My blog is dedicated to the exploration of industrial hemp in America including the rich history of all forms of cannabis, the evolving law and politics of hemp and marijuana, the many products made from cannabis and the capacity, real or imagined, of hemp to re-industrialize rural America and revitalize the American family farm.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Hempcrete Could Change The Way We Build Everything
Cannabis gets a lot of press as a recreational drug and medicine, but there’s an industrial side to the plant few know about. Hemp is a remarkably strong and versatile industrial product that comes from the cannabis plant. In fact, it’s so strong, you can build your house out of cannabis bricks made of Hempcrete.
Hempcrete is the concrete of cannabis. Made from the cannabis plant and mixed with limestone, Hempcrete bricks make a durable substance that can be an alternative to traditional concrete. Even though wet Hempcrete has a different consistency than concrete, it dries into a super-strong material capable of holding up houses.
Strength isn’t the only thing Hempcrete has going for it either. Hempcrete has a high degree of thermal insulation, and it is also fire resistant.
Walls made from this material are actually breathable which regulates humidity within the structure. These insulating properties regulate temperature as well.
Under the right circumstances, the use of hemp concrete could even eliminate the need for a heating and cooling system entirely. Or at least drastically reduce power consumption. How’s that for going green?
Hempcrete will even improve the air you breath. Over decades as it cures, it scrubs carbon out of the air inside the building. Some designers suggest that Hempcrete could be able to absorb between 50 lbs and 60 lbs of carbon dioxide.
Hemp concrete can absorb all that carbon dioxide because of its plant-based nature. Plants breath CO2.
Kevin McCloud, the host of Grand Design, raved about the properties of Hempcrete in a documentary:
“I cannot find one material to match hemp. I can’t find one that has such a low embodied energy, that locks carbon in, that has such a low environmental impact and that can be grown locally and harvested with minimum inputs in just a matter of a few months,” he said.
Different from the low-growing, high-cannabinoid varieties of cannabis sold in dispensaries, hemp is derived from high-yield, industrial strains of cannabis that probably wouldn’t get you high even if you tried.
Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. It’s incredibly versatile, strong, and easy to grow and refine.
The cannabis plant is perhaps the most versatile for human use on the planet, and hemp concrete could be the future of building.
Hemp press boards are also becoming increasingly popular.