Hemp and Construction: How Do They Connect to Building Stuff?

hemp leaves

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Hemp is often considered to be the mana of hippies. It’s used in a variety of ways, but it’s also tied to the marijuana plant. In the eyes of many, it can be hard to differentiate the two, but that’s beside the point. This all-natural product has been in the public eye since at least the 1970s, and it has plenty of uses. 

So many in fact that it can be hard to keep up with the different ways it can be utilized in your everyday life. Also, it’s no longer only for Birkenstock wearing, crunchy granola types. For example, did you know that hemp could be used in construction? 

For those who aren’t in the know, this may seem absolutely bizarre. However, we are here to tell you that it is one of the most reliable construction materials available anywhere. Still confused? Read on for more information. 

Types of Buildings

As you may have guessed, hemp can be used to build pretty specific buildings. Even though it is handy, it’s not something that can be used for any old construction job. For one, hemp can be used to build storage for carbon so that renewable biomass for the life of the building material can remain. This may be welcome news to those particularly worried about climate change. 

Furthermore, when hemp is used in construction, it creates a building through which vapors can permeate with ease, thus ensuring healthy indoor air quality. Air purifiers need not apply in this scenario. This is a pretty good segue into our next point.

Benefits of Using Hemp

There are many benefits to using hemp as a reliable construction material. For one, the substance can help provide excellent thermal insulation when combined with other forms of thermal mass.

hemp leaves

In addition, construction workers like it for its capacity to avoid thermal bridging, a common complaint, since it provides an airtight infrastructure with extraordinarily simple detailing. According to the people behind Royal CBD, hemp is also incredibly simple to construct with, and while it requires care, the skills to do so are fairly easy to master. 

Another clear benefit of using hemp is that it helps to reduce the load on foundational material since it is lightweight. So, it can be used in conjunction with other construction materials to help create solid yet lightweight foundations for any structure.

Also, it is incredibly eco-friendly. It allows construction workers to have zero waste since the previously mixed material is easily reintroduced in controlled portions to new mixes, ensuring that you don’t add to the buildup of toxic waste out in the environment. 

Having a Hemp Home

If you are attempting to build a hemp home from scratch, whether on your own or by employing a construction team, there are a few things you need to know. For one, in order to achieve the best durability once the substance has dried, the exterior hemp walls should be finished with a substance called hemp lime, which renders a natural yet breathable finish. Besides this intervention, it does not need special protection from the elements. 

person holding hemp leaves

Being the owner of a hemp home comes with a few benefits. For one, it offers high thermal insulation while ensuring that you will be saving up to eighty percent on your energy bill a year. Also – perhaps surprisingly – it is fireproof, adding a much-needed element of safety to the home. 

While it provides breathable walls and tremendous flexibility when it comes to design, it remains resistant to common termites and it is impossible for mold to take route since the substance naturally prevents it from growing in the house.

Environmentally Friendly

Hemp is typically associated with some form of healthy living, and in this case, this is pretty much true. Hemp is conducive to a healthy living environment in more ways than one. It is airtight, so it won’t contribute to unnecessary noise pollution given that the acoustic performance within these structures is pretty solid. 

Also, it lowers carbon emissions and significantly lowers the impact of negative carbon footprints, which is necessary when thinking of how to help on the issue of climate change. Furthermore, since it is a no-waste product, it won’t contribute to landfills at all – zero. 

The infiltration of poisonous air within the sphere of a space constructed by hemp is significantly low, as is the idea of dry rot. It is like having a very helpful and healthy air purifying system without the additional work of purchasing one or investing in HEPA-grade filters.

The Building Industry

Hemp is not widely used in many countries as a construction material despite the clear benefits because it and its ”cousin”, the marijuana plant, has yet to be fully legalized. However, the building industry is currently making significant strides in normalizing the use of this important material, and people in power are listening. 

Hemp can be grown quickly, and for this reason, structural blocks and panels made from hemp are an excellent alternative to traditional cement blocks and timber framing. The use of hemp instead of these materials can mean that a lot of pressure will be taken off forests worldwide, allowing for more than fifteen billion trees to be saved from being cut down. That is a staggering number. Less deforestation will lead to more natural carbon capture, which can lessen the effect of global warming considerably. 

The cement industry contributes to much of the world’s carbon emissions, and so it makes sense to lessen the burden on that material, and to reach for something that is not only better for the environment, but can be grown and cultivated quickly, provided it is given the right circumstances to thrive. It remains to be seen the extent to which this development can be sped up in the current climate, but things are looking up for the modest hemp plant.

hemp plant

Hemp has many potential uses in the construction industry, and countless benefits for the environment as well. Not to mention, the well-being of people who are able to use it in their homes. Anyone looking to live more sustainably should look into the use of hemp concrete or hemp ISO to help make their surroundings better and safer.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson