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What in the World is Hempcrete?

builder showing a brick

Hemp Legalization Could Forever Revolutionize the Construction Industry

December 2018 was a watershed moment for Hemp growers and enthusiasts across the country.

You see, after many years of bitter struggle, the new Farm Bill, which legalizes hemp production, was finally signed into law.

With a mere stroke of the pen, President Donald Trump had successfully signed open the doors to the immense opportunity that the plant brings to builders.

What Is Hemp?

For starters, Hemp is a type of Cannabis sativa plant that packs fantastic ingredients.

Unlike marijuana which is usually makes one ‘high’, this variety is principally grown for its vast industrial uses.

So, what does this has got to do with construction?

How Hemp is Used in the Building Industry

Well, Hemp is used to make Hempcrete (or hemp lime), an organic variety of concrete which has been hailed for its extraordinary properties.

Developed in the mid-1980s in France, Hempcrete (made from a mixture of hemp’s woody core-also known as hemp hurds-, lime, and water) was initially used as a replacement for Portland cement in buildings.

Builders and home owners especially loved that it would maintain excellent insulation in houses- unlike conventional materials.

Since then, hemp-based building materials have grown so popular such that some insurers even give discounts on hempcrete building projects.

Forget about the customary foam, fiberglass, wood, and of course, concrete…

Whether used in forming walls (in combination with timber structural frames) or in creating insulating floor slabs or roofing insulation, Hempcrete materials are more sustainable and to daring owners, the ‘better’ way to own a beautiful home.

The Case for Hempcrete in Construction

An increasing number of savvy architects and engineers believe that hemp-based construction materials will forever transform the building industry.

And it’s easy to see why:

First, hempcrete provides natural insulation that remains airtight yet flexible and breathable.

What’s more?

This material is 100% safe as it’s free from toxins, impenetrable by mold and pests, besides being virtually fireproof.

To top it up, it’s lightweight, environmentally friendly, and massively reduces construction costs.

That’s not all:

Hempcrete locks out more harmful atmospheric carbon during the lifetime of a building than what’s emitted during the construction.

Also, and conveniently, hempcrete can fit around any shape/structure making it an ideal material for upgrading a building’s thermal performance. 

Hemp and The future Of Building

It is estimated that there are approximately 50 homes built with hemp in areas such as Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and Hawaii.

But considering its wonderful properties and the upshot in demand of nature-friendly housing, experts contend that this figure will soon be on the up.

Indeed, it’s already happening elsewhere with Canada and Europe having hundreds of hemp homes and commercial structures standing prominently across the lands.

It’s no wonder then that hempcrete construction companies are popping up left, right, and center.

Recap

With the legalization of Hemp, time has come for the society to benefit from the acclaimed goodness of the plant.

Hempcrete is pests and mold resistant, fireproof, carbon-capturing, has very good acoustics, extremely low humidity not to mention that the plant is itself environmentally friendly (grown with zero pesticides).

For this reason, innovative construction professionals are betting on it to revolutionize the industry.

And create new meaning for sustainable housing.

In short, interesting times seemingly lie ahead- all thanks to the legalization of this magical plant and the bump in demand for nature-friendly housing.

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