Is Hempcrete Really Better Than Concrete
Well, it depends on how you define “better than concrete.” If you mean a building material that is fire and pest resistant, nearly as durable as concrete and only marginally more expensive plus incredibly beneficial to the environment, then yes.
To start, let’s take a look at the differences between concrete and hempcrete. Regular concrete is the familiar building material we see everyday. It is a combination of sand, aggregate or gravel and Portland cement. It hardens into the structures we use every day, through a water-reaction process called hydration.
Hempcrete, on the other hand, is made from a combination of the hemp hurd–or the plant’s fibrous inner core–plus lime and water. This is called a composite. That means it is a mixture of a bio-fibre (the hurd) and a mineral binder (the lime). When water is introduced, the mixture binds together into the solid and durable substance we know as hempcrete.
Why Is Hempcrete Good for the Environment?
Concrete production is estimated to account for up to 8% of global carbon emissions. That is nearly a tenth of all the polluting carbon produced in the world. Hemp production, however, has the opposite environmental effect. Hempcrete is a carbon sink, or a material that removes carbon from the atmosphere.
And that is just the final product. Hemp under cultivation provides huge benefits with regards to carbon reduction. Every 1 ton of hemp produced removes 1.63 tons of carbon from the air. Moreover, hemp reduces deforestation. Trees are cut to produce wood, which is used to build structures. With the introduction of hempcrete into an industry, the wood consumption is effectively curtailed.
Additionally, hempcrete reduces the overall carbon footprint of home-construction. For instance, take the following example: in Canada approximately 200,000 new homes are built each year, with an average of 2,000 square feet. If each of these homes were insulated with fiberglass, 207, 345 tons of carbon would be emitted into the air. If these homes were insulated with hempcrete, however, approximately 990, 718 tons of carbon would be removed, or sequestered, from the atmosphere.
Why Is Hempcrete Good for Construction?
Hempcrete is a new material in one of the oldest industries. That being said, hemp is one of the oldest materials known to man. Think of hempcrete as a new take on some of the oldest materials and processes known to man.
The environmental benefits of hemp are certainly a positive. But when it comes to construction, the practical realities of structural integrity, durability and effectiveness are the primary considerations. Fortunately, hempcrete equals or surpasses concrete in most of these areas.
For instance, hempcrete is an incredibly affordable and effective source of insulation. It is cheaper and as effective as other leading insulation materials such as polystyrene foam, densely packed cellulose or various types of batt.
Moreover, for being plant-based construction material, hempcrete is remarkably moisture-resistant. Hemp naturally absorbs water from the air. Not only is hemp naturally resistant to microbes and fungus, but the lime bonder in hempcrete ensures that all microbes are removed from the moisture absorbed into the hempcrete. This means that, in wet climates where other building or insulation materials would begin to develop mold, hempcrete will not.
Crucially, hempcrete is a sturdy building material as well. According to Queen’s University in Canada, a 2 x 6 wooden stud with 313 kgs/meter of hempcrete infill can support three to four times the compressive load of the stud without the supporting hempcrete. This translates to sturdier walls and ceilings.
Additionally, in many cases, the hemp hurd is not the primary reason for hemp to be harvested. Other parts of the plant may be refined into CBD concentrates, biofuels or other products. This process covers the production costs of the hemp hurd, which is considered a byproduct in other industrial hemp applications. This means that hempcrete allows the industry to turn their byproducts into an extremely lucrative building material.
One World Pharma Inc and Hempcrete
One World Pharma Inc (OTCWB: OWPC) is already one of the Colombian hemp market’s leading players. With the introduction of new strains and cultivars of hemp designed for the climate, One World Pharmais already taking advantage of the incredible opportunities afforded by Colombian hemp cultivation. Moreover, OWP Colombia will supply the hempcrete industry with vast amounts of the raw material needed for production. Check out our website, OneWorldPharma.com, and learn how to invest in Colombian hemp today.