The Hempcrete Book is a detailed practical manual for architects, surveyors, professional builders and self-builders. It explains how to source and mix hempcrete and how to use it in new builds and restoration. In colour throughout, fully illustrated with beautiful photographs, this book provides a full explanation of construction techniques, highlighting potential pitfalls and how to avoid them. It includes a comprehensive resources section and examples of completed builds, with design notes.
Hempcrete is a building material with excellent properties. It’s made from lime and hemp shivs (a waste product from hemp fibre growing) and can be used for walls, floors, and for roof insulation.
Hempcrete is breathable, absorbing and emitting moisture; this helps regulate internal humidity, avoiding trapped moisture and mould growth, and creating healthier buildings. It provides excellent acoustic and thermal insulation and thermal mass. It’s light-weight, reducing construction costs, and it’s environmentally friendly: it locks up CO2 for the life of the building, and the hemp doesn’t require agrochemicals or insecticides in its cultivation.
The Hempcrete Book is a valuable tool for any eco-builder.
Foreword by Professor Tom Woolley
Part One: Principles of building with hempcrete
1 History and uses of hemp
2 Hemp in construction
3 An introduction to lime
4 Key concepts in sustainable building
5 Getting the basics right
6 Variations on the hemp–lime mix
7 Performance of hempcrete in a building
8 Tools and equipment
9 Health and safety
10 Planning the build
Focus on self-build 1: Agan Chy
Part Two: Hempcrete construction
11 The hempcrete wall: an overview
12 Foundations and plinth
13 The structural frame
15 Mixing hempcrete
16 Placing hempcrete
17 Floors, ceilings and roof insulation
18 Finishes for hempcrete
19 Practicalities on a hempcrete build
20 Restoration and retrofit
Focus on self-build 2: Hemp Lime House
Part Three: Designing a hempcrete building
21 Design fundamentals
22 Indicative detailing
Focus on self-build 3:Bridge End Cottage
23 A look to the future
"The book contains lots of good advice and general good building practice... I would recommend this book to anyone working in the field of sustainable building."
"Any architect, designer, owner or builder thinking of building in hemp or using lime in their build should obtain this book before they start."
"Eco-friendly and sustainability issues are now a key element in the design process and the authors of this publication proudly affirm that Hempcrete buildings can provide affordable, healthy, energy-efficient and sustainable accommodation."
“Truly comprehensive and enormously helpful. I wish we’d had this guide when building our Hempcrete homes in Swindon!”
"If you are interested in learning more about using living materials for construction and how to use hempcrete for your upcoming projects or tests, I encourage you to get this book today. It is by far, the most detailed version on the market and completely easy to understand."
"They have a great knowledge of their favourite product, which they willingly share here with those eager to embrace this relatively new wonder product whose origins date to ancient times."
We are delighted that Alex and Will are publishing such an excellent and comprehensive text book on building with hemp and lime. Our pioneering work in the late 1990s and the building of the two hemp houses in Haverhill in Suffolk was a real milestone for the material because we were able to give builders, building inspectors and insurers the confidence they needed to carry on building with it. This book provides clear guidance through its photos, text and sketches on all aspects of building with this ‘deep green’ material and takes our early work forward into the mainstream. It is a must have for anyone planning to build with hempcrete, whether in renovation or new build projects.
Alex Sparrow works for one of only a handful of companies working with hempcrete in the UK and the only one to work with self-builders. Alex works on the strategic development of the company but still regularly take the opportunity to get his hands dirty on the building sites. Beyond the day-job, he is also a freelance writer on natural building.
William Stanwix is a qualified building surveyor and founder of a growing UK company which specialises in new build and restoration with hempcrete and other natural building materials. Along with ongoing construction projects, Will provides consultancy, technical design and training for people interested in building with hempcrete and other natural building materials.
Hempcrete Talk at the Polish Club ("Polonia") in Cambridge
Saturday 19-Sep-2016 19:00
Polish Club, 231 Chesterton Rd, Cambridge CB4 1AS
Alex Sparrow, co-author of The Hempcrete Book, will speak to us on the wonderful qualities of hempcrete. (He is currently doing a workshop (reserve a place here) to retrofit a Victorian terrace house in Cambridge with hemp-lime.) This is a great start to the Open Eco-Homes event in Cambridge on Sun 18-Sep and Sat 24-Sep.
Hempcrete is a natural building material with excellent qualities; it is breathable, creates healthier buildings, has exceptional thermal performance (combining insulation with good thermal mass) and has low embodied energy.
Alex's book will be on sale on the evening and there may also be copies of the recent Polish translation, too.
This is a free event. The Polish Club has a bar and restaurant.
Alex Sparrow, autor książki Podręcznik Budowania z Konopii opowie nam o niezwykłych właściwościach betonu konopnego jako materiału budowlanego.
Beton konopniany (‘hempcrete’) jest naturalnym materiałem budowlanym wyśmienitej jakości: jest materiałem “oddychającym”, co ma dobry wpływ na zdrowie mieszkańców budynku. Beton konopniany ma również doskonałe właściwości termiczne; ma dobrą inercję termiczną i niską energochłonność, a jednocześnie stanowi dobrą izolację.
Po wykładzie będzie możliwość zakupienia ‘Podręcznika Budowania z Konopii’ w języku angielskim. Powinny być też dostępne egzemplarze książki w języku polskim.
Przed wykładem odbędzie się warsztat podczas którego za pomocą kompozytu wapienno-konopnego odnawiany będzie dom z epoki wiktoriańskiej (więcej szczegółów i rezerwacja miejsc na stronie Transition Cambridge)