The Hempcrete Book

The Hempcrete Book : Designing and Building with Hemp-Lime

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The Hempcrete Book is a detailed practical manual for architects, surveyors, professional builders and self-builders. It explains how to source and mix hempcrete and how to use it in new builds and restoration. In colour throughout, fully illustrated with beautiful photographs, this book provides a full explanation of construction techniques, highlighting potential pitfalls and how to avoid them. It includes a comprehensive resources section and examples of completed builds, with design notes.

Hempcrete is a building material with excellent properties. It's made from lime and hemp shivs (a waste product from hemp fibre growing) and can be used for walls, floors, and for roof insulation.

Hempcrete is breathable, absorbing and emitting moisture; this helps regulate internal humidity, avoiding trapped moisture and mould growth, and creating healthier buildings. It provides excellent acoustic and thermal insulation and thermal mass. It's light-weight, reducing 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.

The Hempcrete Book is a valuable tool for any eco-builder.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 205 x 255 x 25.4mm | 1,292.74g
  • Totnes, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 280 Illustrations, color; 15 Diagrams
  • 0857841203
  • 9780857841209
  • 74,335

Table of contents

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

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Review quote

"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 * * "Truly comprehensive and enormously helpful. I wish we'd had this guide when building our Hempcrete homes in Swindon!" -- Kevin McCloud "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 "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 * "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 * "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 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
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About 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.

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.
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Rating details

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