Hemp Construction Gains Popularity in the U.S.
(via U.S. Green Technology
Despite the ban on the industrial cultivation of hemp in the U.S., the benefits of hemp construction
are gaining traction among homeowners and institutions. This green technology offers environmental and health benefits that, for some, outweigh the cost of importing materials.
The Grass is GREENER on the other side.
The green technology of hemp construction was primarily pioneered in Europe, where it’s been popular for years. HempCrete is a carbon negative material which is fire-resistant, pest resistant and about 85 percent less dense than concrete. Hemp composite fiber board is lighter and stronger than conventional wood. Other green materials include eco-insulation and lime-based mortar. Hemp materials resist mold, mildew and rot. Hemp construction materials are touted for their health benefits, as they don’t off-gas with hazardous fumes. Anthony Brenner, a home designer with the green technology company Push, got into the business seeking a non-toxic home for his daughter, who has chemical sensitivities. In a study funded by the Building Research Establishment in Suffolk, England, homes constructed with hemp were compared to traditional buildings. When tested for durability, thermal resistance, permeability and other factors, they performed equal to or better than traditional buildings. The green technology was, however, more expensive. The cost and ban on hemp cultivation hasn’t stopped some eco-minded homeowners. Hemp Technologies, Inc.
one of the foremost suppliers of hemp construction materials
in the U.S., completed their first three hemp-constructed homes in North Carolina. They currently have another project underway in that state, as well as projects in Texas, California, Idaho and Hawaii, where they’ll be involved in renovations to the University of Hawaii campus. Currently, the U.S. government doesn’t recognize the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana, and growing hemp for green technology could be banned for many years.
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