Affordable Housing Becomes Green with Hemp

August 2, 2010 – Entering the housing market is not only a challenge for first time buyers, but also for conscious consumers wanting to take care of the environment without spending a fortune.

With now legal industrial hemp licenses available in many countries around the world, Growing Your Own Home has never been easier!

According to long-time industrial hemp expert Paul Benhaim, “just one acre of land is enough for you to grow a crop of hemp that can be converted to a regular looking building on that same piece of land”. He goes on to say “and we are not talking rustic homes, but regular looking solid council approved buildings”.

These new eco friendly buildings are built by regular builders, and don’t require specialist designs, though the developers recommend solar passive designs that take advantage of the thermal mass offered by the hemp walls. As well as residential and commercial projects, simple renovations are possible.

Until now you had to import materials to be sure of a standard building product. Previous versions of similar technologies commonly known as ‘hemcrete’ or ‘hempcrete’ have also required processing of hemp in large factories. Hence this technology has not been fully sustainable, until now.

This new technology developed over 10 years by Klara Marosszeky allows simple harvesting of hemp that makes use of the whole stalk to create a building material that has excellent rodents, fire and insulation properties. Although an option, no rendering or finishing is required (you can colour through the mix) and all local materials can be used in what is becoming the leader in the latest trend in environmentally friendly building techniques.

Klara is currently hoping for a project to see some genuine and direct outcomes for the Indigenous people of Australia in regards to Affordable ‘home grown’ housing. South Africa and Trinidad have also showed interest in this technology.

Klara Marosszeky and Paul Benhaim are about to launch their findings in a new book on Building with Hemp which includes a detailed construction manual. To support professional builders, self-builders, renovators and eco enthusiasts Klara and Paul will personally share this technique at workshops around the world in 2011. A one-off special preview workshop will be launched in Byron Bay, Australia on September 4th 2010. Source.

One response to “Affordable Housing Becomes Green with Hemp”

  1. We are a building envelope performance consultancy in Dublin, Ireland. We have seen interest in hemp lime building materials grow in Ireland as well over the last few years.

    As you mentioned, hemp lime has the advantage of providing thermal mass at the same time as high insulation values (a combination that is rare in building materials). To get a better understanding of the performance benefits of these combined properties, we are building a hemp test structure in Dublin with sensors to measure temperature, humidity, and heat flow though the envelope throughout the year. If you’re curious about the project, see our website.

    In the meantime, keep the focus on hemp and we’ll see what happens as this extremely sustainable material becomes more mainstream!

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