I went over to Belfast this week to join the PLACE (N Ireland Architecture Centre) Conference series on Creativity and Innovation in the Northern Ireland Construction Industry, and present a couple of ATA projects.
The theme - Creativity and Housing - was illustrated by some fascinating schemes. I got to stay in one of them, a new Hemp Cottage in County Down by Rachel Bevan Architects, which was built using temporary shuttering, in lifts each about 800mm high. The hemp is mixed with lime and tamped just enough to keep it together and not enough to lose its insulating qualities, achieving a flexible solid wall construction which is uniform with no joints. The result is a very stable internal temperature and indoor air quality, and a delightful place to stay.