Hemp Construction Materials
In these times where apocalyptic wildfires have become the norm, maybe it’s time to look at how we build our homes. Places like California and the interior of British Columbia have been ravaged with record breaking fire seasons the past several years. Thousands of homes and buildings have been decimated and more than once! Lives have been lost, both human and animal. All the while there is an amazing compound that could help prevent these devastating losses. HEMP. This all purpose wonder plant from nature may be the answer. After all, the climate is changing… and we need to change with it.
Hempcrete / Hemplime
Hempcrete or Hemplime is a mixture of hemp shives (hurds), lime, sand or pozzolans. This bio-composite material is used in construction and also as insulation. There are several manufacturers now: Hempcrete, Isochanvre, Canobiote and Canosmose being the most popular. Builders love working with Hempcrete because it is easy to work with, unlike traditional lime mixes. It provides insulation and is a moisture barrier. No expansion joints are required because Hempcrete is not brittle like concrete. This results in a lightweight insulating material that is ideal for most climates. Hemp construction materials make homes fire retardant. See the image.
France has used hemp construction since the early 90’s for non weight-bearing walls. Hempcrete is not strong enough for foundations but makes for excellent walls. France has successfully used these products to renovate old lime and stone buildings. This eco-friendly country is dedicated to reversing climate change. Is it time for North America to follow suit?
Affordable Hemp Insulation
Is hemp an affordable insulation option? As the hemp plant grows in popularity and more and more farmers begin to cultivate it, the costs for hempcrete construction materials should go down.
Price volume breaks that are available with other insulation options are not yet available for hemp construction materials. The ingredients required to make hempcrete are not yet common building materials. Even though there is not yet wide market availability the cost is still comparable with other insulation options. The advantages though, such as being naturally fire retardant and a sustainable product, do give it a major edge.
Pricing variables are reflected in the chart below. Sourcing affordable materials is critical to keeping this an affordable solution. Canadian producers offer considerably less expensive hemp than if imported from Europe.
The Future of Our Planet
With all of the cataclysmic events occurring on our planet, it’s time to fully utilize hemp in all of it’s glory! Sustainable, eco-friendly, fast-growing and multi-purpose, the hemp plant can help us quickly change the direction we are heading!
California wildfires, BC wildfires, fires in the Amazon and across Europe are destroying forests and homes for both people and animals. It’s time for hemp to have it’s day! CBD is probably the most popular hemp product at this time… but that is only one use. There are so many more.