What is Hempcrete? It’s a building material made from the hemp plant. Yes, you read it right, hemp, different from marijuana. Hempcrete is made from the hemp stalks, and it can change the way buildings worldwide are created.
Hempcrete is the result of a mixture of hemp hurd, a lime-based binder, and water. This green building solution has properties of fire resistance, thermal balance, and can work as an insulating material. Industrial hemp has a reduced carbon footprint, which makes it highly friendly to the environment.
So, the main difference between both materials is that hempcrete is environmentally friendly. There are other key differences between both, which we will list below.
One big difference between hempcrete and concrete is breathability and humidity regulation. While concrete usually struggles with mold, hempcrete can control the amount of water it absorbs. Hemp as a construction material is also breathable, avoiding mold.
Another big difference between hempcrete and concrete is toxicity. Concrete can have numerous toxic elements, such as cement, calcium oxide, and silica. Although it’s not harmful to people living inside buildings, concrete can cause various diseases to construction workers. On the other hand, hemp as a raw material is non-toxic and extremely safe for workers.
but once it’s dry, it’s extremely strong. With these ingredients mixed, you can press then into a form to build walls or blocks. You can also use it as an insulating material between drywalls. There are many ways hemp products can be used in a building.
Hempcrete has a wide range of usability within the construction realm. It can be used as a roof, wall, or slab insulation. Additionally, hempcrete is insect, mold, and fire-resistant.
No, hempcrete alone cannot be load-bearing. It cannot be used as the foundation of a building. Hempcrete requires wooden frames to support the vertical load because it’s less dense than traditional concrete.
However, you can still use it in your building with a supporting structure. That can be a wooden frame, a post and beam frame, or a masonry support system. Depending on the thickness of the hempcrete block, it can self-support up to ten meters high.
legalization of hemp production, its materials finally got a chance to shine. Hempcrete is no exemption. Professionals all over the world are working towards green building solutions using it. Hemp, as a construction material, is legal in many countries.
Hempcrete is a carbon-negative building material. What does it mean? It means that such constructions can remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Most of our industrial activities – including construction – add CO2 to the atmosphere. CO2 pollution causes the greenhouse effect, which traps heat, melts ice caps, and rises ocean levels. So yes, this is another way hemp helps the environment.
But you may ask, how can this building material be carbon negative? Firstly, because the hemp plant absorbs an immense amount of CO2 when it’s growing. Secondly, it is carbon-negative because hemp concrete can remove CO2 from the atmosphere. If cities get more hemp-based buildings, its active carbon capturing properties can help reduce pollution.
After reading and understanding more about this booming industry, how do you feel? Are you excited as we are? The possibilities with hemp are endless!
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