Bio-aggregate: hemp-lime, resolves moisture issues whilst also having the beneficial effect of improving the thermal efficiency of older buildings. The principles and materials used in traditional construction methodology prevent degradation whilst regulating temperature and humidity by capturing energy from moisture.
Improved loft insulation and double glazing make walls the coldest surface in the room, increasing the risk of condensation. External insulation is costly, complex, unsympathetic and retrofitting leave cold spots internally. Walls insulated internally with foam board lose the capacity to buffer temperature and humidity causing interstitial condensation. Bio-aggregate: hemp-lime is more than wall insulation reducing heat transfer through a wall, it also improves airtightness, has more accessible thermal inertia, and an increased surface temperature to improve thermal comfort. Retrofitting from cold and damp to warm and dry.
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On this page
- Energy and damp
- Victorian terrace
- Hygroscopic bathroom
- Emancipated kitchen
- Cold spots
Neighbourhood Construction – Bio-aggregate workshop
The damp Victorian terrace, built on a budget, what went wrong and what made it worse? How a century of bad practice put right in a couple of weekends.
Built on a budget this late Victorian terraced house provided affordable housing for the local coal mining industry. With the abolition of slavery, the price of coal went up and the unemployed miners ‘switch and saved’ to north sea gas which came bundled with free water. No longer did the radiant heat of the coal fire pull fresh air into the house, instead moisture was delivered on tap.
The steamy Hygroscopic bathroom, more than breathable, capacity counts, rapidly responding in layers, the wallpaper’s not for decoration.
Hemp and Lime creates a hygroscopic reservoir, buffering peaks in humidity and preventing damp. Moisture vapour doesn’t change state from gas to liquid, it’s captured without condensing. When the humidity lowers moisture is released as vapour without using energy to evaporate condensed liquid back into gas resulting in loss of energy. There is no vent, no condensation and no heat loss.
The open plan Emancipated kitchen, wreaking havoc in every home, enter the Bi-folding doors and the reveals expose a concentration of moisture.
This Victorian semi has been altered to accommodate modern living. The wall has been removed between the kitchen and the dining room which now also serves as a family room. The door to the hallway is kept closed when cooking to prevent moisture migrating to the rest of the house.
Every home has Cold spots under repeated attacked from internal weather, reduce storms and tackling a more manageable project in isolation.
This cold damp corner is under repeated attack from internal weather. The external typography, local weather and cutting corners during the original construction has made this a cold corner. This end of terrace doesn’t follow the building line of the street, the prevailing wind is funnelled onto the north-west corner.
Further information – research and training