Chewton Hemp House 2019

Chewton Hemp House
Chewton VIC 3451
Booking required – see link below
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Guided Tours – Booking essential (address will not be listed on website)
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Simon Disler
House Workshop and owners
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

Sorry – Tickets are completely Sold Out for Chewton Hemp House.

The Chewton Hemp House was a work of love for the owners and their three small sons, friends and other volunteers who built the hempcrete walls over nine months in 2018. It also involved a design-build collaboration with the owners, the architect Simon Disler and builders House Workshop, with Mark Anstey designing and building the kids’ bedroom, laundry and kitchen cabinetry.

Facing sweeping bushland at the rear, the house carries a strong presence and sits comfortably in its environment thanks to unrendered hempcrete walls and Corten steel cladding, which connects with the colour of the red ironbark trees that are prominent on the site.

Inside, a short corridor ends on one side with the children’s playroom, which has a plywood mezzanine for sleeping. Walking in the other direction you are greeted by a beautiful hempcrete feature wall facing an expansive open plan living and kitchen area.

Hempcrete was chosen for the walls for its insulative and humidity regulating properties. As homeowner Dominic says, “hemp acts as a carbon sink, absorbing carbon as it grows. It’s the best plant you can grow for reducing carbon in the environment.” The home is all-electric, with highly efficient appliances including an induction cooktop and hot water heat pump. Water saving comes in the way of a 22,500-litre corrugated steel rainwater tank which is plumbed to feed the house and the garden.

The couple have incorporated an ethic of salvage and reuse in the building of their home: the wooden cladding at the back of the house used to be part of an old squash court; the feature leadlight window and a quirky 19th-century toilet cistern in the en suite were from a second-hand sale; and in the kitchen the range hood and sink have a few little bumps and bends that tell of being factory seconds.

The Design was a collaboration with the owners and Simon Disler. Hemp construction and Interiors by Dominic Crinson and Brenna Jensen. Main building work by House Workshop. Dominic is a Hemp Building Consultant

Read more about Chewton Hemp House in Sanctuary #48 Written by Sasha Shtargot and photographed by Leon Schoots & Shayne Hill



Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Total cost of home when constructed
Estimate of annual savings
Universal Design Features
80cm minimum door opening width
Hobless showers
Kitchen bench/table for wheelchairs to access (75-85cm high)
Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
No Corner cupboards
BAL Rating
BAL – 19: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 19kW/m2
Roofing materials
Metal (Zincalume)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Window and door types
Clerestory windows
Double glazing
Window and door shading
Deciduous tree/vegetation
Solar pergola
Recycled and reused
Parquetry flooring made using timber offcuts; antique toilet and cistern
Sustainable materials
Tadelakt render to ensuite walls and shower: Moroccan Render from Rockcote
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Reflective foil
Rating: R1.3
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk - Earth wool batts
Rating: R3.5
Insulation - External walls
Type: Hempcrete
Rating: R6.0
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk - Earth wool
Rating: R2.5
Healthy home
Airtight house design
Lime render/wash
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural light and ventilation
Natural oil sealer/finishes
No carpets
All electric home
Renewable energy
Wiring installed for planned 4kW solar PV system with 4.8kWh battery
Water heating
Hot water heat pump
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Energy efficiency
Efficient lighting
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Aquaplate corrugated steel tank
Size: 22,000L
Grey water system
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Bee keeping
Edible garden
Native plants
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps