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The Hempcrete Book Green Books, by William Stanwix and Alex Sparrow 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. Hemp for use in construction forms a relatively small, but growing, proportion of the output from hemp farming in the UK. The main ways in which hemp is used in construction are to make hempcrete and to provide fibres for quilt insulation.
It is created by wet-mixing the chopped woody stem of the hemp plant hemp shiv with a lime-based binder to create a material that can be cast into moulds. Hempcrete was developed in France in the mids, when people were experimenting to find an appropriate replacement for deteriorated wattle and daub in medieval timber-frame buildings.
Across Europe, awareness was growing about the extensive damage that had been done to such buildings in the post-war period through ill-advised repairs using ordinary Portland cement. This in turn led to the retention of moisture within the fabric, which damaged the timber frames. It was discovered that the stem of the hemp plant, highly durable and comprised of strong cellulose capable of going from wet to dry and vice versa almost indefinitely without degrading , was the ideal aggregate to add to lime mortars to achieve this effect.
Thanks to the cell structure of the hemp stalk and the matrix structure created by the individual pieces of hemp inside the wall, together with the properties of the lime binder itself, a hempcrete wall has a good ability to absorb and release moisture. Also, since a great deal of air is trapped inside a hempcrete wall both within the hemp itself and within the matrix of the hemp shiv in the cast material , it is a surprisingly good insulating material, and the density which the lime binder adds gives the finished material a good amount of thermal mass.
Almost as soon as this technique was developed for the repair of historic buildings, people started experimenting with its use in sustainable new build — and found that it was equally suitable for this application. Is building with hemp a new phenomenon? It hardly seems likely that human civilizations would have cultivated the plant for millennia for such a wide range of uses without using it in their buildings. There is some evidence, however, that building with hemp did not start in the twentieth century and, further, that properly maintained hemp buildings can last for centuries.
A historic hemp house in Miasa village, in the Nagano prefecture of Japan, now recognized as a Japanese national heritage site, was built in and survives in good condition to this day. The use of hempcrete has gradually spread, first across Europe and more recently around the world, and the number of people using it, both in new build and in the repair of older buildings, continues to grow.
In the UK a great many buildings, both commercial and residential, have now been built with hempcrete. A notable upsurge in the commercial use of hempcrete came with the Renewable House Programme, funded by the UK government between and Under this scheme, a range of developers received varying levels of public funding to build social housing using natural renewable materials, resulting in the construction of around homes.
Of the twelve projects funded, seven used hempcrete as an insulation material. Since the UK construction industry is notoriously slow to adopt new practices, and has been largely sceptical of the need for or even the possibility of using natural materials, State-funded and -driven programmes such as the Renewable House Programme are invaluable in facilitating investigation into issues relating to the large-scale adoption of natural materials within the construction sector.
The programme certainly had its challenges, and many of the projects undertaken suffered to some extent from the effects of contractors being given novel materials to work with. However, the overall results were encouraging, and no problems were encountered to suggest that hempcrete, along with other natural materials, would not be suitable for adoption on an increasing scale within the mainstream construction industry.
There are also some other uses of the hemp plant in construction, primarily of the bast fibres in the manufacture of fibre quilt insulation materials, and both shiv and bast fibre as an addition to lime plasters, providing additional strength and some insulation to the plaster.
While these materials are not the main focus of this book, they are occasionally referred to throughout, so a brief overview of them is included later in this excerpt. First, however, we look at the different ways in which hempcrete can be used. Currently in the UK there are no agreed standards for the characteristics of hemp shiv for the construction industry, nor for its production or processing.
In France, where the hemp building industry is more established, there are strict guidelines for hemp farmers that govern the quality and colour of hemp shiv to be used in construction, and it is hoped that, in time, similar standards for the nature and quality of the product can be agreed for the UK industry. The processing of hemp shiv for use as a building aggregate once all the leaves, seeds and bast fibres have been removed involves breaking it up into small pieces and removing any remaining fibre and dust.
Hemp shiv for building should be as dry and clean as possible, with a minimum of fines small pieces of bast fibre and dust present. Walls are also regularly built with hemp shiv that contains a certain amount of fines, although the proportion must be low, otherwise the fines can soak up too much water and potentially affect the setting of the binder.
The absence of dust from the shiv is far more important, since excessive dust can have an even more significant impact on the structural integrity of the wall — in extreme cases leading to collapse.
This is because the dust soaks up a very high proportion of the water added at the mixing stage, causing the binder to fail.
