Coastal Wales Construction: Building with Hemp and Lime

Oh, it's hard to play favorites, but my heart tells me that we've finally hit our stride with this whole volunteer thing, and my legs tell me that they are not going to want to be walking away from Mick and Lisa's.
Our new best friends taking us out for a beer. Can't say wrong with that.
Fate lead us to our amazing new hosts, because they just so happened to come upon the scene looking for help with exactly the type of thing John and I were looking to learn about, at exactly the moment things weren't working out with the host at our previous location.

Fate did us right. We are learning things--new things! Not just weeding or maintenance, but building skills that will fit nicely in our construction knowledge arsenal (which at this point is basically empty).
Plastering away in our plaster suits. Lime is pretty damaging to the skin and eyes, so protection is a must.
Before adding the plaster (left), the only insulation is from the stone wall (right)
I've mentioned before that within the past few months, John and I have changed the focus of this trip so that it's not utterly food-centric, but also includes more skill-building opportunities like construction, restoration, and general carpentry. Being self-reliant when it comes to those crafts will save us money in the future, but more than that, it's simply a nice back-to-the-roots feeling to be able to rely on one's own hands to get things done.
Can't be self-sufficient if you don't know how to weed whack
Can't be self-sufficient if you don't know how to knit. Wait...
The name of the game for the next week or so will be building with hemp and limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock has been used for thousands of years (for example, the Great Pyramid of Giza is made from it!) as an ideal building matierial because it is sturdy yet microscopically flexible, so instead of walls cracking in the way cement does, limestone slowly adjusts to changing conditions over time. Most of the stonewall structures one sees in Europe is built with some sort of limestone mortar.
The nearby coastal remnants of a church and cemetery near Fishguard, the "church" giving us a prime example of limestone mortar and it's amazing ability to resist the elements
The notion behind using hemp with lime is that hemp serves as a natural and relatively inexpensive filler/expander of a limestone mixture. More specifically, Mick decided to utilize hemp to provide the barn he's renovating (which will be rented out as holiday lets once finished) with insulation and fortification. The strips of hemp (which resemble wood chips) have tiny fibers that "grab" onto the lime mortar and other hemp fibers, fortifying the wall along with fattening it up to provide better insulation.
Team Plaster! Here we are (I am the one in the middle ready for my Russian vacation) putting a second coat of hemp & lime plaster on a wall. You can see the way we simply build the second coat along the first one if you look to the left of Mick. We just slop it on, punch it in, and it stays put (that is, if you have the mixture not too wet or dry).
Just in case you're curious, the process is essentially this: combine a shovelful of sand with a bucketful of pure powdered limestone. Mix in a construction mixer, add a well-measured bucket of water and two buckets of hemp. Quantities change ever-so-slightly based on the wetness of the sand, but adjustments are made as relevant, and once ready, we load the mixture into buckets and quickly slop it onto the walls before it begins to harden.

I know this is all terribly exciting for you to read about, and as far as the actual process goes, yes, it is a bit long. We listen to music and talk about what comes to mind, and it's somehow relaxing in its simplicity.
Betcha didn't know Wales had something like this, did ya? This was a little coastal walk near Dinas Cross.
And afterwards, if the sun is shining, we take some time to remind ourselves that we're living on the coast.

9 comments:

  1. While using earth continually establishing as well as increasing after a while, this building industry is usually starting a moment associated with steadiness. The particular technicians or building businesses usually handle many projects and in many cases work on different jobs concurrently.Construction

    ReplyDelete
  2. All things considered, Wernicke had been this glucose expert, claiming in excess of 250 jobs, which includes one just done inside Quotes. What's more, it didn't make any difference mainly because Wernicke, together with commitment running amuck, signed a new long term contract guaranteeing the newest manufacturer could slice 500 plenty of beets daily for any least 25 successive days with a price tag involving 3 mere cents every pound for glucose at this time offering inside Chicago, il for six to eight mere cents every pound, list. construction san francisco ca

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey,
    You are doing great work..
    Thanks for sharing:)

    Best
    Anup@ElegantNaturalstones
    Elegant Natural Stones

    ReplyDelete
  4. Modular construction (also known as 3D Volumetric construction) involves the formation of three-dimensional units in controlled factory environment and conditions prior to transportation to building site. These modules can be brought to building site in a variety of formats, ranging from a basic structure to one structure with all internal and external services andfinishes installed, just ready for assembly. Brick Kicker

    ReplyDelete
  5. At times, the owner of the real property takes the responsibility of a laborer or a paymaster. If the construction does not use modern machinery, there are chances of structural collapse, litigation and other undesirable results. A Plus Quality

    ReplyDelete
  6. Every home builder will almost always have an open house as a way for them to market and advertise their services. Going to these functions can show potential home owners a thing or two about the style and quality of a builder's work. Scv developer London

    ReplyDelete
  7. The specialist ought to have the fundamental aptitudes and experience to have the capacity to outwardly examine the property to distinguish asbestos. He ought to guarantee that all unmistakable asbestos has been expelled from the property. moti

    ReplyDelete
  8. Energy conservation experts tell us that efficient green materials such as solar panels ultimately lower heating and cooling costs. The costs are generally recouped within a few years. safety eyewash

    ReplyDelete
  9. Construction sector has growing steadily from the past few years. There are many people who are keen on this field and they need to verify that they can go into this field and become successful.
    try this

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...