Natural Materials Masterclass: Building with Hemp | ACAN |

Date recorded – 2nd December 2021


After a month off for COP26, we’re excited to be back with a masterclass in Building with Hemp. Hemp plants are low-maintenance and fast growing, taking only 100 days to reach full growth, and during the growth stage lock away up to 2 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of fibre harvested.Hemp has huge potential as a bio-material, from paper to plastics and in many different construction uses from insulation to structural elements.

In this video, we’re joined by expert speakers:

🌿 Paloma Gormley – Material Cultures, Practice Architecture

Paloma is an internationally acclaimed designer responsible for critically-acclaimed projects including Flat House, which prototyped pre-fabricated sustainable hemp-based construction and Polyvalent Studio, a live project with London Metropolitan School of Architecture constructed using cellulose-based materials, both at Margent Farm, a rural R+D facility developing bio-plastics with hemp and flax. Her work is rooted in a creative pragmatism whilst drawing on new technologies and the integration of new materials.

🌿 Sonia Sifflet – Lemoal Lemoal

Sonia is an architect & landscape designer, and partner at French studio Lemoal Lemoal, who have just completed France’s first public building constructed from hempcrete blocks, the Pierre Chevet sports centre in Croissy-Beaubourg near Paris.

🌿 Alex Sparrow – UK Hempcrete

Alex is recognised as one of the UK’s leading advisers in the use of Hempcrete, regularly speaking at conferences and events, writing articles and hosting training days. Alex co-wrote The Hempcrete Book: Designing and building with hemp-lime, published in October 2014 by Green Books, which has been widely acknowledged as the definitive guide to the use of cast-on-site Hempcrete in construction.

🌿 Will Stanwix

Will became the UK’s very first dedicated Hempcrete contractor back in 2008 and has been pushing the boundaries of what you can achieve with this material ever since. His early construction experience led him to co Author ‘The Hempcrete Book’ in 2014. Practicing what he preaches Will designed and constructed his own innovative Hempcrete house in 2017 which made it as a finalist in the structural timber awards the same year. As well as contracting, Will partners with other industry leaders to create new and exciting hemp buildings, products and services in the UK and abroad. Recently Will has begun producing his own hemp plasters and supplying Hempcrete blocks with his new venture ‘The Hemp Block Company’. In his latest pioneering self build project Will is set to lead Hempcrete down an even more sustainable path as he develops and uses clay as the Hempcrete binder throughout the build.

#naturalmaterials #rammedearth #clayplaster #cob #earthblocks #cobbauge #daub #earthfloors #naturalbuilding #lowcarbon


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Theme music by Own Crouch

Welcome to the OFFICIAL Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) YouTube channel! Architects Climate Action Network is a network of individuals from within architecture and it’s related built environment professions taking action to address the twin crises of climate and ecological breakdown.

We recognise the compelling scientific consensus that our present trajectory will lead to catastrophe if we do not make ambitious and radical changes as a matter of urgency. We are already seeing the consequences. We also acknowledge that the built environment is a major contributing factor to the climate crisis and as such requires complete and rapid transformation (which we are yet to witness).

We can no longer remain secluded within personal and professional silos and instead must harness our agency as citizens with shared professional backgrounds to bring about the necessary changes to our industry. As a network of individuals, ACAN is able to act at speed, without conflict of interest, and is open to methods that may be unavailable to other campaign organisations.

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