Thursday 14 February 2013

Hemp Walls Completed

                  Video slide show of the build from foundations to completion of hemp walls.

We have finished the hemp walls. It took 4 1/2 bags of binder, so we did it within the 5 bags. On Saturday Nicole came up and helped us finish the last section and fill all the spacer holes. We had filled some of the holes as we went but most of the higher holes were unfilled. It was a bigger job than we expected and would advise any prospective hemp builders to fill the spacer holes as they went.

Filling spacer holes
Filling the very last spacer hole
In the owner builder spirit of co-operation we lent our pan mixer to Nicole, who will shortly start building the hemp walls on her house. Nicole loaned us two bags of binder just incase we needed to make any repairs or changes to the walls.
Saying goodbye to "Bluey" or mixer as he goes on a working holiday
Once all the walls were done we spent Sunday clearing out the house so that the polished concrete floor could be finished. It was a big job clening out the house including taking all the spare bales of hemp off the floor. We had over 6 bales of hemp left. The bales are heavy and awkward to move. We used half or more of most bales so that they were easier to move and only had one full bale to move. We stored as much of the hemp as we could in the bathroom, as the floor will be tiled in the bathroom, and the remainder of the bales were stored on pallets outside, wrapped in plastic and a tarp to keep the bales dry.

Spare hemp in the bathroom
Hemp stored under the blue tarp looks like a small elephant
With all the boards and plastic taken off the floor and the rooms emptied out the house was transformed from a building site to look more like a home.

                                             Video walk through the inside of the house.

Inside the main pavilion
View of the back pavilion from out the kitchen window
Special thanks to all the wonderful people who helped build the hemp walls ;-
Tony, Martin, Nerida, Steve, Nicole, Sara, Ally, Viv, Drew, Ingrid, Ann, Will, Beth, Ira and Alec.


  1. Huge congratulations to the three of you, Kirstie, Ben and Zan. The house isn't finished, but making the dream of the hemp construction into a reality, learning and growing with the walls, is adventure and it's what living is about. I'm sure that the three of you will carry that achievement with you all your long lives, and if it's been tough at times, you walk taller as a result.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share just a little bit of your dream with you.

    Martin and Neri

  2. I'm interested to know why you chose a concrete over a hempcrete floor?

  3. I chose a concrete floor for thermal mass and so that the project would not be too difficult to get Council approval. A hempcrete floor would still require concrete strip footings. Hempcrete has been used to insulate floors such as in the Hempcrete house at Table Cape in Tasmania, but in that case the hemcrete was neither structural nor the finished floor surface.