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hempcrete life cycle

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Lydia Ronnenkamp

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of hempcrete life cycle

Limited and precious resource
Covers 75% of the Earth's surface
Circulates between the oceans, land and atmosphere in a cycle of evaporation and precipitation (Hydrological cycle)
Nearly 98% in the oceans
Freshwater less than 3%
Freshwater lakes and rivers 0.009%
Groundwater makes up 0.28%.
Small amount of water needs to be added for Hempcrete in comparison to cement

Life Cycle Analysis

Naturally occurring, abundant sedimentary rock
Extracted from quarries and underground mines all over the world
Amongst the oldest material used by man
High levels of calcium carbonate
Finite resource
Limestone CaCO3
Quicklime CaO
Slaked Lime Ca(OH)2
Lime Cycle
Calcination gives off CO2
Heat in furnace to 1000C
Better for large builds
High cost of specialist equipment and tradesmen
More aeration = better insulation
More 'rebound' material that must be collected and reused
Cast On-Site
Ratio of 4:1:1 Hemp, Lime, Water mixed for approx 5 mins with an electric drum mixer
1 labourer on mixer feeds 3-4 labourers on constructing the walls
Labour intensive but easy to learn
Lime is caustic so protective masks, gloves, long-sleeves and pants should be worn
Any spills can be fed back into the mixture
Shuttering is the most time-consuming activity and determines speed of progress
Less water in mixture = less pressure on formwork
Geopanels are strong and reusable
Block + Slab
Cast off-site
More dense to withstand transport = less air pockets and lower insular effectiveness
Gaps between blocks leak air = lower thermal efficiency
Main Panels - ABS: Impact Resistant, Limited recyclablility
Handle - Nylon: Used for screws, Limited recyclability
Spacer - HDPE: Good Strength, Highly recyclable
Spacer Caps - HDPE: Good Strength, Highly recyclable
Rod - Steel: Tensile Strength, Recyclable
Rod Washers - Nylon and Steel:
If parts are easily separated
steel can be recycled
Total weight = 11kgs
Wood sourced from sustainable forests
Synthetic resins and formaldehyde-based glues cause off-gassing.
Slower to use than Geopanel
Industrial Hemp contains less than 1% THC (psychoactive component of marijuana.
Sellers of seed are required to provide a written guarantee of less than 0.5% THC.
$AUD572 license application fee (license valid for 5 years)
$AUD200 annual administration fee (from year 2 onwards)

Land Clearing
1 ha of hemp = 1 x 125sqm house and a small shed
10-20 birds permanently lose their habitat for every 1 ha cleared
Land degradation (erosion and salinity)
Decline in water quality
GHG emissions from burning vegetation and machinery
Ploughing and sowing equipment
No herbicides, pesticides, fungicides
Tall plants suppress weed growth
up to 100kg/ha of nitrogen fertiliser (cotton = 180kg/ha)
Nitrogen Dioxide released in warm, waterlogged soil - Hemp is intolerant to wet soil so less likely that NO2 will develop.
High sequestration of CO2 from atmosphere
Fast growing crop- 3-4 months before harvesting
Deisel engine tractor equipment is used to create windrows. Old tractors emit soot and NOX (upkeep is paramount!)
Dew retting relies on the environment for moisture (unlike chemical or water retting)
Processing - Decortication
Series of equipment used to separate the fibrous bast from the woody inner core, called the hurd.
Research by companies like ECOFIBRE in collaboration with Australian National University to develop seeds especially for the Australian environment.
1 ton hemp =
1.8 ton trapped CO2
Bast Fibres
Textiles and apparel industry
Technical textiles
Canvas, carpeting, cordage
Paper + Cardboard Products
New Industrial products
Biocomposites - fibreglass substitute

Bread, Cereal, Protein Powder
Oils - Salad oil, supplements, margarine
Soap, shampoo, hand cream
Technical Products
Solvents, oil paints, lubricant, ink, diesel fuel
Seed Cake
Animal feed
Animal Bedding
Chemical Absorbent
Fibre Board
Conventional Build
Labour costs
machinery and equipment hire
transportation costs
disposal and processing
landfill costs
revenue from sale of material
costs vary depending on build
Fully recyclable
Easy to demolish -minimal labour and machinery required
No landfill as fully reabsorbed back into soil
Excellent acoustic isolation
Excellent thermal insulation characteristics = less power needed to heat and cool
Breathable walls = excellent indoor air quality AND significantly reduced issues with mould
Less toxicity resulting from chemicals in paint and plastics
Lime render is self-healing = cracks naturally refill
Studs are difficult to find for mounting heavy items (such as TVs)
Hempcrete can be easily cut for new services (though running empty cable pipe is suggested) - requires patching afterwards
Requires sound management for present and future generations.
Water industry needs reform consider recycling, desalination.

Water Management
Hempcrete is 100% recyclable
Construction and demolition are the biggest contributors to land fill
10% of old hempcrete can be reused in new Hempcrete buildings
Can be crushed on site and used as fertilizer, ground cover, weed prevention.
Can be spread on the ground and both the hemp and the lime will reabsorb into the earth.
Can improve soil quality for agricultural purposes
Can clean up soils contaminated with heavy metals or excessive nutrient.
Lydia Ronnenkamp 3199083
Danielah Martinez 3475987
23rd September, 2013
"A Hempcrete house for Tarpon Springs, FL." retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.hempcretehouse.coffeecup.com

Department of Primary Industries "Growing low THC hemp in NSW FAQ" and "Industrial hemp a new crop for NSW" retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

Department of Primary Industries Office of Water "water management" retrieved Sept 23 2013 at http://www.water.nsw.gov.au/Water-Management/default.aspx

Envirotecture "Hempcrete a whole (not so) new low energy material" retrieved Sep 23 2013 at www.envirotecture.com.au/hempcrete-a-whole-not-so-new-low-energy-material

Hempcrete Australia "energy saving eco building" retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.hempcrete.com.au

Kevin McCloud Documentary "Bringing it Home" Video retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVlYDWr31fQ

Natural Building Blog "Hempcrete Growing your Own House" retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.naturalbuildingblog.com/hempcrete-growing-your-own-house

National Lime Association "Lime Basics" retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.lime.org

The Australian Hemp Masonary Company retrieved Sept 23 2013 at www.hempmasonry.com

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