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MAAI MEI NIET IS TERUG!

 

Wist je dat die heerlijke geur van versgemaaid gras eigenlijk een verdedigingsmechanisme is van de natuur? Op die manier waarschuwen grassprieten de rest van je tuin. Voor Knack is het meteen een noodkreet voor meer biodiversiteit. Daarom lanceren we opnieuw Maai Mei Niet. Geef je grasmaaier een maandje rust en zie planten, bloemen en insecten voor je ogen opleven.

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Kalkhennepbouw

Bouwtechniek, Decoratie-interieur, Kalkhennepbouw

Hoewel hennep een zeer multifunctioneel materiaal is gebleken doorheen de eeuwen, is kalkhennepbouw een recent gegeven. Sinds de jaren 30 van de vorige eeuw werden de traditionele hennepplantages verbannen door grootindustriëlen die liever hun eigen katoen en later synthetische stoffen de markt zagen domineren dan de alom gebruikte hennepvezel. De ‘narcotica’ harsrijke bloemen waren een gemakkelijke smoes om de visie over hennep danig te manipuleren.

Jammer, want de hennepplant is zoveel meer dan zijn bloesem. Zowat alle onderdelen van de plant werden eeuwen gebruikt om touwen te maken, zelfs linnen en zeilen, om af te dichten, als papier, enz.. De hennepplant is een plant die snel groeit (zelfs in dorre streken) , bodems zuivert en pesticiden overbodig maakt, en die we helemaal kunnen benutten.

Het was pas midden jaren 80 dat er een soort van revival plaatsvond. Het paste ‘natuurlijk’ in een beweging waarin men op zoek ging naar originele, pure en lokale materialen.

kalkhennepbeton

Ecomat verdeelt hennepscheven van Biofibat van Cavac uit de Vendée en de HES-scheven, eveneens uit Noord Frankrijk. De onderkenning van de kwaliteiten van de plant en zijn historische wortels in onze landbouwcultuur, zet vooral de Waalse overheid aan om initiatieven rond deze plant te ondersteunen. In Vlaanderen werkt Grow2Build al enkele jaren aan een imagocampagne voor de verstoten plant. Waar nodig vullen we de voorraad aan met hennepscheven uit Frankrijk. Daar zijn het lokale boeren die massaal hennep zijn beginnen telen als wisselcultuur voor andere gewassen. Verder is er ook een grote internationale beweging die hennep als gewas promoot voor nieuwe of vernieuwde toepassingen. 

In Zwitserland werd al 20 jaar geleden Hemp Eco Systems (HES) opgericht door Jorgen Hempel. Hij zag al snel alle voordelen in van het gebruik van hennep voor de bouw en wilde een platform zijn voor hempfanaten, aannemers en architecten allerlei om samen de hennepkalkbouw verder te ontwikkelen en op de kaart te zetten. Vooral onder zijn impuls staan er nu tientallen gebouwen zelfs grote publieke gebouwen recht, volledig in kalkhennepbouw opgetrokken. Ecomat verdeelt eveneens de HES-productenlijn.

kalkhennepblok

Daarnaast verdelen we voor de kalkhennepbouw ook de blokken van Isohemp. Deze geperste blokken worden na hun vorming gedroogd op een zo natuurlijk mogelijk wijze en van fabriek naar werf getransporteerd.

Deze leverancier biedt zelfs voor overbrugging van openingen in de gevel gewapende lintelen aan met een kern van staal en cement maar omhult met een isolerende kalkhennep isolatielaag! Zulke blokken worden gelijmd met een kalkmortel zoals Tubag RLM of de mortellijm van Isohemp.

geschiedenis

Frankrijk is dus de wieg van de moderne bouwwijze van kalkhennep. In de champagnestreek stonden vele oude vakwerkwoningen. Deze vakken waren traditioneel gevuld met stro, leem en kiezels. In de loop van vorige eeuw werden vele gerenoveerd met cementgebaseerde mortels of pleisters. Die brachten veel schade aan de woningen, doordat ze het ademend karakter van de vroegere mortels met stro totaal verstoorden. Velen waren dan ook klaar voor de sloop.

