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Could Hemp Be Our Next Great Construction Material?

Posted by Hoob on June 16th, 2017
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I’ve never actually smoked pot before. It’s just something that never interested me. That said, I’ve also never understood why it is illegal, when much more dangerous substances like alcohol, tobacco, Oxycontin are readily available either over the counter or via doctor’s prescription. What seems to make even less sense is the long time legal and social issues that have plagued the hemp industry. As you know, Hemp is a sister plant to marijuana, but it is not something that can be feasibly used as a drug. What it can be used as is paper, cloth, food (hulled hemp seed taste just like cashews!), building materials and more.

The area I want to talk about is building material. There are several companies right now that are experimenting with hemp-based concrete products that are not only green, but they are bold, fire, and termite proof, have much less impact on the environment when they are created, and result in homes that cost less to build and are far more energy efficient than most other means of construction. To give you an example of cost, one builder (featured in a video below) says that to create a 1,200 square foot home with one foot thick walls would only cost $12,000 in hempcrete materials. Add to that the fact that the one foot thick walls would result in a home that is perfectly insulated.

Other companies have gone a step further and have created hemp plastics that can be used for window materials in these homes. Essentially, you can create an entirely green home, made almost entirely from hemp. In fact, as far back as the time of the Model T, Henry Ford was experimenting with using Hemp Plastics as a material for his car bodies. As you can see from the video below, the material is strong enough to stand up to a sledge hammer hit from Henry Rollins!


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