Leaders in hemp-lime building and education in Australia

Photography courtesy of Simon Griffiths.

The Hemp Building Company is a 'green' building business with a difference. We are specialists in the use of hemp-lime (also known as hempcrete) and the only registered builders in Australia offering consultation services and hands-on workshop training opportunities tailored to the needs of architects, builders, owner-builders and artisans of natural materials.

Our innovative work has featured in national publications including Habitus and Green magazine as examples of quality craftsmanship and excellence in environmentally conscious building. Today, we are sharing our skills and experience with those looking to build with this unique material.

If you are passionate about beautifully crafted, energy efficient and healthy spaces, the Hemp Building Company has a wealth of in-house expertise to bring your hemp-lime building project to life. 

Building naturally, transforming an industry

 

Industrial hemp (from Old English hænep) is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for a range of commercial purposes including paper, fabric, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. It is typically found in the northern hemisphere and is one of the fastest growing plants. Its use as a fibre dates back 10,000 years when it was originally spun into textiles.

So why do we choose to build with hemp? Our experience working in the building industry has taught us that hemp combined with lime offers unique and outstanding natural properties that cannot be matched by conventional building materials.

As Kevin McCleod and Joni Lane advocate, hemp is a remarkable plant with outstanding sustainability credentials. Hemp has the ability to absorb substantial levels of carbon dioxide during its rapid growing cycle. When you build with hemp, you are actively capturing and storing carbon for the life of your building.

Hemp displays extraordinary thermal performance. It has the ability to both insulate and store heat, providing you with a more comfortable and constant internal temperature. Combined with a lime or clay plaster finish to internal surfaces, hemp-lime provides a passive means of regulating relative humidity thereby reducing your reliance on mechanical heating, cooling and ventilation.

A healthy building means healthy occupants. Numerous studies suggest the level of toxins inside a typical conventional home can be greater than that of outdoor air. Hemp-lime contains no harmful chemicals and will not 'off-gas' over time. Hemp-lime is entirely compatible with non-toxic natural plant-based oil finishes, lime washes and renders. Hemp's natural ability to control interior humidity levels helps to eliminate the incidence of toxic mould growth.

Building with hemp-lime means safer buildings. The composition of the lime binder ensures that every particle of hemp in the hemp-lime mixture is coated. This provides outstanding fire ratings, does not rot and is pest-resistance without the need for treatment with potentially harmful chemicals.

Hemp has been used in building construction for centuries. The Ellora caves in India have remained well preserved from insects, natural conditions and decay due to their hemp composition. In Japan, a home built in 1698 survives today as a testament to the longevity of hemp constructed homes in an area with one of the highest levels of seismic activity in the world. In contemporary times, hemp-lime building underwent an evolution in France in the mid 80's as building restorers sought a suitable replacement for wattle and daub during the restoration of medieval timber framed buildings. Experimentation with hemp-lime exceeded all expectations. The success of this method has led to a revolution in building construction.

 
Shoo Residence - Habitus Magazine issue 34 2017
DAYLESFORD HOUSE-9.jpg

Calling Architects, Tradespeople, Entrepreneurs and Owner Builders

 

As licensed builders specialising in hemp-lime building education, we can provide you with a complete range of hemp-lime building services tailored to your needs.

Consultancy

Whether you are an architect, builder, entrepreneur or owner builder, we will guide you through the relevant design and structural issues specific to hemp-lime building to make sure that your project addresses the technical specifications required to meet Building Regulations. We will work with you through the intricacies of hemp-lime building to ensure the success of your build and to help you avoid costly mistakes.

Contact us today to discuss your needs.

EDUCATION

The Hemp Building Company can provide training to people of all skill levels and at any stage throughout your hemp-lime build.

Whether you are an owner builder with approved plans, a registered builder, or an architectural practice seeking to inform and educate your team, we can provide you with an on-site tailored training session to help you to fulfill your CodeMark Certification system requirements.

We are excited to announce dates for our next comprehensive 2 day training workshop in Leycester, NSW. On Friday 31st August & Saturday 1st September, we will guide you through the hemp-lime construction process including design and planning considerations, structural specifications, building regulations, rendering and fitting out. CodeMark certification and its importance in obtaining building permit approval will be explained in detail.

For workshop details, visit our Workshops page. 

HIRE

The Hemp Building Company can provide purpose-designed pan mixers which are available for daily hire. Based in Central Victoria, we can arrange delivery of equipment to anywhere in Australia. 

SUPPLY

The Hemp Building Company can arrange delivery of hemp fibre, Tradical® lime binder* direct to your site.

* The Hemp Building Company uses and recommends Tradical® lime binders. In Europe, Tradical® sets the benchmark for hemp-lime quality and meets the French Professional Rules for the 'Construction of Hempcrete Structures'.

In Australia, the use of Tradical® lime binder combined with our training of your team, forms an 'overall building system' that meets with Australian CodeMark Certification requirements. CodeMark Certification is a fundamental requirement for obtaining a Building Permit from a Registered Building Surveyor.

If you are ready to join the revolution, get in touch today.