Hemp building around the world

A new book sheds light on the traditional building method.

Timber frame could well be the most versatile of building methods, as it can accommodate a range of natural insulation products, from straw to hemp.

Traditionally, insulating with hemp meant infilling a timber shuttering and waiting months for it to dry. Now, modern methods include prefabricated hemp blocks (structural up to a point), hemp insulation in the form of rolls, and prefabricated panels.

Hemp house in Co Longford, photo by James Byrne

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

Ep49 – Where to start with your self-build

Choosing your sanitaryware