Industrial Hemp’s Potential as a building material is real,
But is it really ready to meet the moment with carbon negative solutions?
Hemp advocates across the supply chain, and environmentalists everywhere, cheered the recent approval of industrial hemp as an insulator in the U.S. Residential Building Code. Non-structural, this designation is just the first of many steps needed for the large-scale adoption of industrial hemp hurd and fiber in a long list of building materials.
Like so much in the unsettled hemp space, it is a land of opportunities or land mines, depending on more than many factors. But at the base of any industry is this question, are we moving in the right direction or on the wrong track? In response, we report with confidence that industrial hemp is most definitely making forward progress and momentum is most certainly building. Examples are everywhere. These hemp evangelists are spreading the good word and making hemp in our homes more accessible.
Based in Idaho, Hempitecture was recently awarded $500,000 in a pitch competition co-sponsored by Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for early stage companies in food and agriculture with a scalable business model. The company’s flagship product, HempWool® Thermal Insulation, is a biobased insulation product for walls, floors and ceilings. It is the only USDA Biobased Certified insulation. Manufactured with renewable, US grown hemp fiber, and innovative technology, HempWool® is a high performing, non-toxic, truly sustainable material.
Hempicture’s significant experience in hempcrete construction also remains relevant in building and cast-in-place projects using Limestrong Binder. Hempitecture is the first company in the US to have its hemp lime formulation tested to the rigors of ASTM E84. This fire resistance test proved conclusively that the material is fireproof. In fact, on a scale of 0-450, with 450 being extremely flammable, Hempitecture samples scored 0 for flame spread and smoke developed.
Lancaster Limeworks specializes in the restoration and reconstruction of historic homes and buildings along the east coast. Lancaster developed the H1 Hemp Binder and found new life in old techniques that incorporate the benefits of hemp plaster. Hempcrete construction contractor Texas Healthy Homes offers popular workshops and block making classes for the do-it-yourselfer or custom projects like the Hondo home in Hondo, TX.
Stuc-Go-Crete is close to our hearts in Kansas. These hemp producers, advocates and stucco experts are turning their attention to the next generation of earth-friendly building and living. Working with Dodge City officials to build a hempcrete structure in the city park, Stuc-Go-Crete knows the importance of getting familiar with the material and how it performs. The team recently assisted a class of masters level architects in training at Kansas State University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Design who spent the semester studying hemp in construction.
GaiaCrete® by Mr Hemp House™ is a nontoxic, 100% biobased, renewable, carbon negative Insulation, renovation and building product. GaiaCrete replaces unhealthy insulation, drywall or plaster with just one Product. Gaiacrete® can be cast into blocks (GaiaBloc®), bricks (GaiaBrick®), panels (GaiaPanel®), and cast in place wall, trim or casing systems for existing or new construction.
HempWood in Kentucky, coined this phrase, ‘Anything wood can do, hemp can do better.’ The company contracts directly with farmers to buy hemp fiber bales. HempWood beautifully crafts the stalk into wood flooring, tables, desks, cabinets, and smaller items like picture frames and custom signage–all from industrial hemp. HempWood does not emit VOCs, is 20% harder than hickory and is made in Kentucky with hemp grown on farms within a 100 mile radius.
Right now, Hempire is rehoming war-orphaned children in Ukraine with hempcrete housing. Textile and pulp solutions being developed by Ralph Brill and PureHempNY are inspiring too. Avocado Mattress is innovating with industrial hemp in luxury bedding and non-toxic fillers in organic mattresses. There is a long and growing list of everyday purchases where you can easily interject hemp with just a little bit of intention.
Are hemp products sometimes slightly more expensive, yes. That is the result of an infantile market that, at the current moment, is doing more r&d than production. To turn the corner, consumers must start supporting small. Boutique pricing applies for now while supply and demand are both in high flux. Adopt earth friendly, environmentally safe products in your home at every opportunity. Feel good about your decision to buy industrial hemp grain and fiber products.
Midwest Hemp Technology buys locally grown hemp crops from farmers in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma for use in manufacturing and food. Founded by Kansas farmers, hemp industry veterans and business development experts, Midwest Hemp Technology takes a collaborative approach to building the supply chain. Contracting with producers and end-use manufacturers, the company makes hemp industry connections that contribute in significant ways to the crop’s long term viability in the U.S.
You, yes you, can help grow this carbon-capturing crop! You can choose hemp in your food, homegoods, health and beauty products and plastics. If you are in manufacturing, an inventor, formulator or just love to innovate, connect with Midwest Hemp Technology for supplies of industrial hemp fiber, hurd and grain materials. If you’re a Kansas farmer interested in growing industrial hemp and selling your crop to MHT, we’d love to hear from you!