We have written extensively about the uses and benefits of the wonderful hemp plant here in the past on ISMOKE, but did you know about Hempcrete?

Hempcrete is similar to concrete but made from the cannabis plant mixed with limestone, making a durable substance that can be an alternative to traditional concrete – it’s consistency is different to concrete when wet, but it drys into a stable material capable of holding up houses.

So could this be the building material of the future?

Hemp Concrete has a high degree of thermal insulation, and it is also fire resistant.  Walls made from this material are actually breathable which regulates humidity within the structure, and it’s insulative properties regulate temperature.  Some companies have suggested that under the right circumstances the use of this material could even eliminate the need for a heating and cooling system entirely, or at least vastly reduce the energy output.

Another great thing about Hemp concrete is that it scrubs carbon out of the atmosphere over decades as it cures from within the building. It has been suggested that Hempcrete can absorb between 130kg and 165 kg of Carbon Dioxide per cubic meter.

The reason it can absorb C02 from the atmosphere is that it is a plant-based product, and mixing the hemp with lime to make the hemp concrete allows for the carbon reabsorption after it is processed.

Properties of Hempcrete:

  1. Environmentally friendly – as the hemp grows it takes Carbon Dioxide from the air. One crop takes three months
  2. Extremely wind-proof
  3. Excellent insulation
  4. Lighter and fluffier than concrete + non-hazardous to work with on a building site
  5. Low thermal-conductivity
  6. Durable
  7. Recyclable
  8. Resistant to pests

Here is Kevin McCloud (Grand Design) talking about Hempcrete as part of a 2011 Documentary:-

“I cannot find one (material) to match hemp… I can’t find one that has such a low embodied energy, that locks carbon in, that has such a low environmental impact and that can be grown locally and harvested with minimum inputs in just a matter of a few months”

The Cannabis plant is one of – if not the most – versatile plants on the planet, and uses like this show you just how important it is to mankind.

Have you built using Hempcrete? Tweet us @ISMOKEMAG