There are quite a few new trends in the Cannabis related industry, and one of them is Hemp construction. Hemp houses have been built in the UK, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, and is now becoming more popular in the U.S.
The material used is commonly known as hempcrete, and it has become one of the most sought-after materials amongst Eco-friendly construction companies. It is being referred to as the new building material that could help our society develop a more sustainable future.
The Meaning of Hempcrete Explained
Hempcrete is a bio-composite made of the inner woody core of the hemp plant. The composite is then mixed with a lime-based binder to create the hempcrete. The result is a lightweight cementitious insulating material that weighs a fraction of standard concrete. Unlike what most people think, it is not used to develop the infrastructure of a building, but instead to insulate.
Advantages of Building with Hemp:
- Carbon Positive (better than carbon neutral)
- Low Density (provides great thermal insulation)
- Rodent Resistant (naturally termite proof)
- Fire Resistant
- High Flexural Strength (Earthquake proof)
- Allergy-Free (no mold)
- Sound Insulation
- Environmentally Friendly (unlike other ‘green building materials’ that still produce greenhouse gas)
How to Build a Hemp House
Similar to most new industries, hemp building still isn’t a standard thing. Maybe one day you will be able to walk into some DIY store, pick up a few hemp construction mixtures, and build your own home. But until then, you will have to rely on professionals to get the job done. You’ll probably need to shell out money for an architect, which can cost anywhere around 10%-15% of the total construction costs.
Another thing to consider when building a hemp house is location. This will depend greatly on local laws, regulations, prices and availability. Consider your site carefully. In some European countries such as Spain and Italy, entire villages and small towns have been abandoned, partly due to the difficulty of hooking them up to the grid. So make sure you can hook up to necessities, such as electricity and water.
For those of you that want to go completely eco-friendly, it’s always possible to install solar panels, passive solar heating, wastewater recycling systems, rainwater collection, wind turbines, and even micro-hydroelectric. Most of these systems can be easily installed and aren’t as expensive as you think.
Where to Obtain HempCrete?
That is a tough one to answer. If you decide to work with a company that specializes in hemp construction, then they should have all the materials you’ll need. If not, simply look for suppliers of herd hemp. They will tend to sell them by the pallet or truckload. Unprocessed hemp hurds works out at around $1100 in the US.
Final Thoughts on Building with Hemp
Hemp houses are an amazing idea and will definitely turn our society into a greener and healthier one. While building a hemp house still might be a bit of a hassle, the construction industry is definitely headed in the right direction.
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