The potential of hemp buildings in different climates : A comparison between a common passive house and the hempcrete building system

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper

Abstract:

The aim of this bachelor thesis was to study the potential of hemp buildings in different climates. The report examines and models two different energy efficient building concepts – the more common passive house and the environmental friendly hempcrete building system. These two buildings thermal performances were then simulated and compared in different climates followed by a brief discussion about their economic and environmental impact.

The simulation was performed with the energy calculating program VIP-energy v 2.1.1 with the two models located in Kiruna, Sundsvall, Malmo, Berlin and Rome to represent the different climates. Simulations for different wall sizes and a sensitivity analysis of some significant parameters were also made.

The hempcrete building system showed to have a thermal performance similar to that of passive houses in more southern climates. In the north of Sweden however the hempcrete building required up to 20 % more energy than the passive house to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This deficit could be compensated for with hemp fibre insulation to augment the building envelope and U-value. Furthermore the hygrothermal material properties that were not included in the simulation can be expected to have a significant positive impact on hemp buildings relative thermal performance.

With a passive house thermal performance, a healthy indoor environment and an economically viable and environmental friendly production process hemp building demonstrated great potential in all the fields studied.

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