Cannabis Building Options: The Eco-Friendly Route
photo by BM2BL
The Effects Of Construction
With construction absorbing an estimated 40 % of the globe's total energy and capital, this sector needs to shift towards more sustainable resources to help in the adjust to a more ecofriendly future.
This means reducing harmful and unsustainable products produced from toxic mining or unethical harvesting of trees and turning to more sustainable resources.
Luckily hemp is an extremely diverse alternative and seems to be just the right switch for the task.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is an annual plant that can be renewed multiple times every year. It is an incredibly fast-growing crop, yielding four times as much biomass as a forest over a ten-year cycle.
Hemp keeps the soil in excellent condition for any succeeding crop, and can even assist with weeds and other be problematic occurrences. It is one of the most efficient plants known for its ability to utilize sunlight to photosynthesis and has been cultivated by many civilizations for over 12,000 years. Hemp is also one of the earliest know plants that mankind domesticated and can date back to archaeologically dates of the Neolithic Age in China.
Hempcrete is similar to concrete, but it is made of wet-mixing woody fibers from the plant core, known as hemp hurds, with a lime-based binder and water. This mixture may then be placed into moulds or added directly as a wet loose-filled substance that hardens until dry, serving many building and insulation purposes.
Stacked Hempcrete Blocks. Photo Credit: Hempitecture
Hempcrete can also come in modular blocks,
which are similar to concrete masonry units, for building structures.
It can also shape insulated walls, the only other element being the wooden structural frame. Also, hempcrete can be used in combination with other construction materials to shape both floors and roofs, creating an insulating sheet. Hempcrete. Photo Credit: ISOHemp
Benefits of Hempcrete
As a construction material, hempcrete has many benefits. Hempcrete lacks standard concrete brittleness, reducing the need for expansion joints usually needed for vibration absorption and temperature-induced expansion. Also, hempcrete is more light-weight compared to standard concrete. In comparison to wood, hempcrete is naturally fire-resistant and pest-resistant.
Photo Credit: American Hemp LLC
Hempcrete walls are very breathable and allow moisture to flow in, rendering the hempcrete highly resistant to mould. It also has low thermal conductivity and wind-resistant features, making it an excellent insulator. Buildings made of hempcrete are easy to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making them the right material for almost any atmosphere and leading to considerable energy savings. The material is also beneficial for buildings in earthquake-prone countries, as the low density of hempcrete makes it resistant to cracking during motion.
Another eco-friendly route is to avoid Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paint. VOCs are added by suppliers in part to delay drying periods, but mostly to prevent paint from freezing while shipping. This method can be conveniently halted with insulated trucks heated slightly above the freezing point.
Paint emissions may persist for more extended periods after application.
It is estimated that less than 50% of the VOCs in latex paint is released in the first year, and the contaminants in the paint will continue to be emitted years later. The use of natural paint is less harmful to those who produce it, for those who work with it, and for those who reside with it.
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