Short prefabrication lead times with hempcrete

Two major challenges for building a local authority technical services building: a fast turnaround time and no cost overruns.

Tradical® Hempcrete is now being used for local authority technical services buildings too! The Taffeneaux logistics base, intended for servicing and repairing household waste collection vehicles, is proof of the progress this highly versatile material is making.

Weber’s Tradical® Hempcrete was chosen because it met the two requirements: an extremely fast turnaround time and a tight budget. Concerned to keep the impact of this work to a minimum and wanting an operational building in record time, the contracting authority, Sables d’Olonne district council, called on CAN-ia.

From study to delivery in twelve months

The whole project, from the initial study and project planning to choosing the architects and builders, finalising the building processes, constructing the building and handing over the keys, took twelve months. What a challenge, with an unusually tight building schedule to boot!

The key to success was prefabricating all the timber and Tradical® Hempcrete panels off-site.

An extremely tight schedule was drawn up, streamlining all the building stages and limiting their cost to save time. This led to innovative designs and building methods.

Two inverted sloping roofs for a black and white architectural project

Tradical® Hempcrete fitted right in, naturally. Today this material is increasingly popular for publicly contracted projects.

In the case at hand, it is most probably the first ever technical services building (where waste management is concerned at any rate) to have been built using this material.

The contracting authority wanted a speedy turnaround time, yet also a ‘quality building’, a double requirement met by Tradical® Hempcrete.

The project submitted by CAN-ia offered a beautiful, functional and cost-effective design, and chose a green approach, proposing to use the bio-based material Tradical® Hempcrete, which also meant the project could be finished even faster than a standard building project.

The hempcrete plan

The plan was to have a parking area equipped with a wash station, a fuel station and a workshop for servicing and repairing waste collection trucks, but also offices and changing rooms for employees.

This double requirement inspired CAN-ia to propose a design with two separate buildings, playing with the volumes and visual effects.

Two inverted sloping roofs would enable the office building to counterbalance the much bigger workshop building.

A bio-climatic approach

The office building faces south to make the most of the sun in winter (in summer, the regulating properties of hempcrete means there’s no need for air conditioning), and the workshop faces north. This was a conscious decision for the workshop, which requires non-dazzling natural light.

A large covered walkway links the two buildings, providing users with protection from the sun and rain. Its slanted posts are inspired by rows of trees in a forest.

Timber and hempcrete – the perfect match

The two materials work really well together here. The glue-laminated timber framework of the building was made by local company LCA, who also made the prefabricated panels for the frame structure.

The advantage of timber framing for the builder is its flexibility, which allows for all kinds of shapes. The walls of the envelope for the office building were made out of hempcrete (with a render finish).

The glue-laminated timber framework carries the loads and a standard assembly method was used (beams – sills).


→ View the building work project brief


PROJECT PROFILE – The Taffeneaux logistics base

Project actors

  • Project owner: Sables d’Olonne district council
  • Main contractor:   CAN-ia – Hangar 20, 20 Quai des Antilles, 44200 Nantes, France.
  • LCA – Les Charpentiers de l’Atlantique: Timber framework and Tradical® Hempcrete panels
  • Entreprise Fernandez: Tradical® Hempcrete casting in LCA’s workshop

Contact us for more information

Case study produced by Sandrine Wiart, Weber Tradical® Press Officer. Tel: +33 (0)134 947 733

Weber Tradical, your expert in hempcrete for houses, air lime, hemp lime render and more

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