BBC Enthuses about Hemp, Straw and Lime for Construction

TreeHugger is known for it's posts on natural building. Increasingly though, as sustainability goes mainstream, we are faced with very welcome competition from more traditional media outlets. The latest example comes from the BBC in a breathlessly enthusiastic report about the Think 07 Trade Fair entitled 'Harvesting Houses for the Planet':

"Sustainable rotation crops like hemp are the cost-effective future of building, according to Tom Woolley, a professor of architecture at Queen's University Belfast. One hectare of land can produce enough hemp stalk to build a house, he told the BBC News website, and using about 12% of the UK's set-aside land, you could grow enough hemp to build the 200,000 new houses the country needs. Then you have the fibre and oil for other products."

The report goes on to describe many of the innovative green, often relatively low-tech technologies on display at the show, including solar day-lighting tubes (as seen on TreeHugger here), straw bale building (we've done that too, here), and unfired brick construction (adobe) (as discussed by Ted Owens here).

[Update: Warren kindly pointed out that we've also covered hemp for building a fair few times, including here, here, here and here]

The report also talks about the UN's industrial development agency, or UNIDO, which "seeks out cheap, energy-efficient construction technology and introduces it to some of the poorest regions on Earth." For some reason TreeHugger is yet to do a post on this worthy initiative, so we'll be putting something together very soon, if nothing else so we can keep up with the BBC. We'll also be looking to bring you more details of York Council's Eco Depot, also featured in the report, which is pictured above (and covered by New Builder here). In the meantime, we are delighted to see such mainstream coverage of the often simple, highly adaptive technologies that offer so much promise in the inevitable transition towards sustainability. ::BBC::

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