Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

Hemp-Lime Building Tested for Energy-Efficiency

10/14/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: hemp, lime, energy efficient, green building

When mixed with lime, hemp makes a durable building material. Hemp-lime composite provides strength while also absorbing carbon, making it a great building block for zero-carbon homes. Now, researchers with the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University of Bath are testing the hemp-lime material’s energy-efficiency. Although several hemp-lime composite buildings have been constructed, the researchers hope to pull scientific data that will persuade the mainstream building industry to use the material more widely.

For the next 18 months, researchers at the University of Bath will monitor the HemPod to see how well its hemp-lime walls insulate. Photo Courtesy University of Bath. 

The researchers constructed a one-story hemp-lime building, the HemPod, with walls made from hemp’s woody core, held together with a lime-based binder. For the next 18 months the researchers will closely monitor the HemPod’s indoor temperature and humidity to see how well hemp-lime walls insulate and allow moisture to pass through.

Hemp-lime should provide good thermal mass, making the building energy efficient. The wall’s breathability should act as a passive air conditioning system, keeping humidity inside the hemp structure constant at all times.

Hemp provides a healthy alternative to other building materials as it requires no pesticides or fertilizers and little water to grow. Hemp and lime both absorb carbon, and the lime binder also increases fire resistance. Using hemp as a building material could also open up a new agricultural market and provide economic benefits to farmers—although not yet. Hemp cultivation is illegal in the United States.

Related Content

Amazing Architecture

Looking for creative green building ideas? Check out this blog.

Canadians Develop Hemp Car

Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.

Find a Heritage Poultry Breeder

Choosing from among various heritage breeds can be tough, but finding a breeder can be even tougher....

How Long Do Straw Insulated Houses Actually Last Before You Have to Replace the Straw?

With the right constuction techniques, the straw bales in a straw bale home will last as long as the...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


2/25/2013 10:17:00 AM
Building an energy efficient home is a trend in home construction that isn't going away.Planning an energy efficient house from the beginning will give you benefits no renovations will ever create.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.