Hemp Habitats – Homes of the Future?

Hemp homes, while not mainstream yet, are the cutting edge of green building and living. Hemp, one of the strongest and most durable fibers on the planet, is being used for foundations, walls, roofing, insulation, and indoor textiles and installations.

Hemcrete is made with hemp hurds  and lime, and is stronger, lighter, and more flexible than concrete. It is used for foundations and wall structures, and is a carbon-negative substitute for traditional concrete.

Buildings account for 38% of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero-footprint buildings is at an all-time high.” (Inhabitat.com)

Hempboard is a fiber board made with hemp hurds. It can be used for walls, cabinetry, doors, shelves, furniture, and flooring.

Hemp insulation comes in many forms – mat and roll, spun and loosely compacted hemp fiber insulation, and hemcrete.

Hemp roof tiles can come in several shapes and sizes.

In all of the above applications, hemp is the perfect choice  because it is:

Water resistant

Insect resistant

Mold resistant

Rodent repellent

In some applications, the products are fire-resistant and,

In all applications the hemp is an excellent insulator and of course, helps to keep the air in the home clean.

Any why, do you ask, are hemp homes carbon negative? The growing and harvesting of the hemp plants lock up a larger amount of carbon dioxide (cleaning the air and environment)  than the lime binder used in the hemcrete production.

Farming hemp in the U.S. and building more hemp structures would be valuable – both economically AND environmentally.

Going Green With Hemp Home Furnishings

Hemp is used in many applications today – nutrition, medicine, fuel, plastics, auto components, and textiles. We also see a trend that is leading to green, natural furniture.

Hemp leaves a negative carbon footprint. It nourishes the soil and cleans the air. It is pest resistant, rodent resistant, mold and mildew resistant. Hemp fiber is one of the longest, strongest, and most versatile fibers known to man.

Throughout history ship sails were made from hemp canvas, not cotton, because cotton deteriorated must faster. The first Levi-Strauss jeans were made from hemp.

Furniture made with hemp fabric is durable and withstands water better than other fabrics. Hemp fabric is also stain resistant (to a point – for those of you with children, I’m sure you’ll love this info!). I’m sure you’ve seen or even had upholstery that was near a window for a long time that showed signs of fading. Hemp fabrics are UV resistant, so there is less chance of them fading as quickly as other fabrics.

(French Country Hemp Armchair)

Hemp fabrics have more fire-retardant properties than most fabrics.

Because hemp fabric is so versatile, it can be used on sofas, chairs, as furniture covers, pillow covers, seat cushion covers, rugs, and curtains. A note about hemp curtains – unlined hemp curtains will fade over time, but it takes much longer than curtains made from other fabrics.

(Chenille Hemp Rug)

So, if you are thinking of creating a greener home, why not start with hemp furnishings?