Groff North America is set to sponsor the first-ever US Hemp Building Summit on October 24-25 in Ketchum, Idaho.
Groff NA supports the mission of the US Hemp Building Association and the importance of educating people on the benefits of using hemp in building materials. Founder of Hempitecture Matthew Mead will be speaking, along with Steve Allin, who is one of the most reputable hempcrete builders in the world and founder of the International Hemp Building Association.
The Power of Hempcrete
Hemp is truly a remarkable crop; the possibilities are endless! One of the most prevalent hemp-based building materials is hempcrete. Hempcrete is simply a mixture of hemp hurds, water, and powdered limestone, or lime for short. The number one complaint of concrete is that it cracks; hempcrete, however, is much more resilient. Hempcrete eventually turns into petrified rock, which can last for hundreds of years1. Hempcrete is a renewable and sustainable building material that is lightweight, long-lasting, durable and breathable.
What is Hempcrete?
The hempcrete building process is extremely environmentally friendly and beneficial because hemp can be grown all over the world and fits into a row crop farmer’s crop rotation. It should be noted that the available supply of hemp is an essential factor, and a substantial amount is needed to support hemp used as a building material. Hempcrete leaves a negative carbon footprint and is naturally nontoxic1. According to Hempitecture, we know that hempcrete is not susceptible to pests or mold and it provides significant sound absorption and satisfying acoustics2. Through hempcrete, we are creating a healthier environment, an inexpensive building material, and replacing synthetic petroleum-based materials.
How Hempcrete Is Used
In many cases, hempcrete is mixed on-site and distributed in a wooden frame, which is then left to cure. This process can be time-consuming, so pre-cured blocks are crafted for those who do not want to wait for the hempcrete to cure or build a wooden structures1. However, for more customized buildings and homes, hempcrete must be mixed on-site with the assistance of conveyors to fill wall cavities. This method is called “mix and cast in ”2. Building with hempcrete rather than traditional building materials is favorable because, over time, the choice will save the builder money, since hempcrete replaces several elements of a wall assembly and uses a highly efficient installation process, which can save on construction costs and earn long-term savings2.
Hemp fiber can also make valuable insulation. This particular type of hemp fiber product is called “batt” insulation. Instead of standard fiberglass insulation, hemp fibers can form into a variety of dimensions, then install as semi-rigid “batts” between structural framing as a direct substitute to fiberglass and many other typical insulation materials3.
The Future of Building
Through the Hemp Building Summit, Groff North America will gain valuable information in regards to the building aspects of hempcrete, and utilizing hemp products as useful building materials. Building with hemp is the future, and the future is very bright! As a society, we can positively impact our environment and create a sustainable and rapidly renewable building material that will last for centuries.