HEMPCRETE – REVOLUTIONISING SUSTAINABLE BUILDING IN AUSTRALIA

Hempcrete sustainable building material in construction

The Australian construction industry is not known for its focus on reducing carbon emissions. If anything, we are often the target of blame for the negative trajectory of our climate. However, there are hopes that hemp could help to revolutionise the Australian building industry by providing a carbon-negative alternative to traditional brick and mortar construction

WHY USING HEMPCRETE?

HEMPCRETE & DESIGN

Andrew George, the owner at Lou Projects, is passionate about bringing hempcrete into mainstream use in New South Wales. He believes that hempcrete is an amazing product that is revolutionising sustainable design and construction in Australia. The more awareness we bring to its use and benefits, the more people will recognise that sustainable building is affordable, efficient and accessible.

WHAT IS HEMPCRETE?

As a composite of a lime-based binding agent and the woody core of the hemp plant, hempcrete is a lightweight material that has a similar consistency to regular concrete, yet weighs up to eight times less. The material is not used as the main structure, but rather as infill between structural frames to form insulating walls. Often, the outer walls are finished with a hard render and topcoat, giving the dwelling the appearance of a traditionally finished building.

Hempcrete has a long history as a building material, particularly in Europe where it was discovered in a 6th century bridge abutment in France. This is certainly a testament to its durability, passing the test of time by surviving fourteen centuries. Hemp itself is also a crop considered more sustainable and environmentally friendly than others given that it doesn’t require pesticides, fertilisers or fungicides. The hemp crops grow thick enough that weeds are kept at bay naturally, eliminating the need for toxic weed killers.

The formwork process of the material hempcrete for building and construction blogpost by lou projects australia

WHY IS HEMPCRETE SUSTAINABLE CHOICE?

BUILDING MATERIALS THAT REDUCE ENERGY COSTS

The Australian construction industry is not known for its focus on reducing carbon emissions. If anything, we are often the target of blame for the negative trajectory of our climate. However, there are hopes that hemp could help to revolutionise the Australian building industry by providing a carbon-negative alternative to traditional brick and mortar construction. Andrew George, the owner at Lou Projects, is passionate about bringing hempcrete into mainstream use in New South Wales. He believes that “hempcrete is an amazing product that is revolutionising sustainable design and construction in Australia. The more awareness we bring to its use and benefits, the more people will recognise that sustainable building is affordable, efficient and accessible.”

If you’re looking for building materials that allow you to minimise reliance on electricity for heating and cooling, hemp masonry is a sustainable alternative to conventional brick and block construction. It is highly insulating, meaning that thermal comfort can be regulated by the building itself. It is breathable, meaning that humidity can be easily managed, reducing the possibility of dampness and mould.

Written by Angela Andonopoulos – September 6, 2019

Resources: ABC News, American  Limetechnology,  Green Suffolk,  Hempcrete.com, Hemp Masonry