I watched an Environmental Issues/solutions program yesterday (Int’l TV News network).. they featured a company in England that is leading the revolution into enviro-friendly building materials : building houses from ‘Hempcrete’ (Hemp fibre mixed with a ‘lime binder’ & water) which turned into a concrete alternative. It is much lighter than conventional concrete, uses no chemicals in the process, absorbs/retains heat, is an effective insulator & is fire retardant.. (‘ticks all the boxes’)
They showed the process of making the product from the Hemp plants growing ‘domestically’ in the field, to the separating of the fibre from the stems, mixing the ingredients of the Hempcrete, pressing it into wooden frames to make the wall panels, adding Hemp fibre insulating material (natural alternative to fibre-glass ‘Batts’) & finally taking it to a building site, where it was put up, into a Hempcrete house. The commentator said that now that this product was being grown/made on a commercial scale, domestically in UK, there is no reason why it could not compete with other similar building materials.. it also has the benefit of taking in CO2 as it grows & being a natural chemical-free product. The commentator did mention the ‘association’ with Cannabis/’Marijuana’.. that HEMP is a variety of the same plant, but is grown with almost no THC (drug content) & is effectively, worthless to the ‘illegal’ drug trade !
I for one, would like to see Hemp grown in huge quantities globally, especially here in Aotearoa/NZ & used for not only Hempcrete, but ALL the other enviro-friendly products that I understand it can be made into : Paper, Plastics, Textiles, Biofuels etc. etc.