British Architects Build Sustainable Home Using Hemp

Hemp is slowly but surely carving a spot for itself as one of the most versatile raw materials we’ve seen in recent times. The plant has had a complicated history due to its close resemblance to marijuana, but attitudes are slowly changing. Although the two cannabis varieties look identical, the major difference between the two cannabis cousins is in their THC levels.

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical produced by cannabis, and it is responsible for the psychoactive high marijuana is famous for. Hemp produces reduced amounts of this chemical.

Extremely versatile in application, hemp has been said to have thousands of uses, ranging from bioplastics, and textiles to paper, food and construction.

The construction material made from hemp fiber is called hempcrete, and apart from being eco-friendly, it shaves off a lot of the time used for construction, reducing labor expenses. It is made by mixing chopped up hemp stems, lime, and sand and left to cure.

Practice Architecture, a London-based company has shown just how much you could do with these simple ingredients. Working closely with clients from Margent Farm in Cambridgeshire, England, architects built a sustainable three-bedroom house dubbed Flat House. The house boasts a flat-pack design using materials grown exclusively on the Farm.

“Flat House was inspired by the provocation to build a flat-pack home with materials grown on the land around the building. It is a groundbreaking, radically low embodied carbon house,” says Practice Architecture.

Architects collaborated with engineers and material specialists to create a prefabricated panel filled with hemp. The house was built using a timber frame and cassette panels with hemp and lime insulation. It is further clad in hemp fiber and sugar resin corrugated sheeting, and both the hemp-filled cassette panels and cladding were prefabricated off-site. Due to this, the main part of the house was assembled in just two days.

“Hemp has the potential to play a significant role in a move away from high carbon materials, as the plant sequesters carbon as it grows, making it a carbon-negative material. We are still awaiting our final carbon calculations to demonstrate it is zero carbon. The house is remarkable for its radically low embodied carbon, which has been achieved through the use of predominantly natural and site grown materials.”

Although the firm hasn’t disclosed how much it cost to build the house, the project led to the establishment of Material Companies, a sister company to Practice Architecture, which will be charged with delivering hundreds of sustainable hemp homes across the United Kingdom.

Analysts see this house as further proof of what hemp industry players, such as HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) (OTCQB: HTPRF), have always said that this plant can revolutionize different aspects of life.

About HempWire

HempWire (HW) is a dedicated information provider focused on (1) aggregating hemp-related news, (2) issuing HempNewsBreaks designed to update investors on the latest developments in the hemp market, (3) enhancing corporate news releases, (4) providing full-service distribution and social media offerings to public and private client-partners and (5) designing and implementing all-inclusive corporate communication solutions. HW is strategically positioned within the rapidly expanding hemp sector with a team of journalists working to help a growing roster of public and private companies reach a wide audience of investors, consumers and members of the media. We leverage a vast network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets to deliver unparalleled visibility, recognition and content to the hemp industry. HempWire (HW) is where HEMP news, content and information converge.

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