The condition of indoor air quality is something that everyone should become aware of sooner rather than later. According to the EPA, “Americans spend almost 90% of their lifetime indoors” and this is concerning because environmental pollutants appear in concentrations 2 to 5 times higher when you’re indoors versus outdoors. According to the Case Study of Contruction Pollution Impact on the Environment “the construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of the climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution, and 50% of landfill wastes around the world.” These materials make up your home.
Enter the multifaceted cousin of cannabis, the industrial hemp plant which is one of the only plants that can provide carbon negative, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly building materials to the people all around the world.
Living in a hemp house is the equivalent of eating organic food from your local super market. A hemp plants grow cycle is complete in 3 to 4 months and within that period massive amounts of carbon dioxide is being sequestered from the environment. Hemp isn’t heavily reliant on herbicides, pesticides, or any types of special fertilizers to grow, and it requires less than 10% of the water required by traditional crops like cotton, corn or wheat.
Hemp houses are resistant to mold, pests, humidity, rot, fire, and due to its superiorly thermal properties it will reduce heating and cooling costs by more than 50%. Cultivating, processing and constructing on site could potentially reduce building materials costs by 50% or more and result in a carbon negative footprint.
The positive benefits of owning a hemp house are substantial for both the environment and your family. Hemp can be cultivated and processed on site to produce 80% of the building materials required to build a house or commercial structure. The woody core of the hemp stalk, called hurd, is mixed with water and a lime binder to create “hempcrete.” The building materials created out of industrial hemp contains amazing properties that will change the construction industry forever.
What is preventing the construction of hemp homes from becoming mainstream?
The main problem is a lack of education and investment capital. A significant amount of the general public still doesn’t understand the difference between cannabis and hemp. The main factor is that many people don’t know that the industrial hemp plant cannot get you high. It contains less than 0.03% THC, the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, and it can be processed into finished goods that will be used for food, fuel, medicine, and sustainable homes.
Visit the International Hemp Building Association for additional information on industrial hemp construction companies.