Drie namen zijn zowat de pioniers in de moderne kalkhennepbouw. Périer, Boyeux en Kühn waren de eersten om te de combinatie van kalk met hennepscheven te gaan gebruiken als opvulmateriaal voor verwoeste vakwerkvullingen. En hun oplossing vond al heel snel navolging over heel Frankrijk.

We mengen hennepscheven dus met kalk mengen om te komen tot een ‘hempcrete’ of ‘kalkhennepbeton’. In het Vlaams zeggen we eerder gewoon kalkhennep want er komt helemaal geen cement of kiezel bijkijken.

De mengeling van kalk en hennepscheven is net wat we zoeken in het bio-ecologisch bouwen : het heeft de flexibiliteit en de poreusheid die nodig is voor zijn functie en voldoet aan de normen van een bio-ecologisch materiaal.

4 mengformules en méér

De kalk die gebruik wordt voor een kalkhennepmengeling is enerzijds luchtkalk met een verharder of hydraulische kalk met luchtdrogende eigenschappen. De basisregel is dat luchtkalk voor isolatiedoeleinden de beste oplossing is, maar dat je voor de sterke uitharding of de regenbestendigheid een puzzolaan of verharder of gewoon hydraulische kalk toevoegt.

Je vindt online dan ook talloze formules voor een chaux-chanvre. Het klimaat in de Auvergne is anders dan het klimaat aan onze Belgische kust. Biochanvre van Saint Astier voeren we als basismengeling die in ons klimaat voor alle toepassingsgebieden geschikt is zodat je je hierom geen zorgen hoeft te maken. Eigen mengelingen zijn ook mogelijk met Saint Astier semi-hydraulische kalken, Supercalco met trasmeel, of de formule van HES (Hemp Eco Systems).

Vier toepassingsgebieden kunnen we onderscheiden die elk een eigen kalkhennep-verhouding vereisen.

Lichtgewicht kalkhennep als isolatie in het dak, tussenvloeren of scheidingsmuren in huis. Een tweede toepassing is kalkhennep voor de buitenmuren en een derde voor de benedenvloeren. Kalkhennepstuc als ‘warme’ bepleistering is dan de laatste toepassing.

isolatiehennep

dakhennep : waar kalkhennep vooral een isolerende functie krijgt, is de interne structuur minder van belang en meng je niet méér dan 10% kalk onder de massa, net genoeg om de kalkscheven te bedekken met een laagje en ze aan elkaar te ‘lijmen’ tot een zachte massa.

muurhennep : voeg tot 25% kalk toe aan het volume als de kalkhennep windkrachten moet doorstaan en het gebouw meer sterkte en stijfheid moet brengen. Er moet dus voldoende kalk aanwezig zijn om sterk te worden maar niet te veel om isolerend te blijven.

vloerhennep : als je kalkhennep wil gebruiken als isolatiemateriaal onder een benedenvloer en als die voldoende drukvast en stabiel moet zijn om op een kiezellaag aangebracht te worden en toch bijvoorbeeld terracotta tegels of een kalkchape te dragen, zal de mengeling ongeveer half om half uit kalk en uit hennepscheven bestaan.

hennepstuc : als je wil stuccen met kalkhennep zal er voldoende kalk in de massa moeten zitten om een smeuïge mortel te maken en om de hennepmassa te kunnen strijken tot een werkbare pleister. Hier ligt het aandeel kalk zo rond de 85 tot 90%. Soms voegt men wel wat gemalen kalksteen toe om het water iets langer vast te houden wanneer de pleister te snel zou uitdrogen. Soms gebruikt me ook de kleinere kalkpartikels om een zeer fijne stucco te maken.

