Case study 04 – High-performance architecture

This bioclimatic house in the Périgord region, with a gross floor area of 170 m², was built by DB Chanvre using a timber frame system combined with an insulating wall, an insulating ground floor slab and an insulating first floor screed, all made with TRADICAL® HEMPCRETE.


The idea of offsetting the framework towards the interior is to enable all the timber framework elements to be coated as the Tradical® Hempcrete is cast.

This method ensures the build is thoroughly self-insulated thanks to continuous casting, which also provides uniform thickness:

  • on the façade-side without any interruption
  • where façades join together
  • where vertical walls join with floors

ADVANTAGES: no thermal bridges and no loss of thermal performance and vapour-regulation properties.

Temperature monitoring shows that indoor temperatures remain constant, regardless of the season, yet heating costs are cut and no air conditioning is needed. It is proof that the Tradical® Hempcrete system is as effective in summer as in winter.

A hempcrete house – the project

Construction system

  • A 30 cm thick Tradical® Hempcrete wall was sprayed directly onto storey-high Fermacell panels fastened to the interior of the framework.
  • A ground floor slab was laid comprising a drained hardcore layer of limestone and clay pebbles, a 20 cm thick Tradical® Hempcrete layer, a lime-based floor screed and a terracotta covering layer.
  • A first floor screed was laid consisting of a 15 cm thick Tradical® Hempcrete screed cast on poplar floorboards and then covered with a lime-washed chestnut flooring.
  • A passive solar floor-to-roof window area was installed, along with a humidity-controlled double-flow CMV.
  • A thermodynamic heat pump was installed to provide domestic hot water (COP 3.8 at 7°C)
  • An 8 kW heat storage and wood pellet-fired stove was installed (without ventilation) at the centre of the house
  • Exterior joinery was made of local lime-washed chestnut and on the south-facing side, of aluminium.
  • A rainwater harvesting system was installed

Ground floor plan of the house

Temperatures are dynamically regulated by Tradical® Hempcrete

Example for February 2017

Regardless of the temperature variations, with lows of -5°C and highs of 20°C

  • Indoors: the average low was 18.8°C and the average high 23°C
  • Outdoors: the average low was 5°C and the average high 13.8°C

With a very high level of thermal comfort and well-being

Tradical Hempcrete performance levels in winter 2017

Exeample for July 2016

Regardless of the temperature variations, with lows of 9°C and highs of 33.3°C

  • Indoors: the average low was 20.2°C and the average high 23.8°C
  • Outdoors: the average low was 15.8°C and the average high 26.5°C

With a very high level of thermal comfort and well-being

Tradical® Hempcrete performance levels in summer 2016

Heating energy consumption

The house is in the Périgord, but in the north of the department where the climate is more continental, with cold winters. For six to seven months of heating, depending on the year (October to March/April), the budget is €300 incl. VAT.

Thermal performance

Thermal performance of the lime + hemp blend

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