Let’s start at the ground level. Hemcrete as a foundation is the perfect basis for a structure. Hemcrete is a substance consisting of hemp hurds, lime, sand, plaster, cement and water. When dry, it is stone-hard; however, it also is flexible.
As insulation, hemp is ideal. It ‘breathes’ and helps clean the air, regulates humidity, is mildew resistant, fire resistant, insect resistant and waterproof when used above ground. The R-value of hemp insulation is comparable to other fiber insulation materials, about R-3.5 per inch.
Hemp composite boards (similar to plywood) have been in the making and tested by Washington State University. It was found that the hemp composite boards were 2 ½ times stronger than wood AND 3 time more elastic than wood composites. Similar to the hempcrete, hemp composite boards are water resistant.
Buildings and structures account for approximately 40% of CO2 emissions in the United States, thus creating a larger demand for environmentally wise building products. Homes constructed with hemp have a carbon neutral or carbon negative impact on the environment.
Because of the multitude applications of hemp, a home can be constructed almost entirely of hemp, even down to hemp plastic pipes (flexible and resistant to cracking) and roofing tiles, hemp carpets, and hemp-oil based paints.
Environmental responsibility and sustainability are becoming more prevalent; it makes sense that industrial hemp is the way to go when it comes to construction. And, most importantly, hemp building materials are 100% recyclable.
How wonderful it would be to see more homes and buildings taking advantage of hemp, a perfect non-toxic, renewable, earth-friendly source.