The United States is perfectly positioned for a hempcrete building boom. Interest in green building is growing as people seek out sustainable, low-cost alternatives to traditional buildings made from petrochemicals or dwindling natural resources like wood. At the same time, the stigma around hemp is disappearing as more learn about the plant’s benefits. Hempcrete has unique health benefits and, because it enables low cost, modular design, it could even be a part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.
Hemp-based building materials have captured the imagination of innovators and activists for their potential to reduce construction industry emissions and create the carbon-neutral economy that the EU is striving for.
But before hempcrete insulation can become more than a niche market, it needs to overcome the hurdles presented by the global dearth of processing facilities and missing hemp-building standards in the U.S.
There are thought to be an increasing number of small-scale fiber hemp processors in the U.S., now likely nearing triple digits, but exact numbers are hard to come by due to differing licensing requirements by state.
Tindakan Innovations and TransFARMation aim to change this barrier. Helping animal ranchers and traditional agriculture farmers into cultivating industrial hemp.
The U.S. Hemp Building Association said it is engaging with the ICC and ASTM to establish building standards for hempcrete to “solve the permitting and performance issues that have prevented hempcrete from gaining a larger presence in the US.”
The association plans to lead fundraising campaigns for the combined cost of ICC and ASTM certification, estimated at between $320,000 and $550,000.
Those certifications could help hemp gain a foothold in the conventional construction space, where builders and contractors often have a preferred approach to construction and may be unwilling to try a hemp-derived product.
To learn more about hempcrete and the many industrial uses contact us