hempcrete housing estate in the UK

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Kevin McCloud discusses his own UK eco-village project using a material which is self-insulating, soundproof, non-toxic, pest-resistant, fire-resistant & mould-resistant; resulting in homes which are constant-humidity, ultra-durable, don’t need much in the way of heating or cooling, aren’t damp, won’t rot, are ecologically sustainable with an extremely low environmental impact, & absorb carbon dioxide both before & after construction … for technical details, how-to’s & example builds, see





see also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YZ9jXIBKKI (2 min 33 sec) for some NZ-specific links

Urban Village judge and British television presenter Kevin McCloud is urging Christchurch to seize the opportunity to create a sustainable city that will be a true vision for the future. The star of the tv series Grand Designs says in an open letter to the city: “My hope is that you, the people who live in and love Christchurch, are able to find the voice to explore and drive through the best possible ideas. And, in so doing, perhaps it’ll be possible to convey to the world a story & a setting for one of the most exciting urban design projects of the 21st century.”

McCloud knows first hand the benefits of creating sustainable housing. He established a sustainable housing development company called Hab (Happiness Architecture Beauty) &, in partnership with housing group GreenSquare, developed The Triangle, a high-quality sustainable 42-home development under the name Haboakus. The Triangle transformed a former caravan park, offering environmentally sustainable and affordable housing.

The winning design of a competition to create an urban village in Christchurch needs to be both “beautiful and inventive”, McCloud says. Nearly 130 architects from around the world have already entered an international competition to design & build an urban village in Christchurch, which is being run by the Christchurch City Council, the Business Innovation and Employment Ministry, the Christchurch Central Development Unit & Ngai Tahu. The deadline for entries in the first stage of the competition is January 15, 2013. The winner will be selected by August 2013.

McCloud, the presenter of Grand Designs, is one of the judges on the panel who will pick the winner. McCloud is passionate about the competition. “This competition is about appealing to the very best minds across the planet, the best architects in the world, & getting them to focus on Christchurch and give it their best”. Designers have been told they can “throw the rule book away” in creating their designs, as long as they include at least 50 dwellings in the village, which will be built on a one-hectare site on the northeast corner of Latimer Square.

video source http://vimeo.com/33736082 from “BRINGING IT HOME”

http://vimeo.com/36166278 is another work-in-progress section from “BRINGING IT HOME”.

Meet home designer Anthony Brenner, whose mission is to build healthy, toxin-free homes for his clients. Inspired by his young daughter with multiple chemical sensitivities, his quest led him to build “America’s First Hemp House” in Asheville, NC, using hempcrete. Industrial hemp walls are breathable, carbon-negative, non-toxic, mould, pest & flame-resistant, & radically cut energy bills.

Also meet other industrial hemp builders and industry leaders at an International Hemp Building Symposium, & learn how retrofitting with industrial hemp materials could as a sustainable building material, create 1,000s of jobs & make healthy homes affordable for all.

Follow Brenner as he visits the future site of The Bird’s Nest, his dream of a hemp-built group home where his child, & others with similar challenges, can live in a 100% chemical free environment.

New Zealander & US industry pioneer, Greg Flavall, is an interviewee.

(13 min 51 sec)

Greg Flavall’s half-hour discussion on hempcrete (split over 4 parts)

audio interview

nz workshop

nz hemp source