Hemcrete Projects pivotal to dual success at Greenbuild Awards

Hemcrete Projects’ innovative, timber-based and low carbon offsite panellised building system, Hemclad, has played an instrumental role in helping two pioneering and sustainable building projects receive recognition at this year’s prestigious Greenbuild Awards. The Awards – presented by Patrick Kielty and held at The Midland Hotel in Manchester – are made in recognition of true achievement amongst low-energy building projects that reduce environmental impact.

Securing top spot within this year’s Leisure & Retail category was Marks & Spencer’s flagship development at Cheshire Oaks. Here, some 240 Hemclad panels used to construct the external walls are already helping Marks & Spencer realise some very promising signs in terms of performance, even though the store only became fully operational six months ago.

And it was a similar story within the Workplace Newbuild category, where the Science Museum Group’s project for its new storage facilities fought off stiff opposition to lift the overall title. Literally a building within a building, the new archive facility at Wroughton has been built inside an existing WW2 hanger using the Hemclad wall panel system. Housing more than 16,000 items, the new structure has been designed to deliver thermal performance and humidity parameters that preserve the collections. Again, the facility is also meeting a raft of both performance and key sustainability indicators. Both projects serve to demonstrate the commercial viability of renewable materials in mainstream construction, such as the Hemclad system.

Commenting on Hemcrete Projects’ client success at the Greenbuild Awards, Technical Director and Vice Chairman, Ian Pritchett said:

“We are obviously delighted for both teams involved at M&S and the Science Museum. The projects are truly pioneering and innovative in every sense of the word. Indeed within the field of sustainable construction, these projects are set to form benchmark industry standards moving forwards.

“We are equally delighted for the confidence that both clients have shown in adopting new and sustainable systems technologies such as Hemclad. Not only does the Award’s success validate their decision to embrace new ideas and methodologies, so too does the post occupancy performance data that has so far been recorded,”

he added.

The Hemclad system is based around a bio-composite building material made from hemp shiv (the woody core of industrial hemp) mixed with a lime-based binder – Tradical Hemcrete. This product, when used in conjunction with hemp fibre insulation quilt, Breathe, delivers a ground-breaking blend of insulation and thermal inertia.

In addition to exceeding expectations based on conventional steady state U-values and standard thermal modelling, the panelised system is a negative embodied carbon products. This arises due to hemp capturing carbon dioxide during its rapid growth, whilst releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. The carbon is then locked up within the walls of the building to give a carbon negative solution. Hemcrete Projects is the construction arm of the Lime Technology Group.