For her capstone project in her Sustainability Technologies class, Cape Fear Community College student Leigh Humphries was inspired by nature. Humphries chose an environmentally responsible building material to construct a doghouse — hemp. The recent graduate sought hempcrete to “promote sustainable building techniques and materials through outreach and public awareness.”
Hempcrete is created by mixing the hemp core or “shiv” from the hemp plant with a lime-based binder. This substance not only creates a negative carbon footprint — removing more carbon CO2 from the atmosphere than it generates — but it is also easier and more versatile to work with than standard concrete. Noted as a very durable, lightweight, breathable material, hempcrete lets water in without rotting, and is fire-, pest- and mold-resistant.