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Hemp lime insulation panels - Victorian style!

30th July 2015

Just did a survey this week of a very ordinary looking building.  It turned out to be timber framed, on a brick plinth.  But it was really warm and dry inside.  I couldn't work out why the walls were so solid, and thermal imaging was showing very little heat loss.  

Then I went into the roof space and found the timber frame, infilled with the most magnificent chopped straw / lime / daub mix. I've never seen anything like this before - internally it was still lime plastered. Externally it's cement render - so we aren't sure whether it will have deteriorated at lower levels, but everything seems to be bone dry.  

What a find!

So when someone tells you that hemp lime is a good 'green insulation' material, you can tell them the Victorians did it..!

About the author

Peter Ward has spent many years working a geochemist and geologist, as well as restoring historic homes all over the world.

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