NATURE DREAM IN IZEGEM: A WOOD AND HEMP HOUSE LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
As environmentally conscious garden designers, Tristan and Sabrina dreamed of a house that was in harmony with nature and super-efficient at the same time. After two years of research, they decided to build a wooden structure with hemp block walls and the results lived up to their expectations.

 

Natural materials – from the foundations to the roof!

Surrounded by a permaculture garden, the house with modern architecture, clad in wood, blends into the landscape perfectly. Its sleek appearance shows no traces of the many questions that led to its development: “We did two years of research! To build our house, we wanted to use responsibly produced materials: we wanted to avoid concrete, which consumes a lot of CO2, chemical insulation and formaldehyde adhesives, which are very polluting,” explain Tristan and Sabrina. “For the foundations, we investigated a system of screws to replace the concrete, but it turned out to be too expensive. So, to reduce its use as much as possible, we used cellular glass aggregates to form a load-bearing insulating layer just below the floor.

Insulation designed for every season

The shell of the house was made using a wooden load-bearing structure and Isohemp hemp block walls, which provide both thermal insulation and sound insulation. These blocks also regulate the humidity in the house. “At first, we thought about using straw, but hemp allows for better water regulation, as well as better inertia. The hemp blocks store the heat or the fresh air for 8 hours,” explains Tristan. These technical properties have an impact on the feeling inside the house: “The blocks maintain a very pleasant warmth inside, so we have to switch on the heating a lot less,” he continues. “What is noticeable here is that the blocks create a very healthy and very calm living environment.”

To ensure optimal insulation, the couple left nothing to chance:

The hemp blocks in the main walls already have an insulating effect, but to achieve the higher level of insulation we wanted, we supplemented them with a thinner type of hemp block (20 cm) and a wood wool overlay. This combination should keep us warm in winter and cool in summer.

A green lung in the house

Indoor air quality, which is often neglected, also received much attention. The couple favoured natural materials and avoided the use of adhesives as far as possible. But they didn’t stop there: “In addition to our ventilation system, we’ll also have a 40-square-metre veranda built next to the house, filled with edible plants. The veranda opens onto a sliding window in the bathroom and a double door in the living room. The idea is that the air circulates in the greenhouse: it is purified and cooled there at night in the summer. The greenhouse becomes the green lung of our home.”

A challenge: self-building!

After thinking out their dream project down to the smallest detail, Tristan and Sabrina wanted to construct their house themselves. “The prefabricated blocks cost more than creating hemp-lime walls from scratch, but I was able to install them myself without much help,” says Tristan. “We visited the factory where the hemp-lime blocks are made and that convinced us,” he adds.

Our collaboration with Isohemp went really well. They were always there for us.” Designing and building their dream home themselves gave them quite a bit of work, but “the result made it all worthwhile!” insist Tristan and Sabrina, who have now settled with their two children in their haven of peace.

Discover their beautiful project in this video:

 

Owner : Tristan & Sabrina - Ecogardens 

Architect : Sylvie Buyse

Partner distribution : Eurabo

Tips for self-builders

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