It’s a bit odd that we still build houses as we did for many years now. The technique of almost everything is changing but this keeps being the same. Why? Because the best alternative materials, hemp building materials, are still illegal.
Finding the right material
Want to help making our planet ready for the future? The first thing we’ll have to do is find something that doesn’t emit many greenhouse gasses, can be cultivated almost everywhere and doesn’t drain the land beneath itself. One of the few plants with these particular features is hemp.
Using hemp building materials for insulation
Hemp isn’t used much as a building material yet, but if people use it they often do this as insulation material. The U-value and the R-value of hemp, both important for insulation purposes, are very good compared to those of other insulation materials. Another beneficial characteristic is that it absorbs moisture. Add to that the environmentally friendliness of hemp and it’s the best material for insulation you can think of.
Hemp becoming a real building material
In order to become a real building material, hemp has to be mixed with lime. The product in which this results is called hempcrete. It is sold by various suppliers. Because of the semi-legal status of hemp in the USA it has to be imported from somewhere else, for example Canada. This fact makes the hempcrete quite expensive. Nevertheless it can be perfectly used as a building material.
The impressing durability of hemp
Since they are fire resistant, insect resistant, infrangible and vapor permeable, while impermeable to liquid water, hemp building materials are extremely durable. Houses made of hempcrete will therefore be able to last for centuries.