Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

concrete vs. hempcrete

Concrete (made of cement, rock, sand and water) is the most widely used manmade material in the world, and the second most used product on the planet, after water. More than a cubic yard of concrete is produced for every person on the planet, per year, and 900 kg of CO2 are emitted for the fabrication of every ton of cement (making a ton of cement results in the emission of roughly a ton of CO2 - and in some cases much more). Almost half of concrete made is produced in China. Cement, commonly composed of calcium silicates, requires heating limestone and other ingredients to 2,640 degrees F (1,450° C). That’s done by burning fossil fuels; it’s the 3rd largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S. (after electricity production and transportation), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Carbonation, not the bubbles in soft-drinks but a process of carbon absorption concrete participates in, could help fight global warming, a bit, but cement and concrete limit ground absorption of precipitation, raise ambient temperature, reduce plant growth, and stifle life in the underlying soil and general vicinity.
Hemp-crete, a versatile building material, can be used for wall insulation, flooring, walls and roofing. Used above ground, it’s fire-proof, water-proof, rot-proof and termite resistant. Hempcrete houses need little cooling or heating to stay comfortable, and thus save lots of energy.
A lightweight cement-like material weighing but a 7th of what concrete does, hemp-crete has positive acoustic properties (absorbing sound), buffers both temperature and humidity, prevents mould growth, makes the insides of buildings not only comfortable and healthy, but low-maintenance. It forms a hard wall surface yet is vapor permeable and so helps reduce humidity. It not only prevents condensation, but is cost saving through power conservation. It’s 3 times more resistant to cracking from earthquakes than regular concrete. It’s an insulating infill between the frame members rather than a structural element (all loads are carried by internal framing, wood stud framing being the most common), but tends to reduce racking.


Blogger Irant said...

While not suggesting that hempcrete is not an excellent construction material, you have omitted one negative of hempcrete compared to concrete - it is 20 x weaker in compression, which means that not good for a load baring wall.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Irant said...

Err that should be load bearing

3:09 PM  
Blogger Mythorelics said...

That may be so, but I was not aware of it, not having been able to build with the stuff. Where, and/or how, did you learn that?

8:19 PM  
Blogger Irant said...



8:45 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Is hempcrete suitable to hold a wall plate on top of a mud wall to hold up a thatched roof?

8:34 AM  
Blogger Mythorelics said...

Well, as per above comments by "Irant"... depends on how much of a load it's to bear! A thatched roof doesn't sound too heavy, but might get heavy in rain... google Greg Flavall - perhaps he would be of more help.

1:24 AM  
Blogger SETX NORML said...

I have built with hempcrete and you are wrong on your assumptions. It is not intended to replace concrete at is more of an insulation and finish material. It will not support a heavy load like concrete. What is does is eliminate several layers of building materials that we currently use for a more eco friendly building source. It lasts far longer than concrete as well.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Chad Knutsen said...

12:40 PM  
Blogger Abarna Baskar said...

Really nice explanation. While preparing Concrete Water Chilling Plant is used to prepare high quality concrete with best quality.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Would it be better for a home slab then concrete

2:12 PM  

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