The only way to avoid this is to compensate by adding a lot more water, but this will significantly extend the drying time of the hempcrete. The presence of excessive amounts of dust in hemp shiv for building is to be avoided at all costs.
Hemp should be stored dry, although it comes in plastic-wrapped bales, so there is a certain tolerance of these being left outside on-site in the short term if suitable storage is not available.
The shiv should go in the mixer as dry as possible, to avoid excess water entering the mix, but if some areas of a bale do get wet it will not affect the quality of the finished hempcrete. However, if the shiv has been subject to prolonged exposure to moisture and starts to show signs of rotting the colour changing to black , all black areas should be scraped out and removed from the bale before adding it to the mix. There is no need for any treatment of hemp shiv with fire retardants or preservatives as long as it is being used with a lime-based binder for hempcrete.
Once cast as hempcrete, the lime in the binder acts to effectively inhibit insect attack and protect from dampness and fire. Hemp Technology went into administration on 28 October They appear to be seeking investors, but at the time of writing it seems unlikely that the company will be revived in its current form. However, this may soon change in the light of the current situation at Hemp Technology.
Those wishing to source UK-grown hemp from other suppliers have been restricted to a small number of independent farmers who had not signed exclusive supply contracts with Hemp Technology, and who process their own hemp. There is nothing to stop builders making links with farmers and sourcing their own shiv for building, but if the farmer is not used to supplying to the construction industry it is important that the essential qualities of hemp shiv for construction are understood by both parties.
There needs to be clear agreement in advance about the qualities of the product required as described earlier and the cost, including that of transportation to site. Some natural building suppliers supply hemp shiv from independent UK farmers, although this is far from commonplace at the time of writing. Samples shown to the authors were encouraging in terms of the shiv having a very good standard of dryness, a very low dust and fines content, and a consistent colour.
However, broad discussions around price suggested that it might be more expensive than shiv currently on the UK market. It remains to be seen whether importing French hemp shiv into the UK is a commercially viable enterprise.
On the other hand, the presence on the market of French shiv, subject as it is to the more stringent standards imposed by the French authorities, may prove competitive to UK shiv producers in terms of quality, if not price, and may provide the required impetus for the UK industry to develop its own quality standards for construction hemp shiv.
The shuttering may be temporary or permanent. Because hempcrete is a non-load-bearing material, it is always cast around a structural frame, which provides the main load-bearing element of the building.
This is usually, but not always, built of timber. This applies whether it is being used in a new build or a restoration context. In new builds the usual method is to construct a simple studwork frame from softwood, and bury this within the centre of the hempcrete wall, but alterations can be made to the frame to accommodate different design details, both of the wall itself and of internal and external finishes.
Mixing the hemp shiv and binder together with water can be done with a variety of types of mechanical mixer, depending on the quantity needed, the speed at which it is required, the method of application and access to the site.
It is left for a short time to take an initial set i. The hand-placing of cast-in-situ hempcrete refers to the use of manual labour to place the hempcrete into the void created by the shuttering, as well as to ferry it from the mixer to the place where it is needed. The placing process needs to be carried out carefully to ensure both the quality and certain desirable characteristics of the finished material. The manual transport of the hempcrete is done using large tubs or buckets, since it is a relatively lightweight material.
The hempcrete is cast in shuttering, usually temporary, around the structural frame, which is usually placed centrally within the wall.
These are particularly suitable for very large-scale commercial applications. The placing of the hempcrete material by hand allows a high level of control over the quality of the finished product, although there is a need to carefully monitor consistency of workmanship if lots of people are involved in the placing. The low-tech, hands-on nature of hand-placed cast-in-situ hempcrete appeals to self-builders, whether individuals or groups, who have the time to devote their own labour to the build process in order to reduce costs.
They have been a driving force in the increasing use of sustainable construction methods in the mainstream building industry, and have championed the use first of hand-placed and now of spray-applied hempcrete over recent years. As with all things, spraying hempcrete has its advantages and disadvantages. The picture is developing rapidly, with new ways of using the machines, and new equipment to enhance the method, constantly being developed.
The spray-applied method for cast-in-situ hempcrete follows broadly the same technique as that for hand-placed hempcrete, but with fully mechanized delivery and placing of the hempcrete, and some minor alterations to the structural frame to accommodate the way the machine works. The hemp shiv is of a finer grade than that used for hand-placed hempcrete, as shiv containing pieces longer than 20mm was found to block the hose on the spraying machine. The hemp and binder slurry are mixed together at the nozzle of the sprayer.
