By Christine Walsh
Using concrete as the primary construction material leaves a huge carbon footprint, which is why building green should focus on minimizing the use of it. Hempitecture is a firm, which is striving to create more awareness for one such green alternative, namely hempcrete, which is concrete made of hemp. However, since industrial hemp is still illegal in the US, hempcrete has to be imported, which raises the price of this building option.
Hempcrete uses the inner woody core of the hemp stalk to make a mineral matrix, which forms a non-toxic, carbon-negative, and energy-efficient building material. Hempcrete is easy to make, since it only requires the core fiber of the industrial hemp plant, a mixture of natural minerals, and water. The resultant hempcrete is completely non-toxic, carbon-negative, and energy-efficient, which makes it one of the most sustainable construction materials available today. The wall system made of hempcrete is also very breathable, has great natural insulating ability and is easy to work with.