Like any household material, hempcrete has its pros and cons. It’s a good insulator, but not a very load-bearing material. It manages moisture properly, reducing the chance of mold growth and the associated deterioration of indoor air quality in your home. However, growth also consumes a large amount of water. Most importantly to many environmentalists, however, the hemp plants used to make hempcrete absorb carbon and are relatively easy to grow and harvest.
Hempcrete, on the other hand, is made by mixing hemp with a lime binder and water. No heat is required to produce. This material can be shaped as building blocks or bricks to fit between the pillars of a house. Because it is less dense than regular concrete, it weighs significantly less and requires less stress during the construction process.
Even though manufacturers and retailers continue to make money from hemp, growers have found it so unprofitable that many have switched to growing conventional crops such as corn and soybeans.
As a result, Mortenson says the state’s total hemp acreage has shrunk from 2,800 acres a few years ago to just 300 acres this year.
“Ultimately,” MPR reporter Dan Gunderson writes: Berg hopes this research project on a small lot in Fargo will help convince more builders and consumers to try hemp.
The units, which could one day be listed on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, feature ‘hemp wood’ floors and energy-efficient appliances. “The goal of this space is to connect people more deeply with each other and with nature,” Grassroots Development wrote on Facebook.
The Science Behind Building With Hempcrete
Since at least the days of the Roman Empire, some form of concrete has been predominantly used by builders. Today, it is made of sand and aggregate with cement as a binder. Cement is a major energy consumer in concrete production.
It is made of various materials such as limestone, seashells, and chalk. slate and clay. These ingredients are heated to high temperatures to form rocks, which are crushed into powder. Hempcrete, on the other hand, are made by mixing hemp with a lime binder and water.
No heat is required to produce. This material can be shaped as building blocks or bricks to fit between the pillars of a house. Because it is less dense than regular concrete, it weighs significantly less and requires less stress during the construction process.
Research And Conclusion
Studies have shown that hempcrete can hold over 1,300 pounds of water vapor per cubic yard of material. This material performs well above 90% relative humidity and can absorb water vapor without decomposition.
The lime binder used in the manufacture of hempcrete also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that keep the coated surface of the wall mildew resistant. Wood or steel frames have a better load-bearing capacity, but one study found that hemp cleats used as filler between traditional frames strengthened walls against buckling.