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Hempcrete is a biocomposite made of the

inner woody core of the


hemp plant mixed with a
lime-based binder. The
hemp core or Shiv has a
high silica content which
allows it to bind well with
lime. This property is
unique to hemp among all
natural fibers. The result is
a
lightweight cementitious
insulating material
weighing about a seventh
or
an eighth of the weight of
concrete. Fully cured
hempcrete blocks float in a
bucket of water. It is not
used as a structural
element, only as insulating
infill between the frame
members though it does
tend to reduce racking. All loads are carried by internal framing. Wood stud framing
is most common making it suitable for low-rise construction. Hempcrete buildings
ten stories high have been built in Europe.

Hemp can be made into any building material, including fiberboard, roofing,
flooring, wallboard, caulking, cement, paint, paneling, particleboard, plaster,
plywood, reinforced concrete, insulation, insulation panels, spray-on insulation,
concrete pipes, bricks, and biodegradable plastic composites which are tougher
than steel.

Foundations can be made out of hemp hurds, a processed based on ancient


technology adapted for modern use. To do this, set up a plywood frame (preferably
hemp plywood), then fill with a mixture of hemp hurd (wood chip-like substance)
and combine with lime, sand, plaster, some cement, and enough water to dampen,
and let the mixture set for a day. Then take the frame down, but let the mixture
continue to harden for about a week. The lime and the hurds create a chemical
reaction which binds the mixture together. Amazingly these structures continue to
get harder and stronger everyday until they fossilize, as is testament by a 6th
century hemp-reinforced bridge in France. After this happens, the hemp foundation
walls are as strong as stone.

Hemp foundation walls are 7 times stronger than concrete foundations, half as light,
and three times as elastic, which means that these building will bend, but not break.
Because of their superior strength and flexibility, hemp foundations are resistant to
stress-induced cracking and breaking. Even earthquakes and other natural disaster
cannot break or crack these structures.

Hemp foundation homes and buildings are self-insulated, including thermal and
sound insulation, resistant to rotting, rodents, insects, and they are fire proof,
waterproof, weather resistant, and the walls breath so the rooms do not get stuffy.
Hemp homes stay warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.

If hemp were legal in the United States, it would be the cheapest source of raw
material for concrete-like foundations. Plus hemp hurds can be processed in existing
wood mills without major changes to the equipment. Hemp-foundation homes are
ecologically appropriate because they are inexpensive, and can be prepared on site
using only a cement mixer, and the material would be cheap and abundant.

Foundation floors can be made in much the same way as the foundation. Hemp
resists seepage, and so hemp cement is applicable for pouring onto a soil base to
make a foundation floor. The floor insulation hardens into a solid mass which will not
shift under pressure.

A German company produces a product called Mehabit, a hemp hurd substance


covered with coal-based bitumen, which is sticky, and when leveled out on a hemp
cement floor, will dry to form a thermally and phonetically insulated floor.

Washington State University has produced hemp fiberboard is lighter, twice as


strong, and three times as elastic as wood fiberboard, plus it has sound proofing and
pressure isolative characteristics absent from wood fiberboard. These composites
are also resistant to pests, moisture, and funguses.

The process involves chipping the hemp stalk, bonding it together with resins and
glues, and clamping it down into molds under high pressure until it hardens.

Concrete pipes can be made out of hemp fiber which cost 1/3 that of polypropylene.
These pipes have greater flexibility, greater elasticity, and are resistant to cracking.

Stones can also be made out of hemp by wetting the stalks cellulose, and forming it
into a hard black rock, which can be cut, drilled, cast, carved, or formed into any
shape.

Hemp building material could allow us to replace the need for wood, bricks, and
fiberglass insulation.

Germany and France are using hemp for construction material, replacing drywall
and plywood. A French company has built over 250 homes using hemp materials.
Hemp homes have also been built on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Using hemp is economically smart and ecologically appropriate, plus the homes
built with hemp are as hard as stone and are not subject to natural disaster. Wow,
sounds kind of like a miracle, doesnt it? What are we waiting for?*