Sitting next to the fashion industry as one of the world's most polluting industries - architects are often left to build with dirty, mass produced and ever-lasting materials. But what happens to those materials when the useful life of the building has expired?
Incorporating the use of hemp into the wider construction industry will significantly contribute to its decarbonisation and progression towards being a cleaner industry.
High up in the Homolje Mountains of Serbia sits a shining example of hemp's further ability to contribute to our carbon neutral future.
Built as a holiday home for a renowned local architect, it won Serbia's 2021 'House of the Year' award due to its minimalistic footprint, unique design, incredible views and pioneering material use.
Coined the 'Hemp House' due to its use of Hempcrete in the walls, floors and roof insulation - with wooden beams as support. Hempcrete is a bio-composite material consisting of the fibrous core of a hemp stalk mixed with water and lime as a binder. As a lightweight insulating material, it weighs 5x less than cement whilst remaining extremely durable.
Hemp naturally regulates a building's humidity and temperature, which can reduce condensation and energy consumption. It provides natural insulation that is airtight, breathable and flexible. Being considerably lighter than concrete, there is also an energy saving in transporting it to the site.
Toxin free, impervious to mold and pests, it is highly fire resistant. Its only downside is that it has a compressive strength being 1/20th of concrete, and therefore requires a weight-bearing frame.
The project seeks to show the beauty of the material so leaves all walls exposed which as time goes on will age with the house.
In the basement there is a greenhouse for growing vegetables and herbs allowing for partial self sustainability even outside the productive summer months.