There are surprisingly many uses for hemp concrete (or hempcrete) that can make construction a lot more eco-friendly.
While the hemp industry for health supplements and textiles has been booming, some environmental researchers have found very unexpected new uses for hemp.
Hemp concrete (or hempcrete as it is becoming known) is a mix of woody hemp fibers mixed with binders to form a solid panel or block.
It sounds like a crazy idea that would never work, but there are surprisingly many uses for it to make construction a lot more eco-friendly.
The first advantage of hempcrete is that it can be a carbon-negative material compared to the huge amount of CO2 that concrete releases.
But a more exciting prospect is the positive impact on total waste.
Ensia has a report that puts concrete waste into a bit more perspective.
“Hempcrete can also cut down on another big problem: construction waste. Concrete represents more than half of the debris generated by building construction and demolition. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 23 million tons (more than 20 million metric tons) of concrete debris was created during construction in 2015.”
Many smaller construction projects for carbon-neutral and negative buildings have jumped on this idea, and it would be great to see further development to large scale production.