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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  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. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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