Regionalised life cycle assessment of bio-based materials in construction; the case of hemp shiv treated with sol-gel coatings

Mohammad Davoud Heidari, Michael Lawrence, Pierre Blanchet, Ben Amor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


Interest in intrinsically low-energy construction materials is becoming mainstream, and bio-based materials form a key part of that group of materials. The goal of this study was to analyse the environmental impact of applying a sol-gel coating on hemp shiv, in order to improve the durability of this innovative bio-based material, using a regionalised LCA model, taking into account regional specific peculiarities. This study analysed the environmental performance of using bio-based materials in the building envelope compared with traditional synthetic construction materials, and compared the impact of a regionalised approach with a global approach. The carbon footprint of treated hemp shiv in a wall with a U-value of 0.15W/m2.K was compared to untreated hempcrete and a reference cavity wall with the same U-value. Considering the environmental damage caused by the production of hemp shiv, nitrogen fertiliser was the hotspot. The LCA results showed that, using innovative bio-based materials in construction, treated hemp shiv with sol-gel can decrease the carbon footprint of a building envelope through carbon sequestration. Using the more accurate site-specific information in life cycle inventory and impact assessment methods will result in more consistent and site-appropriate environmental results for decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2987
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2019


  • Bio-based material
  • Building envelope
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Hemp shiv
  • Hempcrete wall
  • Regionalized LCA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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