Concrete without cement, it seems impossible? And yet... It's called vegetable concrete, and it's the new eco-construction material that is on the rise...
Composition of vegetal concrete
As the name suggests, plant concrete is composed hemp fiber (also known as chènevotte) and volcanic rock (more specifically pozzolana), linked together by pure air lime.
Vegetable concrete does not therefore contains no cementno polymer or synthetic resin. This explains why it is so popular in eco-construction, where it can also be used for all parts of the house: slabs, partitions, interior and exterior walls, carpentry, facades, attics... The least we can say is that plant concrete is a versatile concrete!
In masonry, we can find the plant concrete in the form of brick (for the construction), paste (to bancher a wall or isolate floors) or coating (on a facade or an interior wall).
The strengths of vegetal concrete
If the concrete plant is so booming, it is because its particular composition gives it many advantages! Among its main qualities, we advance in particular:
- Excellent thermal and sound insulation, thanks to its aerial components.
- A temperature regulator, because it restores in the evening all the heat of the sun that it accumulated during the day. The key: interesting energy savings!
- A breathable material: as it is very aerial, in addition to being insulating plant concrete allows the walls of the house to breathe! With him, we can afford to forget about ventilation or air conditioning because it regulates humidity.
- A healthy product: Although vegetable, this material is not subject to molds, fungi, etc. It even has naturally fungicidal properties.
- A material that is durable over time and does not deteriorate. Its theoretical life has been estimated at a century!
- An environmentally friendly material, from manufacture to recycling.
The price of vegetal concrete
Obviously, such an anthology of qualities, it has a price! And with an average price of 500 € / m3, vegetable concrete is also 5 times more expensive than conventional concrete.
An additional cost that will obviously be offset by significant energy savings...