voordelen

  • kalk en hennep zijn overal ter wereld lokaal beschikbare bouwmaterialen
  • kalk en hennep nemen beide op hun beurt (in groeifase en versteenfase) heel veel CO2 op
  • kalk en hennep zijn beide bio-ecologische bouwmaterialen
  • kalk en hennep zijn in combinatie nog sterker
  • kalk en hennep zijn in combinatie laag effusief en worden ervaren als een warme combinatie.
  • kalk en hennep dragen bij tot een juiste balans van relatieve vochtigheid in je woning
  • kalk en hennep beschermen actief het ongekapselde constructiehout van het skelet
  • kalk en hennep besparen in bekistingsplaten doordat je deze bekisting opschuift naargelang je aanstampt.
  • kalk en hennep beschermen je tegen UTMS stralingen
  • kalk en hennep zijn levende materialen tot de hennepscheven fossileren en de kalk terug versteent
  • kalk en hennep zijn daardoor volledig herbruikbaar
  • kalk en hennep zijn in combinatie onbrandbaar

nadelen

  • kalkhennep als vulling van muren en daken, heeft veel tijd nodig om volledig uit te drogen : des te meer kalk en dus water er aan toegevoegd dient te worden naargelang de toepassing, des te langer de uitdroogtijd
  • kalk is alkalisch : pas op voor brandwonden aan je handen als je er de hele dag in ploetert
  • kalk vergt grijze energie om gebrand te worden ; hennep is net een CO2 terugdraaiend onderdeel ; de combinatie van de twee houdt een balans die nog zeer bio-ecologisch en duurzaam kan genoemd worden.
  • de combinatie van kalk en hennep heeft een isolatiewaarde die dubbel zo laag is dan reguliere isolatie, dus je dient even dikke muren te voorzien als bij strobalenbouw om aan normen te voldoen

afwerking

Kalkhennep behoeft eigenlijk geen echte bescherming langs buiten als er voldoende hydraulische kalk in vermengd wordt of wanneer de mengeling voldoende beschermd wordt tijdens de verhardingsfase.

Wens je deze toch af te werken aan de buitenzijde, raden wij vooral een NHL-kalkbepleistering (Tubag of Saint Astier) of een geformuleerde kalkpleister (Tubag FLP-L). Uiteraard kan een dampopen gevelbekleding ook zoals een houten gevelbekleding, een muurtuin of desnoods gevelpannen. Wens je gewoon te schilderen, dan is een Calcatex kalkverf of een Calco verf van Galtane of RC kalei ideaal zolang je deze nat-in-nat toepast of zolang je deze voldoende kan laten uitdrogen alvorens er regenslag aan kan. Verf je pas later, gebruik dan beter een silicaatverf van Quick-Mix.

Aan de binnenzijde hoeft er ook geen bescherming op, maar zou je kunnen afwerken met dezelfde kalkcaseïneverf, een luchtkalkpleister zoals de Tubag HKP en KFP of Interchaubric van Saint Astier. Leempleisters zoals de Tierrafino Base en Finish zijn eveneens een mooie en functionele afwerking.

nog meer info kan je lezen in een artikel van Vibe

Bron: Kalkhennepbouw

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Hemp in Europe

The situation of hemp today  

Today, the Common Agriculture Policy is responsible for establishing the maximum THC level allowed for industrial hemp on the field. Many EU countries still prohibit or have unclear regulations about the use and marketing of flowers, incorrectly considered as narcotic, even if the THC level is below the established thresholds in the EU regulation for industrial hemp. In order for hemp to be a profitable crop, farmers need to be allowed to maximise their income through the utilisation of the whole plant, especially the flowers and leaves. That is why, EIHA defends a “whole plant” approach (#unlockthepotential).

Hemp transformers source 90% of their raw material within Europe. More than half of flowers and leaves traded in Europe are used for the production of food supplements, including CBD extracts. When it comes to textiles, because of the relatively high raw material prices, the lack of fibre supply and the scarcity of manufacturing facilities, production is limited as it mainly represents a niche market. A huge consumers market existed for hemp fibres until after World War II. Just to give you an idea, in the 1930s Russia’s hemp area sown was almost 700,000 hectares, providing for 40% of Europe’s hemp needs. In comparison, Italy and Yugoslavia accounted for up to 100,000 hectares each. Currently the EU combined barely grows 50,000 hectares. France is currently the biggest producer, followed by Italy and the Netherlands.

