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Essential Hempcrete Construction (PDF)
The Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Hempcrete is a versatile, energy-efficient natural insulation material, useful for walls, roofs and floors. Made from the inner stem of the hemp plant mixed with a lime-based binder, it is a very strong, lightweight and breathable alternative to manufactured insulations. Essential Hempcrete Construction is a fully illustrated practical guide to this affordable, renewable method, from procurement to finishing.
Going well beyond the scope of many natural building books, this indispensable manual includes a complete introduction to hempcrete, packed with all the information you need to determine whether it's the right choice for your project. It covers:
- Material specifications, testing and building code references and climate data
- Detail drawings for design reference
- Tool lists, and complete step-by-step instructions for mixing and placing hempcrete
- Finishing and maintenance techniques
- Budgeting and labor estimates
- Additional resources.
Essential Hempcrete Construction is part of New Society's Sustainable Building Essentials Series. Series editors Chris Magwood and Jen Feigin have scoured the world of sustainable building to bring you the techniques and systems that deliver measureable benefits in terms of greater energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Written by the world's leading sustainable builders, designers and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information are key to success. Get the Essentials!
Chris Magwood has designed and built some of the most innovative, sustainable buildings in North America, including the first off-grid, straw bale home in Ontario. He is co-founder and director the Endeavour Centre for Innovative Building and Living and co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series. He has helped hundreds of people work through the process to design their own sustainable home and achieve their dreams. Chris is the author of Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction, Essential Hempcrete Construction, Straw Bale Details,Â More Straw Bale Building, and Making Better Buildings.
"...Hemp as a building material is one of the most important uses of this plant. Essential Hempcrete Construction explains this new technology in a clear and concise manner. With this information anyone wanting to use this material will have a great starting point."
Steve Allin, Director, International Hemp Building Association and author, Building with Hemp
"In a field that is often beset with more wishful thinking than honest appraisal, Essential Hempcrete Construction stands out as a well-researched in investigation into the potential and promise of hemp-lime systems in the contemporary built-environment."
Tim Callahan, co-author, Building Green and founding partner at Alembic Studio, LLC
"Hempcrete/hemp-lime construction is one of the simplest and most effective and affordable solutions for sustainable, healthy and energy efficient building available to mainstream builders and self-help enthusiasts alike. Magwood has years of experience of natural building and sound construction practice so this book provides excellent, well-illustrated, guidance."
Tom Woolley, author, Building Materials, Health and Indoor Air Quality; Low Impact Building ; and Hemp-Lime Construction
"Essential Hempcrete Construction is an informative and easy to read guide/instruction manual to building with hemp-lime. Magwood has been able to simplify the data for us and compare costs to other conventional building materials, he has also managed to keep it brief and to-the-point so as to quickly help us make an informed decision to build with hemp-lime or not. This book is a time (and money) saver - worth every penny."
Greg Flavall, Hemp Technologies Collective
"Essential Hempcrete Construction is an exciting manual for homeowners, building teachers, building officials and contractors. Filled with photos and drawings that help all of us make choices that are ultimately going to support long lasting buildings. Solid and fun to read."
Sukita Reay Crimmel, coauthor, Earthen Floors
"Chris Magwood has combined his deep understanding of building science with some fortuitous hands-on experience of working with hempcrete to craft this timely and detailed guide to the essentials of hempcrete construction. By simply mixing the lightweight core of hemp stalks (an agricultural byproduct) with lime it is possible to make an insulating material that can handle moisture without decomposing, has good structural qualities and thermal performance, is nontoxic and fire resistant, naturally sequesters carbon, and is ultimately completely recyclable. With the successful use of hempcrete in Europe for over a decade, hopefully this book will help usher in a new era of industrial hemp production in North America."
Kelly Hart, www.greenhomebuilding.com
"Chris Magwood's easy-to-read, thoughtful, and practical book on building with hempcrete is a must-have for my work as a designer and builder focused on resilient, natural, and low carbon construction. In a world increasingly threatened by climate change, practical solutions are needed now to lower our collective ecological impact as a building trade. Essential Hempcrete Construction is a critical tool in our toolkits."
Ace McArleton, coauthor, The Natural Building Companion, and cofounder, New Frameworks Natural Design/Build LLC
"It's amazing to me that, in the 21st century, we still have to educate people about the many uses for industrial hemp. With this book, Chris Magwood presents an irrefutable endorsement for hemp. It's simple common sense for building a better future-literally."
Dan Skye, editor-in-chief, High Times magazine.
"Essential Hempcrete Construction provides an excellent pathway towards creating buildings that are more ecologically sound, healthful, and beautiful. This guide is amazingly comprehensive – materials, techniques, costs, building science, illustrations, recipes, pros and cons and more – yet concise and readable. Great information for experienced natural builders as well as do-it-yourself neophytes."
Gayle Borst, Registered Architect, Pres/CEO of Stewardship, Inc., and founding member, Design~Build~Live
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