Building with Hemp — The Book

Late last year we mentioned the Irish home made from hemp. Now you can get the book of the story, of building with hemp in general. Although from what we can glean for reviews, the digest is mostly about hempcrete, or Isochanvre, as it is known in France. (There are other forms of hemp building, but we’ll save them for another day). Hemp ‘hurds’ are the pithy stuff inside the fibrous sheath of the stem. Separating the fibre from the hurd was one of the production challenges that held hemp back and allowed cotton and nylon to rise in prominence. But once separated these silica rich hurds can be mixed with lime and water to make a material, like concrete, without its drawbacks. For example, hempcrete is about seven times lighter than concrete. The book, Building with Hemp, authored by Steve Allin, charts what is possible in the architectural realm with this material. It showcases the more than 120 different projects using it in Ireland over the previous nine years. As well as the hundreds in France since it was developed there 16 years ago. Sounds like an intriguing read. 192 pages with about 250 colour images. From ::Booksteps, for €35. Or at ::Amazon UK for £20 GBP.