Even though Europe has not unlocked the full potential of hemp, the industry is rapidly growing.  In fact, from 2013 to 2018, there was a 70% increase in the number of hectares dedicated to industrial hemp cultivation in Europe. If we compare it to 1993 figures, the number of hectares has increased 614% since.

Source: EIHA

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‘Explosive’ demand for hurd in Europe is bright signal for hemp building

A hemp dome home in Ukraine by Hempire. (Photo: Hempire)

 
 

A current supply crunch on hemp hurd in Europe, while a temporary inconvenience, signals a major shift forward for the hemp building sector and can advance the development of much-needed processing facilities.

“This is something we have or should have been expecting for a while, as the potential for expansion in the construction sector was always on the cards,” veteran hemp builder Steve Allin, founder and director of the Ireland-based International Hemp Building Association, said of the surge in demand for hemp building materials.

With most business plans requiring the identification of a potential market to prove the viability of hemp production, the current strong demand will help those advocating for fiber production facilities to be built, Allin suggested.

“For the longer term this is good news as it justifies establishing hemp processing facilities in many regions where there is currently interest in doing so,” Allin said.

Hard to find

While prices for hemp hurd in Europe currently range from roughly €200-€450 per ton ($230-$515/t), supplies are hard to find at any price, George Popov, COO & Head of Sales Trading at London-based hemp commodities trader Canxchange, told HempToday

Calling the current demand for hurd in Europe “explosive,” Popov said one-off buyers are finding it difficult to source the material.

“It’s hard to find spot buys,” Popov said, because stocks are often pledged to companies that have long-running business relationships and long-term contracts with processors.

On the top end, selling at roughly €450 per ton, is the highest quality hurd for construction and animal bedding, turned out primarily by big French and Dutch producers. Popov said some French suppliers can deliver one to two trucks per month on a spot basis but such sales are dependent on availability.

Longer delivery times

“The demand for hurd is quite high and we’re seeing longer delivery times,” confirmed Belgian natural builder Wolf Jordan, who sells hurd and special additives for hempcrete construction along with natural paints and oils.

Another source told HempToday that orders out of France are backed up for 90 days. Those supplies come mostly from big producers such as Eurochanvre, CAVAC, Agro Chanvre and La Chanvrière.

Dutch fiber processor HempFlax reported as far back as November that it was running its factories continuously as the company announced a project to expand production capacity at its main location in Oude Pekela, Netherlands.

HempFlax turns out hurd and fiber for hemp construction, and hurd for plant and animal bedding. The company also produces highly-refined “bast” or “technical” fibers for hemp-based plastics and other advanced applications.

Demand for bast fibers

Popov said demand for those fibers is also strong at some grades. Bast fibers are refined to different grades for products such as insulation, biocomposites and textiles. Because of the complexity of the overall bast fiber sector, pricing, supply and demand are more difficult to assess, Popov said, noting textile grade fibers can be found in the €1,200/ton range.

While some French processors have high grades of bast fibers available on a spot purchase basis, many of those producers also have long-term contracts under which their output is already reserved through next season, making one-off buys possible only if standing orders are canceled, Popov said.

Buyers are finding bast fibers in Lithuania and Russia, according to Popov, where there is some availability, but should check the grades closely, he suggested.

Shipments going abroad

Other sources told anecdotal stories of major shipments going abroad, contributing to the squeeze on supplies in Europe. In one case, an Indian textile producer is reported to be sourcing large quantities of high-quality bast fibers from European producers.

U.S. buyers are reportedly importing European hurd for animal bedding and hemp construction as the overall fiber processing infrastructure for the American market continues to be built out.

Allin put the European supply crunch in a broader perspective: “It is also reflective of the wider situation globally with resource supplies in everything from fuel to food, timber to tea, suffering from scarcity due to both the pandemic and the dawning realization that the growth model is creaking as various limits are reached,” he said.

 

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Hennep zuivert de lucht

Hennep zuivert de lucht

Widt je dat voor elke ton hennep die groeit, dat er bij benadering 1,6 ton CO2 uit de atmosfeer wordt gehaald?  

