Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hempcrete: the most ecofriendly garden office ever?

Shoe designer Alexei Gaylard makes shoes that tread eco-lightly on the earth using green materials and made by people who were paid a decent wage. So it's not suprising, as the Daily Telegraph reveals, that when it came to a garden office he went for something equally environmentally-friendly: he built a hempcrete shedworking atmosphere.

Pictured above, Alexei's garden office is built of hemp, lime and turf and a green roof from which last year he harvested a kilo of rocket which had accidentally taken hold there. Here's a snippet of the article:
It is not perfect – small hairline cracks have appeared in the paintwork and there is some beading missing around the door – [but] he loves its imperfections: “You get a special kind of relationship with something you’ve been so involved with – we made the windows the shape we wanted and the walls are kind of bouncy, which I like.”
The whole build used recycled or renewable materials and was erected by himself and hempcrete expert Will Stanwix who will be at Grand Designs Live this year talking about the marvel of low-impact buildings, especially their thermal properties. The Telegraph also has a nice little gallery of pictures on this subject and the rest of the article features other shedworkers. Well worth a browse.
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  1. For those interested the green roof has moved on some with less rocket (it was actually a kilo a week at its peak last year) and more sedum, time and some great alpine strawberries all now in flower or berry. As we just used soil mainly from the veg patch for the roof I have also found self seeding on the roof: a chilli, a pansy plant and some coriander.