's first policy statement mean for London's infrastructure?
Bjarke Ingels Group announced as winners of design competition for new residential landmark in Amsterdam.
Designing Buildings Wiki has reviewed a well-designed and researched set of architecture city maps.
Designing Buildings Wiki attended the second annual Building Live conference, tackling the challenges facing construction.