2013 – The Mare Cannabum was designed as the primary residence for a family of four, located a block from the Atlantic Ocean.

Hemcrete® was utilized for this project at the Owner’s request, as it fulfilled the design objectives noted below. This is the largest Hemcrete® design that Alembic Studio, LLC has undertaken at 3600 s.f. conditioned space. The house is located in Virginia Beach, where seismic zone 2 conditions and 130 m.p.h.wind loads presented considerable design challenges for a hemp building.  We worked closely with structural and civil engineers to ensure all their insights were carefully integrated into the design. For example, the wind loads, significantly in excess of typical specifications, were addressed with engineered steel brace frames at five locations in the exterior and interior walls.

Aside from the Hemcrete® exterior walls and related structural considerations, the construction of this home follows commonly accepted modern building practices and systems. A conditioned crawl space with mud-slab, conditioned attic spaces, and a SIPS roof system are the other major components of the building envelope. Gable cantilevers were incorporated for both aesthetic value and added protection from the elements.

As with most Hemcrete® projects in the US, this was a “first” for the local building department. Prior to entering the Design Development phase, we conducted a preliminary meeting with city officials to assure that all of their concerns were addressed.

Design Objectives:
  • Low maintenance
  • Functionality
  • Longevity
  • Meet hurricane code requirements
  • Maximum HERS-70
  • Air quality above average
  • Aesthetics to reflect Owner’s essence of home

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