NEW CONSTRUCTION METHODS: HEMP-LIME HOUSES
by Nikola Tosic, 3 March 2015
We have already talked of Geopanel reusable formwork, a revolutionary product for the construction of walls, columns and foundations in concrete that optimizes the building process and facilitates the job of workers: thanks to their lightweight and versatility, our plastic panels adapt to your needs and allow to erect any kind of structure.
However, perhaps you don’t know yet that Geopanel can be used also to build with other materials than traditional concrete: rammed earth houses, isolation walls in lime-based hempcrete and so on.
The use of natural and renewable construction materials is strictly connected with the development of a new type of construction methods, more attuned to man’s needs and environmentally friendly, which are related to some really interesting economic and environmental benefits: building with vegetal material, such as industrial hemp, absorb CO2, reducing the quantity of carbon dioxide of the atmosphere, but I’d like to point out in particular its excellent insulation characteristics and its superior thermodynamic performances. According to Mike Lawrence, researcher at Bath’s University (UK), a wall in hempcrete can absorb and gradually release water vapor creating a buffering effect to the humidity and thermal variations, perfectly adapting itself t low energy constructive and design criteria.
In Tarpon Springs, Florida, one of the first hemp houses has already been built using Geopanel. The cellular characteristics of hemp fibers allow to completely fill the void spaces of the timber frame, avoiding thermal bridges and resisting better to weathering and environmental attacks. Moreover, the high thermal resistance of insulation walls in lime-based hempcrete proved to be the perfect solution to reduce the need of air conditioning for some months a year in comparison to houses built with standard construction materials.