Some say money makes the world go round, but it is also contributing to the deterioration of our planet. While developing cities are great for the economy, building materials account for 39% of CO2 emissions. Cutting back construction isn’t an option for our growing population, but finding a sustainable replacement for toxic building materials is. Hemp can be used as a replacement for concrete and insulation without the damaging effects on the environment and our health.
Here are 5 ways hemp building materials are better than conventional materials:
Renewable and Recyclable
Continuous development of commercial and residential buildings is compromising the health of our planet. We are exploiting our nonrenewable resources and soon, there won’t be any left. Unlike traditional building material like wood, hemp materials are renewable and recyclable. Hemp naturally enriches the soil that it is grown in and it’s deep roots prevent soil erosion so that the land can be cultivated over and over again. Hemp can also be recycled endlessly, meaning these materials are waste-free!
Hemp insulation can do things most generic insulators cannot. For example, hemp insulation absorbs moisture then gradually releases the condensation into the atmosphere without deteriorating. This improves air quality within the building and prevents the build-up of mold. Hemp insulation also retains heat and regulates temperature, which means less energy is needed in order to reach optimum indoor temperature. That’s good news for the environment and your pocket!
Most people view their home or office as a safe place, but that isn’t always true. Conventional building materials are made using harsh chemicals that can seep into the inside air. Growing hemp takes fewer pesticides than other fiber crops, so it is a safer alternative for the environment and our health. Hemp doesn’t release toxins into the indoor environment and the other ingredient in hempcrete, lime, is antifungal and works to keep the air clean as well, making the perfect concoction for buildings.
Negative CO2 Admission
Traditional building materials rely on fossil fuels during production that releases CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. As the admission rate rises it's crucial to look for environmentally friendly alternatives and hempcrete can be just that. Hemp plants actually capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen in the air, this outweighs the amount of CO2 emitted during the production of hempcrete, making this a carbon-negative production. Our planet will only reap the benefits of hempcrete when it is locally grown and produced. Since hemp is still illegal to grow in most US states changes is legislation will have to occur before completely converting to hemp.
All of these benefits and hemp still is just as, maybe even more, durable than any other traditional building material. Fire, pest and moisture resistant hemp homes can stand the test of time, saving energy and money!