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Straw-Bale or Hemplime Construction Which is More Appropriate for an Environmentally Responsive Low-Density Housing Development in Suffolk

Straw-Bale or Hemplime Construction Which is More Appropriate for an Environmentally Responsive Low-Density Housing Development in Suffolk

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Published by Craig Embleton
Straw is abundant in Suffolk and the county could grow enough hemp to supply its housing requirements. Facilities exist in Suffolk to process 95% of the hurds required to supply the entire housing need of the county. Suffolk’s climate is suitable for both straw-bale and hemp/lime buildings, externally rendered with lime plaster. Both building methods would bring local economic benefits, are suitable for amateurs and professionals alike and produce structurally sound buildings. Both types of building have similar air quality properties, but straw-bale buildings may have better soundproofing and thermal performance than hemp/lime, and brick-and-block, but results are inconclusive.
Minimising lime use minimises the environmental destruction caused by mining, and the associated CO2 emissions. Straw-bale buildings used less lime than hemp/lime buildings and usually sequester more CO2. Only the best-case scenario for a hemp/lime building with very thick walls could match the net CO2 sequestration of a straw-bale building. Considering all factors, straw-bale building is more appropriate than hemp/lime for the construction of low-density dwellings in Suffolk.
Straw is abundant in Suffolk and the county could grow enough hemp to supply its housing requirements. Facilities exist in Suffolk to process 95% of the hurds required to supply the entire housing need of the county. Suffolk’s climate is suitable for both straw-bale and hemp/lime buildings, externally rendered with lime plaster. Both building methods would bring local economic benefits, are suitable for amateurs and professionals alike and produce structurally sound buildings. Both types of building have similar air quality properties, but straw-bale buildings may have better soundproofing and thermal performance than hemp/lime, and brick-and-block, but results are inconclusive.
Minimising lime use minimises the environmental destruction caused by mining, and the associated CO2 emissions. Straw-bale buildings used less lime than hemp/lime buildings and usually sequester more CO2. Only the best-case scenario for a hemp/lime building with very thick walls could match the net CO2 sequestration of a straw-bale building. Considering all factors, straw-bale building is more appropriate than hemp/lime for the construction of low-density dwellings in Suffolk.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Craig Embleton on Mar 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/19/2012

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GSE MSc Architecture: AEES Essay May 2010: Straw-bale or hemp/lime construction: which is more appropriate for an environmentally responsive low-density housing development in Suffolk?
GSE MSc Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy StudiesCraig Embleton, 0750553, Group 15 (Lucy Cartlidge), C3 (CEM152)(Environmentally responsive materials; practical examination) Essay
STRAW-BALE OR HEMP/LIME CONSTRUCTION: WHICH ISMORE APPROPRIATE FOR AN ENVIRONMENTALLYRESPONSIVE, LOW-DENSITY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT INSUFFOLK?
Word Count 2,724
For the attention of Lucy CartlidgeJune 22
nd
2010
Craig Embleton, 0750553, Group 15 (Lucy Cartlidge), C3 Essayadmin@greenfrontier.org Page 1 of 37
 
GSE MSc Architecture: AEES Essay May 2010: Straw-bale or hemp/lime construction: which is more appropriate for an environmentally responsive low-density housing development in Suffolk?
Introduction
This essay relates to several lectures of Module C3, ‘Environmentally responsivematerials’, particularly the ‘Straw-bale Building’ and ‘Hemp/Lime’ lectures.The Housing and Regeneration Bill (now enacted)
Supports the delivery of threemillion new homes by 2020 
’ (UK Parliament, 2008). The construction of this number of houses could be environmentally devastating as production and transport of construction materials uses 10% of UK energy consumption (EA, 2003).However, the bill explicitly states that it ‘
provides for the establishment of new settlements like eco-towns and for simplifying the ways in which the Homes and Communities Agency would facilitate delivery of these projects
’ (UK Parliament,2008). New settlements must be constructed using environmentally responsivematerials.Suffolk County Council (SCC) is committed to ‘Creating the Greenest County’. ItsEnvironmental Action Plan (Appendix 1) for 2009-2010, includes the goal ‘
to be anexemplar in tackling climate change
’ and ‘
reduce its CO
emissions by 60% by 2025 
’.Theme 1 of the plan ‘Climate Change’ includes the sub-theme ‘SustainableConstruction and Development’ (SCC, 2009). Using environmentally responsivebuilding materials will help achieve these ambitions.This essay will compare hemp/lime to straw-bale construction, particularly embodiedand sequestered CO
2
, and ascertain which is more suitable for new low-densitydwellings in Suffolk.
Craig Embleton, 0750553, Group 15 (Lucy Cartlidge), C3 Essayadmin@greenfrontier.org Page 3 of 37

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