De mogelijkheden zijn dan ook talrijk.  Zowel wat betreft productiemogelijkheden als naar oplossingen toe voor kwalitatieve luchtzuivering.  Plant hennep.

"We harvested around 750 tonnes of hemp this year, offsetting around 1,200 tonnes of CO2. That's enough to cover 160 average households for a full year - or one household for 160 years! 🌱"

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Is Hemp Really Stronger Than Steel? How?



Let us think of the comparative strength of a metal known to be strong and a hemp plant fiber. Which do you think would be stronger? You’re tempted to say hemp. But is hemp stronger than steel? The comparative strength of steel and a plant fiber, let us say. What would be your common-sense response?
We actually asked this question randomly to a number of people of different age-groups. We simply wanted to check whether our intuitive response matches with theirs. It did. Almost everyone said – steel would be stronger. Only two people refused to answer. They believed there was a trick in the question somewhere.
The common-sense response would be correct in most cases. With one exception: hemp fiber. Fibers from this non-narcotic variety of Cannabis Sativa can be stronger than steel, experts have demonstrated. (Lees verder)

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Building with hemp

 

When it comes to construction, we’re used to hearing words like concrete, cement, reinforcing steel, mineral wool, and polystyrene blocks. But hemp? Not so much. This is the story of a Ukrainian startup that produces building materials from industrial hemp and is already exporting its technology abroad.

During the concrete production phase alone, a house made from 100 cubic metres of concrete emits up to 20 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s the same amount that a car emits over a distance of 100 000 kilometres.

CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)
One of the greenhouse gases that play a part in shaping our planet’s climate, its concentration in the atmosphere has steadily increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 20th century. There is not enough time for plants and oceans to absorb these vast amounts of CO2, which disrupt the carbon cycle and may accelerate uncontrolled climate change.

Eco-friendly (or green) construction differs from standard construction processes in that it creates far less waste during the production of building materials, and consumes less energy in all the phases of a building’s life: construction, operation, repair, and demolition.

Since 2014, increasing numbers of eco-friendly construction firms have sprung up in Ukraine: LifeHouseBuilding specialises in timber-frame houses made from straw panels; Neoacre builds houses with thermal insulation and a hermetic shell, which produce energy using solar panels; the startup PassivDom creates modular homes that are completely autonomous from the electricity and gas networks.

 

Houses from hemp

 

The company Hempire has been producing ecological building material from industrial hemp since 2015. Its founder Serhii Kovalenkov believes that with time, the trend for “green” homes will only continue to grow in Ukraine:

— We are not the only company building eco-homes in Ukraine. There are companies that use thatch and reed as materials for construction. There is a lot of potential in this area, since people are beginning to wonder what kind of conditions their families, their children are going to live in. We need to help each other, not compete against each other.

The materials used in eco-friendly construction are based on natural components, or raw materials that do not emit toxic substances. These might be wood, thatch, hemp, bamboo, rammed earth, mushroom mycelium, to name but a few.

Industrial hemp shives, previously considered as a waste product of fabric and rope production, can actually serve as a valuable raw material and an alternative to conventional insulation, such as mineral wool or foam.

HEMP SHIVES OR HEMP HURD
The woody inner parts of the hemp stalk that are obtained during first processing.

Industrial hemp is a type of hemp with an extremely low level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). According to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, industrial hemp is not a narcotic drug and is allowed for cultivation and use, as its THC content does not exceed the legal limit of 0.08%. For comparison, the maximum THC content permitted in most European countries is 0.2%.

TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL
The main psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Products made from industrial hemp can be found in almost every home: from tow fibre to paper. Up to 60% of hemp fibre is used in the pulp and paper industry. The seeds are widely used in the food industry, and the oil is used in cosmetics.

Hemp yields more plant mass per year than a 50-year-old forest, actively absorbing carbon dioxide. During the growing season, one hectare of hemp can absorb up to ten tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Serhii Kovalenkov shows a photograph of one of the stages involved in building a dome, using a mix containing industrial hemp.

