WHO WE ARE:
Hemp Architecture's aim is to research and develop the use of hemp within construction and architecture. We pride ourselves in cutting edge research and innovative design solutions which are pushing the frontiers of the sustainability movement.
Hemp Architecture was founded in 2012 by Matthew Bell, M.Arch, off the back of initial research undertaken during his Masters in Architectural Studies at Cardiff University. We now operate as a conglomerate of design and research specialists with links to associated industries and university establishments.
Our research compliments similar current thinking into sustainable materials and passive architecture while inspiring innovation in construction technology. We aim to further the use of hemp in construction by using it in its most natural state: as a stalk.
We are currently working towards producing the first ever building which uses hemp stalk as its primary structure. As part of this we are developing new materials, construction elements, building methods and architectural styles derived from hemp and other similar materials.
Our work is heavily based on design, as we endeavour to develop a new architectural language which is literally defined by the characteristics and limitation of the materials. What Louis Kahn achieved with bricks, inventing a new architecture based on rediscovering the potential of the arch, our work attempts to achieve with hemp.
Hemp could provide an annually grown building crop which is both renewable and acts as a carbon sink when locked into the building fabric. It has the potential to become an ultra-sustainable component in building design and construction yet a relatively low amount of research has been carried out into its use in such ways.
Our preliminary tests into the strength of hemp stalk found the material to boast comparable strengths to those of timber. The research involved physical analysis of the hemp stalk and identification of its strengths and weaknesses through loading tests. Such work has highlighted the potential of hemp stalk as a construction material.