The Hempcrete Book
Designing and building with hemp-lime

By William Stanwix and Alex Sparrow

The Hempcrete Book
Hardback, 368 pages £34.99
Published: 9th October 2014
ISBN: 9780857842244
Format: 255mm x 205mm

Paperback, 368 pages £24.99
Published: 9th October 2014
ISBN: 9780857841209
Format: 255mm x 205mm

Click here to see ebook versions available
Published: 9th October 2014
ISBN: 9780857841223
PDF, 368 pages
Published: 9th October 2014
ISBN: 9780857841216

Series: Sustainable Building

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Hempcrete is a building material with excellent properties. It's made from lime and hemp shivs (a waste product from hemp fiber growing); it can be used for walls, floors, and for roof insulation; it's breathable, absorbing and emitting moisture to regulate internal humidity and avoid trapped moisture and mold growth; it provides excellent acoustic and thermal insulation and thermal mass; it's lightweight and reduces 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. This book is a detailed practical manual for professionals and self-builders, detailing how to source and make hempcrete and other hemp-lime composites, and how to use them in new builds and restoration. The Hempcrete Book provides a full explanation of construction techniques, highlighting potential pitfalls and how to avoid them, and includes a comprehensive resources section and examples of completed builds, with design notes.

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
14 Shuttering
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."

- Ian Pritchett

"Any architect, designer, owner or builder thinking of building in hemp or using lime in their build should obtain this book before they start."

- Neil Garrett The Owner Builder

"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."

- Dvid Phythian Building Engineer

"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."

- Ralph Carpenter and Richard Scales, MODECE ARCHITECTS, Suffolk

"Truly comprehensive and enormously helpful. I wish we’d had this guide when building our Hempcrete homes in Swindon!"

- Kevin McCloud

"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."

- Mabelle Plasencia

"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."

- Self Build & Design Magazine

Alex Sparrow

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

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.

Publication Details:

Binding: Hardback, 368 pages
ISBN: 9780857842244
Format: 255mm x 205mm

Binding: Paperback, 368 pages
ISBN: 9780857841209
Format: 255mm x 205mm

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857841223
Format: EPUB

Binding: Electronic book text, 368 pages
ISBN: 9780857841216
Format: PDF

BISAC Code:  ARC018000, TEC005000, TEC010000
Imprint: Green Books

References & Resources:
The_Hempcrete_Book_Sample_Pages.pdf pdf_logo

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