Hemp Concrete Walls (R30 + Fireproof) – You Won't Believe How They Built This House!



Check this out, Hemp construction! Hemp has been used in various forms of construction dating back to the Romans, in bridges, sails, ropes, and now more recently in residential construction. Reintroduced first in Europe, Hemp construction takes form as a low weight, high insulating, vapor permeable wall component. Placed usually in one of three ways: cast in place, sprayed, or by block. Hempcrete utilizes the core of hemp plants in a woodchip like form as the aggregate, combined with natural binders, and water to achieve the finished product. We were fortunate to visit a site in central Texas where they are using a hempcrete in the wall assembly, to surround a roughly 400 year old Japanese timber frame structure. Huge thanks to Mattie Mead, who founded Hempitecture, an Idaho based company bringing hempcrete and hemp wool insulation to the American market, for taking time to show us this project. Hemp has gotten a bad wrap over the last century thanks to its medicinal cousin. But from the sound of it, we should be seeing more and more applications of hemp here in the states, as it is a bomber agricultural commodity with so many applications.

Project – Central Texas

Mattie Mead – Hempitecture

Chad Burnel – EIM inc. – Builder

Axel Vervoodt – Architect

Mell Lawrence – Local Architect

Seth Willison – Timber Frame Designer

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31 comments

  1. I really enjoy your segments on alternative building styles. This Hemp concrete walls, and Benson wood, completely different approaches. Cost per square foot of wall is an important piece of the story.

  2. Marijuana and hemp are 2 different plants. And those walls are 2×10 not 2×4. But I'm going to look in to this,Thank you!

  3. Have a look at Durisol blocks. They use reclaimed chipped timber and cement, what is interesting is that they first treat the chips with a process that mineralises them, to be fire, mould and vermin proof, and dimensionally stable. Same process could be applied to hemp?

  4. I would be amazed if they still have to use a separate timber frame once this product has been fully assessed

  5. I understand that you use hydraulic lime (not hydrated) which sets with water, more like Portland cement.

  6. This would well for insulating a metal quonset hut type building. Kinda defeats the cheap housing hope. Grow your own?

  7. I wonder if you could easily put standard siding over it so it can look like traditional construction.

  8. Matt, that was an excellent interview. I have built with hemp refurbishing cob building and insulation of old stone buildings in Ireland.

  9. I would love to see hempcrete ICFs. I have used wood and polystyrene based ICFs before. I have worked with hemp and MgO cement as an infill for timber framing. I have yet to see any of these products readily available. We got the hemp from Europe and Canada and the MgO cement from China.

  10. It's one thing to have money, it's another to tons of it and so much posh taste that it smells like a private forest of money growing on trees

  11. Aircrete is pretty cool too its easy to support and has higher compressive strength and insulative value. Plus its easy to cut and drill.

  12. Hemp construction…What an extremely elaborate way to disguise your marijuana grow and distribution operation.

  13. I love Matt Risinger! I love how he get’s really thorough. I love how he allows comments on his posts. Keep doing what you do Matt. Maestro.

  14. Are there any major US domestic sources of hempCrete? I am interested in building houses out of it. Wood is too valuable for the earth to tear down to frame a house. Thank you.

  15. The only difference between Hemp and Pot is the THC levels. Up until 1937, there was no marijuana. It was ALL HEMP/Cannabis. TCH Levels were non-sequiturs if Oot.

    It is Marijuana. It is ALL Marijuana. HEMP is just LOW THC .3-1% TCH POT.
    There is no GENETIC DIFFERENCE.

  16. I think using hempcrete bricks as the insulating form in ICF construction would be a way to make a really solid wall.

  17. Its not concrete, it's a insulator/filler. Ridiculous. Hemp construction filler would be more like it.

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