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Carbon-negative building material that lasts 700-800 ILLEGAL to harvest in the US
by Katy Purviance on 01/13/10 @ 12:52:00 pm
Categories: Green Design, Articles | 394 words | 1673 views

I just read about this incredible material. You can use it to make a different kind of concrete.

A concrete that is resistant resistant to mold, mildew

A concrete that is resistant to fire and insects

A kind of concrete that absorbs carbon, making it carbon-negative

And it’s made out of hemp. Which is illegal to produce in the US. Which means that it has to be imported. Which means that it costs more than it should.


If I were president, I would make it legal to grow hemp. I would also make marijuana legal. Just as legal as a cigarette. And I would tax it. And, with ALL THE MONEY that that tax would generate, I would repeal the income tax.

You’re welcome.

Okay, here’s the article, so that you can be enlightened and outraged (aren’t they the same thing?) just as I am:

Last April I wrote about innovations in hemp as a building material. At the time of that blog post, researchers were developing ways to use hemp as a building block for zero-carbon homes. Because cultivating hemp is illegal in the U.S., all of that research was conducted overseas.

Hemp concrete production

Hemp production hasn’t been legalized since then, but hemp has moved into the U.S. building industry. Two homes in Asheville, North Carolina, are being built using a hemp material called Tradical Hemcrete. The product, sold by Asheville-based Hemp Technologies, mixes four parts ground-up hemp stalks with one part water and one part lime to create durable, resilient walls that European researchers have found can last up to 700 or 800 years.

In addition to durability, hemp concrete walls provide many benefits. They’re resistant to mold, mildew, fire and insects, and the lime absorbs carbon, making the walls carbon-negative.

Check out a close-up of a Hemcrete wall with an electrical box. Photo Courtesy Nauhaus.

Because the materials have to be imported, hemp concrete is more expensive than traditional building materials. Despite this, it’s possible to save money in other aspects of building when using hemp. Hemp construction uses less lumber for framing, and because it’s all-purpose, hemp concrete can be your sheetrock, insulation and moisture barrier all in one. Hemp concrete walls are also energy-efficient, saving homeowners on their energy bills each month.

We think this is a promising material, and we’d like to see more of it. What do you think?


I think hells yeah, that’s what I think!

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