Did you know there’s a building material that’s durable, sustainable, healthier for the occupants and even carbon negative?
It’s called hempcrete, a composite made from fibers of the industrial hemp plant mixed with lime.
The United States is perfectly positioned for a hempcrete building boom. Interest in green building is growing as people seek out sustainable, low-cost alternatives to traditional buildings made from petrochemicals or dwindling natural resources like wood. At the same time, the stigma around hemp is disappearing as more learn about the plant’s benefits. Hempcrete has unique health benefits and, because it enables low cost, modular design, it could even be a part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.
“It’s just an awesome material,” declared Greg Flavall, CEO of Hemp Technologies, a leading builder of hempcrete homes. “I’ve never seen anything like it and we have studied other materials like flax, corn stalks, linseed oil stalks, even wood, and hemp wins by far hands down.”
In 2009, Hemp Technologies oversaw the first permitted hemp home build in North America, in North Carolina. However, hemp’s uncertain legal status sent Flavall to New Zealand, where the crop was legal to grow for use in building materials. He’s traveled the world helping create hempcrete structures ever since, working on everything from jungle cabanas to wine tasting rooms. Now that hemp is becoming popular in the U.S., demand for his services is skyrocketing here too.
We recently caught up with Flavall to learn more about why hempcrete is better than other green building materials, and to hear about one of his most recent projects, a home retrofit which could soon be part of an upcoming TV show on hempcrete homes.
Hempcrete is healthy, sustainable and affordable too
Agricultural hemp is the close cousin of psychoactive cannabis or “marijuana” (the plant people consume to get high). While marijuana is prized for its flowery tops, hemp is grown for its tall, fibrous, leafy stalks which are a little bit similar to bamboo. Hempcrete is made from hemp shivs, which are the fibrous, woody core of those stalks, also known as the hurd. The shivs are chopped up into chips, which are mixed with water and a lime binder to form concrete-like stone slabs that have a pleasant, earthy appearance that many people find appealing.
Hempcrete Homes Are Sustainable, Durable, And Healthier For The Occupants – Interest In Hempcrete Homes Is Booming
Did you know there’s a building material that’s durable, sustainable, healthier for the occupants and even carbon negative? It’s called , a composite made from fibers of the industrial hemp plant mixed with lime. The United States is perfectly positioned for a hempcrete building boom.