By Sherry Martell
Dominic Watson Wall, project manager at Dorje Denma Ling in The Falls, holds hempcrete, the main building material being used to construct a staff residence at Dorje Denma ling, near Tatamagouche.
A popular European construction technique is taking root here with the first hempcrete building currently underway in the Atlantic region.
Dorje Denma Ling, a Shambhala program and group retreat centre in The Falls, is spearheading the project with a long-term goal to work with local farmers to grow the hemp industry.
“We are very excited about it, so we can put that first dot on the land,” said Lennart Krogoll, centre executive director. “It’s something tangible that people can come and touch it and see it.”
Hemp-lime masonry, or hempcrete, is a cutting-edge natural building material. It is a mixture of chipped industrial hemp stalks, that look and feel like coarse wood sawdust, mixed with lime and water.
There are about 40 hemp-constructed buildings in Canada but it has been a widely used construction material in Europe for many years.