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Lime Hemp for self-construction and recovery of post-earthquake rural villages 




prof. Dipak Pant

Architectural designer:

Arch. Elena Brusa Pasquè

Arch. Dario Tresoldi

Arch. Marco Zanini




The material that makes up the module is a cold mix of hemp lime with the following characteristics:

  1. The lightness, the brick in question weighs 7 times less than the same in concrete.

  2. Thermal insulation, in a single element we have structural and insulation performance.

  3. The ability to absorb and regulate moisture. Hemp retains the humidity in the air, releasing it gradually when the environment becomes drier and does not undergo significant changes in volume.

  4. The possibility of being shaped with simple tools. These bricks can be cut manually with tools used for woodworking.

  5. Ecological. The brick is cold produced and the production of raw materials, especially hemp, is an ecological and environmentally friendly process. Formaldehyde-free composite material.

  6. Fireproof.

  7. Unassailable by insects.

  8. Immutable. Hemp does not rot.

  9. Recyclable. The brick can be recycled by mixing everything again.

  10. Economic. A single module with structural and insulating characteristics produced with simple and economical materials and with a low production cost.


Transmittances - Comparison

hemp lime 24cm 0,27 W/m²K

Full clay 25 cm 1.35 W/m²K

Drilled clay 25 cm 1.0 W/m²K

Poroton 24 cm 0.40 W/m²K

Ytong 24 cm 0.31 W/m²K


Costs - Comparison

lime hemp 24cm 75 €/m²wall

Full clay 25 cm 82,6 €/m²wall n 118 (0,7€ each)

Clay perforated 25 cm 8 €/m²wall n13 (065€ each)

Poroton 24 cm 14 €/m²wall n14 (1€ each)

Ytong 24 cm €54/m²wall


How does architecture respond to the big questions that society poses?

In 2010, the world's urban population peaked, surpassing the number of people living in rural areas. A city that, as Loos reminds us, makes us lose roots: any inhabitant of the city has no civilization. The architect lacks the security of his civilization (that inner and outer balance of man guaranteed only by rational thought and action). We produce places that uproot the inhabitants.

The awareness of planet Earth's incapacity to guarantee the capitalist way of life to 66 million individuals has led us to question the process of making architecture. Questioning the classic supply chain (customer > architect > builder) was a reason to imagine scenarios in which the customer could be the builder (or even where the figure of the architect disappears). Nothing new considering that man used to make himself a house: building a house as a founding act of living (as Heidegger understands it) and as an expression of a collective thought. The place as bearer of meaning, community and identity. The man who makes his home experiences meanings from his environment. 

The inhabitant trivialized today is made a consumer of soil and products and is not a creator of community or landscape. The latter is de-territorialized. We believe self-construction, therefore, as a response to alienation: a rediscovered way of doing in opposition to a continuous delegation of responsibility by man who is no longer able to participate in the formation of the place which causes the detachment and loss of identity.

Not an architectural project but a conscious and self-sustainable lifestyle project that empowers the inhabitant/citizen.

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