Natural Hydraulic Lime on Hempcrete

At TransMineral USA, we have recently been following a hempcrete building project from Beate Kirmse and her husband, Bern Galvin. The structure, in Rolling Hills, California, is the first permitted hemp building in California. The walls are formed from hempcrete, which is the result of a mixture of lime and hemp. Since hemp is not allowed to be industrially grown in the United States, it has been near impossible to successfully get a permit to use it in a structure. According to Hemp Technologies, a supplier of hemp hurds, hempcrete has a superior R-value to other green building options. The thickness of hempcrete can be adjusted to meet the thermal requirements of the structure’s climate. And, among numerous other advantages, hempcrete is the perfect substrate for earth and lime plasters, such as natural hydraulic lime.

For the Rolling Hills project, Beate Krimse called our office and discussed the project. We agreed that using NHL 3.5 and EcoMortar F-2 would be a good combination for the exterior walls. NHL 3.5 was used for the scratch and brown coats, while the EcoMortar was applied as the exterior finish coat. Find more details on Beate’s post, Breathable Lime Finish.

To follow the couple’s project, please visit their website:

Sonoma County Strawbale House Receives Award from Green Builder® Media

Private Residence, SonomaA Sonoma County strawbale home won a 2013 Green Builder® Media Green Home of the Year award. The home was recognized in the Best Exterior Integration category. This LEED Platinum home features Saint-Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime over a strawbale structure. The farmhouse sits on a 32-acre site that includes covered walkways, gardens, and gabled structures. Additionally, there is a living roof and solar electricity.

Bruce Hammond of Hammond & Company

Daniel Smith & Associates Architects

2013 California Preservation Award

The Huntington Japanese House and Gardens
Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, Inc.

The restoration of The Huntington Japanese House and Gardens recently won a 2013 California Preservation Award. This project preserves a unique cultural landscape, including the internationally renowned conservation of the Japanese House and restoration of one of the oldest-surviving Japanese Gardens in the United States.

3-coat lime plaster on metal lath was used for the restoration. Lime paint was also used extensively throughout the project.

View more information from the architectural firm, Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, Inc.

The restoration of The Huntington Japanese House and Gardens has also won the following awards:

2012 American Institute of Architects
Los Angeles Chapter, Design Award

2012 American Institute of Architects
Pasadena Foothill Chapter, Merit Award

2012 Planet Award

SAB Homes 7 – Old day Plasters, New day Design

Source: SABMag

Even in the innovative and rapidly changing world of green building, some of the old ways and traditional materials are often the best. For thousands of years, natural clay and lime plasters have been used to create beautiful and long-lasting interior and exterior finishes. While these materials continue to be used extensively throughout the world, they have been largely replaced in North America by cement and acrylic stuccos.

Read the article on the SAB website