In the 1960s, 100 000 hectares of hemp were planted in Ukraine. Subsequently, the number of plantations began to decline rapidly due to the focus on the plant’s narcotic content. In that same period, a series of regulations restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of hemp were being adopted worldwide. These included the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.

According to the Bast Crops Research Station in Hlukhiv (part of Ukraine’s National Academy of Agrarian Sciences), Ukrainian growers were the first in the world to develop a variety of hemp that contained little to no THC, in the second half of the 20th century. This is the variety we now call industrial hemp.

Until 2012, industrial hemp could only be grown in Ukraine under severely restricted conditions. Plantations had to be guarded, which increased the cost of production by 30%. The overall surface area sown with this crop decreased to 270 hectares nationwide. However, in August 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a decree simplifying the growing conditions. As of 2016, hemp was cultivated over a surface area of almost five thousand hectares, a figure that is gradually increasing.

A licence is required to grow industrial hemp in Ukraine, and it is permitted to sow only those varieties listed in the State Register of Plant Varieties permitted for dissemination in Ukraine. At present, there are 12 varieties of hemp on the list.

 

Instead of Concrete

Hempire has developed a material called Hempire-mix, which can be used as insulation, or as a replacement for concrete and bricks. It is made from the crushed stems of industrial hemp (hemp shives), water, and a lime-based binding agent, without any toxic ingredients. To produce this insulation material, the ingredients need to be mixed quickly enough to install the formwork around the parts of the frame, and the mixture needs to be tamped down to a thickness of 10-15 centimetres.

 

The uniqueness of Hempire-mix is in the binding agent, which does not contain cement: “hempcrete” is already used by various companies worldwide, but can be mixed according to slightly different formulas.

Serhii Kovalenkov graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa with a degree in civil engineering, and spent several years managing construction projects in Canada, the USA and Switzerland.

While helping to build houses in Australia, Serhii learned about the use of hemp in construction. He gained experience with the material on several projects, and realised that he could develop his own, cement-free recipe for the mixture. Hemp insulation that contains cement cannot be recycled or reused after it hardens (or to do so would be very expensive). However, a mixture made solely from natural ingredients can be ground, recycled, and added to a new insulation mix.

— It’s my life’s work. I see that we can produce high-quality, energy efficient materials from organic raw materials in Ukraine. Once someone said to us: “What are you doing this for? Mix the hemp with cement and you’ll be fine!” But we have chosen another path, a more painful one.

The company founder says that a hemp mix for construction has many benefits. It is not only environmentally friendly, but also energy-efficient:

— One of the advantages of these homes is how much you’ll save on heating and cooling. This insulation can regulate the humidity level, accumulate heat and then get rid of it. It also provides very effective soundproofing.

Serhii recalls the questions and doubts his business raised, given that this technology is relatively new to Ukraine:

— The first question from potential customers was whether any such projects had ever been implemented in Ukraine before. And we weren’t able to show them anything.

By the start of 2020, Hempire had already implemented up to 60 projects in Ukraine, the USA, Poland, and Sweden. In California, they made a home on wheels from local raw materials mixed with Ukrainian binding agent.

— The hemp is ours, from Ukraine. From the beginning, our task has been to use domestically-produced materials for our building, so as not to depend on imports. The number of fields in Ukraine is increasing every year, as well as the number of farms. So there are no issues with hemp these days.

Even in recycled form, hemp reduces a building’s carbon footprint, since Hempire-mix continues to absorb CO2 even while it hardens:

— We see that the insulation material becomes harder with every minute, and stronger with every passing day. And then it turns into a kind of stone, which we plaster with lime or clay.

Hemp can be used to insulate building facades, floors, foundations, and roofs. This kind of insulation is just as suitable for private homes as it is for offices, schools, and kindergartens.

— We plan to develop new hemp-based building materials to insulate multi-storey buildings. This is a very big problem in Ukraine: there are so many concrete buildings that need to be insulated. We are already developing slabs for this, and have prepared samples.

