Thursday, March 30, 2017

Would You Build Your House from Hemp?

By Patrick Byrne
Source: restorativebotanicals.com

The hemp plant’s versatility is underappreciated even by many who enjoy its many beneficial uses. For example, did you know you can construct buildings from hempcrete, a mix of hemp cores and lime?



Hemp cores bind well with lime, a property unique among all natural fibers. The resulting composite is a lightweight material weighing about one seventh the weight of concrete. Because its density is so low, hempcrete alone can’t be used as a structural element, only as insulating infill. Wood framing is most commonly used to support vertical loads for buildings insulated with hempcrete, and some hempcrete buildings in Europe rise to ten stories.

Hempcrete us an unusually environmentally friendly building material. The hemp byproduct needed for one square meter of hempcrete absorbs approximately 165kg of carbon. In addition, leftover hempcrete from a building site can simply be tilled into the soil. It’s also less brittle than concrete, and as a result hempcrete buildings can be constructed without expansion joints, making hempcrete buildings easier to design and construct.

Hempcrete is an ancient technology, and its earliest known application dates to a 6th century bridge abutment in France. As more American states are re-legalizing industrial hemp production, we bet it won’t be long until hempcrete buildings become widespread again. Especially combined with advances in 3D-printing technology that can build houses in 24 hours for around $10,000, hemp’s potential as a construction material is enormous.



With the right policies and politicians, America could solve its affordable housing problem with the hemp plant. Supporting hemp businesses is one step you can take to accelerate a future where this versatile crop can be used to its full benefit. So visit our online store today!


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