By William Connelly
North Carolina is home to Hemp Technologies, a company responsible for building the first modern made hemp home in the United States. David Madera and Greg Flavall co-founded this company with the intention of building ecologically sustainable houses with non-toxic, healthy materials.
Hempcrete is their building material, a concrete-like mix of hemp and lime. Hempcrete offers a range of advantages over other materials, as Madera notes, “it’s a breathable material; its non-toxic; it can never have mold; it can never have mildew. It petrifies over time so the walls actually get harder and harder so instead of something falling down in 30 years it lasts for 600.” Madera goes further saying, “50 percent of our landfills are filled with construction materials. Whenever you use cement you have 10 to 15 percent extra that has to go to the landfill. Drywall is not nearly as anti-microbial and often gets mold behind it, which causes people to get sick. With industrial hemp, there is no waste. If there is a little bit left on the last day of the job you can throw it into your yard as fertilizer.”
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