Racking performance of timber studwork and hemp-lime walling

Christopher Gross, P J Walker

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Hemp-lime is a natural, sustainable low carbon insulating material. It is formed from three main constituents: hemp shiv; lime based binder; and, water. Its use within the construction industry is a relatively recent development. In the UK hemp-lime is most widely used for solid wall insulation in conjunction with structural timber studwork, either cast in situ or more recently innovative prefabricated panels. Current design practice assumes that the hemp-lime does not contribute towards the structural capacity of the wall. Previous work by the authors has confirmed that hemp-lime significantly benefits vertical load bearing capacity of the timber studs. This paper presents research that has been undertaken to establish the enhancement hemp-lime provides to the in-plane racking strength of timber studwork framing. Laboratory testing was undertaken on a series of timber studwork frames both with and without hemp-lime. It was found that the hemp-lime significantly increases both the racking strength and stiffness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages6
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number15
Early online date20 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2014


  • Sustainability
  • Timber structures
  • Natural resources
  • Hemp-line


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