There is a good article about the growing interest and popularity of using hempcrete in the United States. It addresses both the beneficial aspects of using hempcrete and the hurdles that still need to be jumped to actually use it. You can read the article at www.upi.com
5 thoughts on “Hempcrete in the United States”
A mix of ferrocement building with hemp isolation perhaps.instead of cement you could use lime. Does anybody know for sure that the ferrocememt wih lime will be strong enough to be loadbearing?
The problem with hempcrete is that it is still concrete. One would assume that hemp enthusiasts would be more discerning but it seems that hemp has simply become a marketing buzzword which greenwashes whatever it is connected to.
This is not true. There is no cement in hempcrete; the binder is lime which chemically bonds with the hemp and then reabsorbs all of the off-gassed CO2 emitted during its manufacture as it cures. This is a very green product with many very useful properties, especially as durable and load-bearing insulation.
If dealing only with these interior walls, sure there is non-load-bearing “hempcrete” which is insulating. This is really then only a replacement for strawbale and light straw clay. It is a bit misleading to show only exterior shots of buildings when hempcrete is only an interior construction material. Again, the “hemp” part is a marketing buzzword. Whoever came up with the term “hempcrete” is doing everyone a disservice. Just to repeat, hempcrete as described in the article is *not* loadbearing. There are other/better options for exterior walls, such as superadobe (earthbag), and until industrial hemp is grown everywhere, it will always incur carbon costs through shipping, unlike strawbale and light straw clay.
It is true that hempcrete can replace straw and light straw-clay to create an insulating wall. Like these materials, it does need a finish plaster for protection. It can be partially load-bearing, allowing less wood to be used within the wall structure. It is now legal to grow industrial hemp in the U.S., so this article is looking forward to the expansion of that industry, making it available more locally.