Byosis : Interlocking hempcrete blocks
In conjunction with Vieille Matériaux, a precast concrete products manufacturer in eastern France, vicat is backing an innovative concept of mechanically interlocking 100%-natural dry-stack hempcrete blocks.
While incorporation of hemp is not exactly new in construction, the Biosys system is set to revolutionize its use. Developed by Damien Baumer, a blocklayer in the Doubs region of France, this 100%-natural hempcrete block features an innovative dry-stack erection system with a novel interlock. The blocks are used to build panel walls in conventional concrete post-and-beam framing, as part of a comprehensive construction system. The biosourced blocks erected without mortar or adhesive constitute a building envelope with many advantages. In addition to high thermal resistance and acoustic attenuation, Biosys has good fire resistance and emits no VOCs.
The development of Biosys is a component in the Group’s sustainable innovation and eco-design approach. It combines an aggregate made from hurds, the inside part of the stalk of hemp - a plant that requires no irrigation or pesticides and is perfect for succession planting -, and PROMPTUP natural quick-setting cement. The low firing temperature of PROMPTUP cement, its unique mineralogical composition, its durability, and its water-vapor impermeability make it the ideal binder for biosourced concretes. As part of its quest for innovative constructive solutions for sustainable housing, Vicat purchased the patent for the system, improving it with special admixtures developed by the Materials & Microstructures Laboratory for PROMPTUP natural cement and subsequently patented. Vicat then contacted Vieille Matériaux* in order to benefit from its industrial and marketing resources.
* Vieille Matériaux is a family company based in Étalans, in the Doubs region of eastern France. It retails building and industrial products and manufactures precast concrete blocks and curbs.