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Our brief was to create a cleverly designed and spacious loft-style cottage on a small and narrow site that would be both environmentally conscious and healthy to live in. After much research we discovered that building with hempcrete (hemp blended with lime) offered unique and outstanding natural properties that couldn’t be matched by conventional building materials. The result is ‘Tom’s Cottage’, a beautifully crafted, energy efficient and healthy space that celebrates traditional building materials and modern construction.
The cottage displays extraordinary thermal performance due to hempcrete’s ability to both insulate and store heat. Combined with the natural beauty of ‘Venetian’ style lime plastered interior walls, hempcrete passively regulates the temperature and relative humidity within the cottage, thereby reducing reliance on mechanical heating and cooling. Visitors often ask us, “where is the air conditioning?”. Cooling is required on only the most extreme summer days and only the smallest wood heater is needed to keep it cosy in winter.
Hemp has an impressive ability to absorb carbon dioxide during its rapid growing cycle, and to capture and store carbon over time. For every square metre of wall in Tom’s Cottage, approx. 75kg of CO2 will be stored for the life of the building.
Hempcrete is also the perfect choice for a healthy home. It contains no harmful chemicals, it does not ‘off-gas’ over time and is naturally pest resistant. Additionally, hempcrete’s ability to control interior humidity levels reduces the likelihood of toxic mould growth.
Living in the Macedon Ranges means being bushfire aware. When used in conjunction with other fire resistant design elements, hempcrete can achieve BAL FZ (Bushfire Attack Level Flame Zone), the highest rating that can be applied to buildings.
Finished in timber cladding, the cottage blends into its historic surrounds.
Cosy and filled with light, Tom’s Cottage is a pleasure to live in.
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