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A Self-build Hempcrete Conversion to a Historical Wooden Barn.

Project Details

Location: Puurs, Belgium.
Project Type: Two storey, 1700 sq. ft. Historical barn conversion.
Project Duration: 16 weeks.
Project Summary: The wooden frame structure was filled with 200mm Hempbuild Isohemp hempcrete blocks providing an insulating envelope that will help preserve the timber structure. The interior of the building was then lined on the inside with 12cm hempcrete blocks.

Methods of construction specific to this project.

This conversion of a historical old farmhouse in rural Belgium was a fantastic self-build Extreme care and attention has gone into every detail here, and all aspects of this project were completed to a very high standard. 

The natural wood framework provided the load bearing structure. The brick base was already in place, creating the perfect starting point for the Hempbuild’s Isohemp hempcrete blocks. The wood framework was filled  with 200 mm Isohemp hempcrete blocks, which were rasped and shaped to fit neatly around the contours of the natural wooden framework. 

The interior was then lined with 120mm hempcrete blocks providing an extremely effective insulated thermal mass envelope. The 120 mm hempcrete blocks also provided the ideal substrate for interior breathable plaster finishes, while the exterior had breathable wood wool board cut to fit inside the wood frame, so as to leave visible the beautiful natural wooden beams. 

Hempbuild’s Isohemp hempcrete blocks created a highly durable, highly insulating envelope that also works to regulate moisture by allowing the wooden structure to breath.

Materials used:

  • Hempbuild 200 mm and 120 mm Isohemp Hempcrete Blocks

  • Supporting Angle Brackets

  • Isohemp Hempcrete Lintels

  • Isohemp Mortar Adhesive

  • Breathable Wood Wool Board

  • PCS Interior Plaster

  • Tools & Accessories

Additional construction methods available on this type of project.

An old building such as this is dream come true for anyone interested in renovating with Hempbuild Isohemp hempcrete blocks. In this case the homeowners chose a route that optimized the amazing benefits and advantages of living in a natural breathable (and breathing)  hemp home while having the freedom to show off the beautiful natural wooden support structure. 

Other options open to anyone planning a project such a this would include:

  • Hempflax plus insulation can be installed between the structural frame posts. 

  • A loose mix of hempcrete can be packed into the roof rafters

  • Floors may be insulated using either 120-300 mm Hempbuild Isohemp hempcrete blocks or a Hempbuild loose mix hempcrete, this combined with hempcrete in the roof, would result in a complete envelope of hempcrete around the building. In this case no heating or cooling system is required as a passive house standard is easily achieved. 

  • A range of plasters and finishes could be used. Traditional sand and lime mixes may be used. Clay based plasters and paints maybe used. Internal or external wood cladding may be used.

Hempbuild Isohemp Hempcrete Block Advantages

  • Quick and easy implementation. Very large thermal mass.

  • Hempbuild’s Isohemp hempcrete block are easy to cut and shape with simple hand tools. 

  • Hempbuild’s Isohemp hempcrete blocks have an excellent fire resistance (class B for the rendered block), hempcrete is inflammable and does not release any toxins or gases.

  • Easy to fix items directly to the wall, gutters, lights, etc.

  • Thermal regulation: The  hemp block naturally stores and dissipates accumulated heat, which help to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter.

  • Natural humidity regulation: Thanks to its high permeability to water vapour, the hemp block acts as a moisture buffer. Deals well with moisture and dampness in old walls.

  • Mold resistant: Hemp has a strong natural resistance to mold and bacteria.

  • Environmentally friendly: Our hempblocks are carbon negative and contain no VOC's or harmful toxins for inhabitants.

  • Fire resistant: It is inflammable and does not release toxic gases during its combustion.