While theres only about 50 houses in the US currently built by hemp, theres a huge effort going on right now to encourage this material to be used more widespread. The resurgence of this old school material comes with the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in many states, which has opened up a largely untapped market.
Hemp is similar to its schedule 1 cousin Cannabis Sativa except for it's THC content (containing about .3 percent of the compound that gets you high). The fibers and materials from this plant can be used for many purposes including for fabrics, skin products, foods, plastics, and building materials that are environmentally friendly.
Mixing the woody core of this sturdy plant with lime based binder and water produces a strong but lightweight concrete, known as "Hempcrete." This is a pretty sturdy material that is replacing insulation and other typical building materials like fiberglass and foam, and is used to form the exterior and interior walls of homes. This material isn't cheaper than traditional building materials yet, but experts are saying as the market opens up with the legalization of Marijuana spreading from state to state we will see those prices becoming more and more competitive. Hempcrete is not a load bearing material, which means it needs a timber or steel frame.
NY Governor Cuomo has made public his intentions to legalize Marijuana in New York by March of this year, which means we may see this new eco friendly building material become more and more common!
Watch the video below to learn about some of the cool benefits of hempcrete!
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