Authors showcase better than carbon-zero material and launch The Hempcrete Book

Green Books - GDL sketch1Will Stanwix and Alex Sparrow, industry experts on building with hempcrete and authors of The Hempcrete Book, have organised an impressive feature to showcase natural building materials at Grand Designs Live, Birmingham 2014.

The feature will have ‘cassettes’ both inside and outside that will allow them to show various natural building materials as well as the internal and external finishes that can be applied to them.

For Will and Alex, hempcrete is the key material of the feature and they will be showing it both cast-in-situ and as pre-formed hempcrete blocks. Hempcrete is a natural building material made from the chopped woody stem of the hemp plant (hemp “shivs”) and a lime-based binder. It is a better than carbon-zero, ‘breathable’ (vapour-permeable) and insulating material that can be used to form walls, floor slabs, ceilings and roof insulation in both new builds and restoration projects. Other materials will include straw bales, clay blocks, and lime plasters and renders.

Green Books - GDL sketch 2Will Stanwix and Alex Sparrow first started working with hempcrete in 2009, when information and guidance on the new material was scarce. As they became industry experts on hempcrete they decided to write the book that they had needed when they were first starting out: a practical how-to manual providing essential guidance and information, including case studies from finished hempcrete buildings and extensive design notes. It isn’t a book just for builders, designers and architects - it is invaluable for the countless professionals who will come across hempcrete during any building project, including planning officials, building regulations officers, building conservation officers and surveyors.

At Grand Designs Live they can be found in the Natural Building Live area of the Grand Village, next to the Grand Theatre, where they will be available to talk about hempcrete, explain its uses and benefits, and give guidance to anyone who wants to take the first steps toward using hempcrete - either commercially or for their own self-build.

The Hempcrete Book is published on 9th October by Green Books.

With over 10 years’ experience in the construction sector, including as a building surveyor, Will is the founder of one of the UK’s first construction companies to build exclusively with hempcrete and complementary natural materials. His business partner Alex specializes in the use of hempcrete in historic buildings and is a freelance writer on natural building. Since starting building with hempcrete in 2009, Will and Alex have become industry leaders and have worked on projects ranging from ‘future-proof’ houses to large community buildings, and complete restorations of listed buildings.

For more information on Grand Designs Live, click here.


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