Hempcrete, along with other natural building materials, proved a major attraction at the Grand Designs Live Show at the NEC, Birmingham in October 2014. Hemp-LimeConstruct has been involved with the show for the last 4 years, helping to promote hempcrete by demonstrating it, along with other natural building techniques, in the Grand Village features area at the bi-annual shows in Birmingham and London.

This October, the opening day of the show coincided with the publication date of our new book on building with hempcrete, so the pressure was on to create an even more exciting and impressive feature, as an eye-catching backdrop for our book launch on the evening of the show’s opening day.

The Hemp-LimeConstruct team worked flat out to construct a full sized timber frame, which HLC and other contributors to the feature then used to demonstrate a wide range of natural building and insulation materials, and low impact building systems. These includedcast on site hempcrete and hempcrete blocks, straw bale building, oak and softwood timber framing, clay and lime plasters, passive stack heat recovery ventilation systems, decorative plaster work, wood fired space heating and cooking solutions, thermal stores and pellet boilers, sheepswool, wood fibre and hemp fibre insulation, cork insulation boards, reed boards, clay-straw blocks, and clay-hemp-lime structural blocks, as well as architectural design advice from designers specialising in natural materials.

Click below to see a video slideshow from the event:

All in all, visitors to the show were treated to a veritable smorgasbord of natural building ideas and inspiration; expert advice, a photo gallery showing past projects, and live demonstrations of key techniques. If you were one of those who came along to see us at the NEC, thank you and we hope you enjoyed it!

A massive thank you too to our partners in the project – Stovesonline, Firepower, Ventive,Strawhaus, Building Naturally, Terra Perma, Mighty Heritage, TAS-Ecosystems and Period Restoation and Renovation Specialists Ltd., all of whom worked hard to set up and run (and take down!) what was without doubt our best ever show.

Many thanks also to Back to Earth, Lime Green, Mike Wye Associates and HG Mathewswho all supplied materials to ensure an extra special display at the show.

The success of this year’s feature was reflected in the fact that we were the largest structure in the hall (apart from the Grand Theatre stage next door), and that the show’s figurehead, Kevin McCloud, had a photo call upstairs in our timber frame. The popularity of the exhibit means we have already been booked for both the London Excel show in May 2015 and the October 2015 NEC show (which promises to be bigger and better than ever; having now been combined with the Build show to create a 6 day show titled UK Construction Week).

If all this looks like your cup of tea, don’t forget to sign up to the blog, or keep checking ourevents page to see details of where Hemp-LimeConstruct will be appearing in the coming months.

We look forward to seeing you at future shows!

Alex and Will

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