One of the largest problems of today’s world is global warming. Construction industry contributes greatly to this issue, mainly because of the methods of manufacturing the materials used in construction. The processes of manufacturing said materials that are commonly used in construction require very high temperatures. The energy for achieving the necessary temperature is gained mostly by burning fossil fuels. Because of the above mentioned problem we have tried to find the most environmentally friendly solution for building external walls. Within the framework of this thesis, we have focused on three natural materials – hemp, straw and wood. We used these materials in construction assemblies, calculated their carbon footprints and then compared the results with the carbon footprints of the construction assemblies that are most widely used in construction (reinforced concrete, bricks).
The thesis first describes what greenhouse gases and the CO2 equivalent are, and describes the legislation. After that, the used materials (with an emphasis on straw and hempcrete) and the method of construction with these materials are described. In the end, the used structural assemblies and their carbon footprints are presented. In the last part of the thesis, we present the conclusion that the loadbearing straw bale structure (external wall) is the structural assembly with the minimum or negative carbon footprint. The structural assembly with a load-bearing structure of brick, which is only included in the thesis for comparison, has the highest carbon footprint.