In this experimental farmhouse project, the use of innovative, carbon-negative materials helped the owners achieve their eco goals. 

  Practice Architecture Flat House Complete Image Credit Oskar Proctor - conversions - grand designs

Image: Oskar Proctor 

Run by Steve Barron and Fawnda Denham, Margent Farm in Cambridgehire is part 20-acre hemp farm, part bio-plastic research project. The duo asked London-based Practice Architecture to create a new farmhouse, converting an industrial barn into a ground-breaking prototype that makes use of the site's natural resources and expertise. 


 Practice Architecture Flat House Complete Image Credit Oskar Proctor - conversions - grand designs

Image: Oskar Proctor 

The main structural walls of the 3-bedroom home are made from pre-fabricated panels designed by the architects using hempcrete - fibres of the hemp plant mixed with lime and water to created a concrete-like substance - and set within a timber frame.

However, unlike concrete, whose component cement is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions on the planet, hempcrete is carbon negative, meaning that more carbon is taken out of the atmosphere in growing the hemp than in the production of the resulting material.

The materials have been left raw and unfinished in the home ot highlight the innovative construction method. 

Open plan spaces 

Practice Architecture Flat House Complete Image Credit Oskar Proctor Large 42 

Image: Oskar Proctor 

A conservatory and double height living room features timber joinery and enjoys views over the surrounding hemp fields. The exposed structural walls continue throughout the property, from bedrooms to the home office. 

Eco cladding  

Practice Architecture Flat House Complete Image Credit Oskar Proctor - conversions - grand designs

Image: Oskar Proctor 

The corrugated cladding used on the exterior of the barn is also made from an eco material - hemp-stalk fibres combined with resin made from agricultual waste. 


What do you think of this eco home? Share your thoughts with us by tweeting us @granddesigns or post a comment on our Facebook page.



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