Thanks to their latest formula for recyclable natural insulation material, Hempire has received a “Climate Innovation Voucher” for the development of green technology, which is part of the grant programme of the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), funded by the European Union. This will allow them to obtain certificates for further entry into local and European markets. Serhii Kovalenkov says the team will soon receive protocols for laboratory testing that will allow the insulation to receive certifications.

— When gas prices went up, Ukrainians came to understand the meaning of the term “energy efficiency”. Since 2014, a great number of startups have appeared in Ukraine, particularly in this field. People here are beginning to realise that we can do everything ourselves.

 

Green homeowners

Dmytro Tereshchenko is one of Hempire’s first clients: he enlisted them to complete the second floor of his house using this new technology. Having lived there with his family for two years, Dmytro noticed the difference in insulation between the first and second floors. The first storey was very cold, and the second one conserved the heat much longer.

– When I was building the house, sustainability was my first priority. My second was comfort.

During the first stage of construction, he did have doubts about the durability of a building like this:

– In November, when we covered the second floor, and it was already frosty outside, I had some doubts. I was looking at the holes in the wall, and my wife said, “That’s nothing. If anything happens, we’ll cover all this with styrofoam.” But we didn’t have to.

 

Dmytro’s house has no air conditioning units: he claims that the walls “breathe”, and no additional cooling is needed. He also says the hemp walls really help to save money: for a house with a surface area of 150-200 square metres, using an electric boiler, you will pay up to 1000 hryvnia per month.

Serhii Kovalenkov says hemp insulation can also maintain humidity inside the house at 50-55% (bearing in mind that an optimal humidity level is anywhere from 40-60% – ed.).

– Hemp insulation is able to accumulate heat and then release it. When the boiler is running, the walls accumulate heat; when you turn off the boiler, the insulation lets the heat into the house.

 

Dome houses

One particular category of low-rise building is the dome house. In the 20th century, spherical construction in its modern form was popularised by American architect Richard Fuller. The geodesic dome structure is created thanks to specially-connected girders, meaning the volume of the room can be increased while keeping the weight of the structure to a minimum.

Serhii Kovalenkov says that Hempire was the first to try to build a dome using hemp, and now they are in demand from foreign clients.

Serhii Boiko, one of Hempire’s Ukrainian clients and the owner of a dome house in Kyiv, remembers thinking about a project like this back in 2009. He works in the construction industry too, and got interested in ecology when he had a business selling organic food:

– I was thinking entirely about health. I have four children (all daughters), and they inspire me to do something magical. After a while I realized that the shape was good, but the walls weren’t eco-friendly. So the question was, where could I get green building materials? Everything I found was cement-based.

 

According to Serhii Boiko, the hemp-insulated house can maintain the same temperature for an hour without additional heating. The 30-centimetre layer of insulation made from eco-friendly materials, which accumulates heat, also helps him save money on heating.

Serhii Kovalenkov sees this dome project as unique, as it combines two technologies:

– One dome was built from expanded polystyrene concrete (also called EPS concrete or lightweight concrete – ed.), the other from industrial hemp. It is a very symbolic building because Serhii has a construction company, and when he learned about our technology, he started to build a second dome, but using natural substances. That means we got him on our side. He crossed to the good side, to the hemp side.

 

Serhii Boiko remembers that the hemp mixture was more expensive than traditional building materials. But despite friends asking him, “Why pay more?”, he dared to try out the new blend, considering the long-term perspective:

– If you think in the short term, you don’t question any of this. But what about the children? I’ll live a little longer, and then what? It will be like: dad built a cool house, but he just used ordinary materials? 

Source: https://ukrainer.net/building-with-hemp/

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Hempearth: world’ first Hempplane

Hempearth Group is set to build the world’s first plane made from and powered by HEMP. Not only is the plane set to run on HEMPEARTH Hemp Jet A Bio Fuel, but it is set to be built almost entirely from HEMP. Everything from the seats, the wings, the plane walls and even the pillows are set to contain hemp composites which the company has been developing its own over the last couple of years with a Montreal and Australian company. These Hemp aviation composites are un like anything every been done on the planet, and shall revolutionize the way many things are constructed including, aircraft, boats, cars. (Lees verder)