Hemp has many industrial uses, some of which may surprise you. 50,000 years ago, it was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber and today it’s most well known for its medicinal uses and clothing/accessories. A by-product of hemp fiber production can even be used for construction applications. Hemp hurds are what’s left of hemp stalks after being stripped of fiber during the decortication process. Combining hemp hurds with lime yields a material used for construction and insulation, called Hempcrete. Hempcrete is an effective way of putting this leftover material to good use. It has become more readily available worldwide through brand names such as Canobiote, Canosmose, Limecrete, Isochanvre, even Hempcrete itself is a brand! As Hempcrete is sustainable in nature, it is considered an incredible building material.
Hempcrete Is A Sustainable Option
Characteristics that make hemp itself sustainable are that it can be grown without traditional farm practices. It generally doesn’t require heavy fertilization, herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. The plant canopy tends to grow so well and so fast that it shades and chokes out unwanted weeds. The ability to avoid conventional farming practices allows the soil to flourish rather than being heavily depleted which happens with crops like cotton, corn, and tobacco.
What You Need To Know About Hempcrete
- Hempcrete looks nothing like concrete but is roughly 15% as dense while weighing only around 1/7th that of concrete similar in size.
- It is an excellent insulator with the added benefit of sound-proofing and is applicable when insulating slabs, walls, and roofs.
- Unlike other materials such as drywall and fiberglass, hempcrete is nontoxic. Drywall can contain fiberglass and asbestos along with plasticizer. Fiberglass can contain epoxy, polyester resin, or thermoplastic.
- Keep in mind, hempcrete is not a replacement for concrete block as it will actually float in water!
- Wooden supports are required when using hempcrete as an insulator, it is not used as the building structure itself. It is typically used for low rise buildings or structures.
Hemp Is Here To Stay
The benefits and uses of hemp are seemingly endless as more and more products continue flooding the market to meet the public’s insatiable demand for it in all of its numerous forms. The hemp industry is gaining traction in worldwide markets for its varied uses from construction to CBD production. It is truly shaping up to be a long-term global success story.