Due to the force with which it is projected out of the nozzle, spray-applied hempcrete adheres firmly to the surface on to which it is sprayed. Usually this surface is a permanent internal shuttering board, from which the hempcrete is gradually built out to the desired wall thickness in several passes.
There is no need for a shuttering board on the other face of the wall — all that is required is the skill to build up a flat wall. With spray application the structural frame is usually positioned on the inside face of the walls, where the permanent shuttering boards can be attached to it. However, since the spraying machine cannot spray around corners, to make the most of this method of application an open, easily accessible frame is required.
For self-builders wanting to carry out the work themselves, sprayed hempcrete is not really an option. The expensive machinery is not something you can hire by the week, and in any case the skill required to operate it can only be developed over time. However, spray-applying has the potential to reduce the number of people needed on-site during the placement of hempcrete, especially on large-scale builds. Against this, of course, you have to factor in the capital outlay, and time and money spent cleaning, transporting, maintaining and repairing the machine.
For builds of up to around m a very large house or large community building, for example the costs of hand-placing and spray-applying are comparable, with any variation usually depending on the frame design and site-specific issues. As you start to move up to larger builds, spray-application really comes into its own. As an alternative to in-situ casting, hempcrete can be pre-cast into either blocks or framed panels.
This usually brings distinct advantages in terms of predictability of the build process, since in most types of pre-cast hempcrete construction the drying of the hempcrete, or at least most of it, is completed off-site, so any uncertainty regarding the time needed for this is eliminated.
This is a particular advantage for the schedule of works in large-scale commercial builds, and times when the construction phase must take place during winter.
However, the downside of pre-casting is that it is often a more complicated way of using hempcrete, with a higher number of processes and materials involved.
This in turn means that it may be a less sustainable construction method, although in truth, accurate comparison between cast-in-situ and pre-cast hempcrete is extremely difficult owing to variables such as the scale of the build, design details, the materials used and the distance between farm, processing plant, factory and site.
The main pros and cons with pre-cast methods are outlined below. Hempcrete blocks are usually laid by wetting on the surface and bedded using a thin mortar of hydraulic lime and sand. The blocks cut easily with a hand saw, which is useful for fitting them closely around the structural frame, but to improve the speed of construction and to minimize wastage the frame should be designed around the block size, or vice versa.
A number of different companies have been producing hempcrete blocks commercially for several years, both in Europe and, to a lesser extent, in the UK. At first glance blocks might seem to be the obvious way of using hempcrete, especially considering the benefits of off-site drying. However, there is a fundamental inefficiency in casting blocks which are then laid in mortar, because you need a mixer and formwork shuttering to make the block in the factory, and then several subsequent processes must take place before it becomes part of the finished building.
Casting the wall in situ is more cost-efficient. In order to cast blocks of sufficient structural integrity that they will stand up to handling during manufacture, warehousing and transportation, the density of the hempcrete mix must be increased i. This reduces the insulation performance, although it increases the thermal mass. The blocks need to be laid using a bedding mortar which, although only a thin layer, can potentially create cold bridges through the wall.
The compressive strength of hempcrete is not such that these blocks can be used structurally to support the load of the roof, as concrete blocks would be, so although strong enough to support their own weight, they still need to be laid around a structural frame. These three factors, combined with the fact that blocks are a more expensive and potentially higher-embodied-energy option, mean that cast-in-situ will usually be the preferred method for building with hempcrete.
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The Hempcrete Book Green Books, by William Stanwix and Alex Sparrow 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. Hemp for use in construction forms a relatively small, but growing, proportion of the output from hemp farming in the UK. The main ways in which hemp is used in construction are to make hempcrete and to provide fibres for quilt insulation. It is created by wet-mixing the chopped woody stem of the hemp plant hemp shiv with a lime-based binder to create a material that can be cast into moulds.
Drywall also known as plasterboard , wallboard , sheet rock , gypsum board , buster board , custard board , or gypsum panel is a panel made of calcium sulfate dihydrate gypsum , with or without additives, typically extruded between thick sheets of facer and backer paper , used in the construction of interior walls and ceilings. In the midth century, drywall construction became prevalent in North America as a time and labor saving alternative to traditional lath and plaster. The first plasterboard plant in the UK was opened in in Rochester, Kent. It was made by layering plaster within four plies of wool felt paper. Gypsum board evolved between and beginning with wrapped board edges and elimination of the two inner layers of felt paper in favor of paper-based facings.
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Завладеть персональными кодами компьютеров Третьего узла было проще простого.
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