Use of Hemp in building houses
Hemp is a versatile crop that can be used for many purposes. From food to shelter and from cosmetics to textiles it is used for various purposes. It is an environment-friendly crop that also helps to promptly increase the level of oxygen in the environment.
Likewise, it is also used on a commercial level for making building materials. Hemp can be used in several ways to build homes. The most common uses of hemp in building are to create a material called hempcrete. It’s formation includes mixing the woody core of the hemp plant, called hurds, with a lime-based binder and water.
Hempcrete is popularly used as an alternative to traditional building materials like concrete and insulation. Hempcrete is an environment-friendly alternative to conventional construction material which provides comfort to both buildings and their occupants while retaining good economic value.
A unique building material – hempcrete, is a bio-composite mixture of hemp shive and lime binder. These ingredients are blended with water, and the binder coats all the hemp shives. A lightweight material, which weighs about one-eighth the weight of concrete. Hempcrete is used to construct walls, floors, and roofs; or moulded (monolithic), sprayed, or precast (e.g., hemp bricks or panels).
Hemp shives with porous structure, provides deforming capacity. It has the ability of sound absorption, and hygrothermal transferability. The building sector contributes up to 30 percent of global annual greenhouse gas emissions. It consumes up to 40 percent of all energy, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. Use of hem materials reduces both greenhouse gas contributions during construction and lowers energy consumption.
Raw Material used in Hempcrete Processing
Raw materials that are used in the processing of Hempcrete are:
Hemp Hurd: Hemp is Earth’s best biomass resource; it can produce up to 10 tons of biomass per acre in four months. Industrial hemp is grown, under suitable conditions. It can grow up to 4 m in height in 12 weeks. 60% of the hemp plants are Hurd/ shive. Which are extracted by machine.
Lime: Lime is Alkaline and has high Silica content, so it acts as an excellent binder with hemp shive. From ages, it has been using in construction. It prevents pests and moulds and is fire resistant.
Water: Water is needed in the final mix of hempcrete. We must use a proper quantity of water; less water will compromise the strength while the excessive use of water will increase hardening and drying time.
Hemp Hurd is crushed to predetermined sizes, Hemp to binder ratio plays a critical part as the balance must be maintained to give it proper density to get its best thermal properties and structural characteristics. Firstly, Hemp shive and lime are dry mixed and adequate water is added slowly while the mixture is ready to be moulded in a block of desired sizes.
Benefits of Using Hemp to Build Homes
Hempcrete is an eco-friendly material that has many benefits using it in building houses. It is a building material made from the woody core of the hemp plant, mixed with a lime-based binder and water. It offers several benefits for building homes, including:
- Sustainability: Hempcrete is a renewable and eco-friendly building material, as it is made from a renewable resource that grows quickly and requires minimal water and pesticides. It also has a negative carbon footprint, which means that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits.
- Insulation: Hempcrete is an excellent insulator, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs and improve energy efficiency in homes. It has a high thermal mass, which means it can absorb and release heat slowly, helping to regulate temperature and create a comfortable indoor environment.
- Durability: Hempcrete is a durable material that can last for centuries. It is also fire-resistant, pest-resistant, and mould-resistant, which makes it a safe and healthy option for homes.
- Non-toxic: Hempcrete is a non-toxic material that does not emit harmful chemicals or off-gas like some other building materials. It is hypoallergenic and can improve indoor air quality, which can benefit people with respiratory issues.
- Versatility: Hempcrete can be used for walls, floors, roofs, and insulation. It can also be cast into different shapes and sizes, making it a versatile building material for different types of homes and structures.
- Energy efficiency: Hempcrete is an excellent insulator, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs and improve energy efficiency in homes.
- Cost-effective: While the initial cost of using hempcrete may be slightly higher than traditional building materials, it can save money in the long run due to its durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements.
- Health benefits: Hemp is naturally hypoallergenic, which can benefit people with allergies or asthma. Hempcrete also regulates humidity levels, which can improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of respiratory issues.
- Vapor Permeable: Hempcrete is vapor permeable, which means that it allows moisture to pass through the material. This property helps regulate humidity levels and prevents mould and mildew growth.
- Lightweight: Hempcrete is lightweight, which makes it easier to handle and transport compared to traditional building materials like concrete.
- Excellent acoustic properties: Hempcrete has excellent acoustic properties, which can help reduce noise transmission and create a comfortable indoor environment.
- Termite and mould resistant: Hempcrete are resistant to termites and mould, which makes it a safe and healthy option for homes.
- Reduces microorganism growth: Hempcrete is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which reduces microorganism growth and improves indoor air quality.
- Fire-resistant: Hempcrete is fire-resistant, which means that it does not burn easily and can help improve the fire safety of a building.
- Carbon synthesizer: Hempcrete can absorb carbon dioxide from the air, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
- Aesthetically pleasing: Hempcrete can be used in combination with other materials to create unique and visually appealing designs.
- A noise reduction material: hempcrete is known for its excellent acoustic properties and can be used as a noise reduction material. Hempcrete’s porous structure helps absorb sound waves and reduce noise transmission, making it an effective soundproofing material. It can be particularly useful in buildings where noise reduction is a priority, such as music studios, schools, hospitals, and residential homes located in busy areas.
- Regulates temperature: Hempcrete’s thermal mass can help regulate temperature and create a comfortable indoor environment, making it an ideal material for creating sound-insulated and energy-efficient spaces. Overall, hempcrete’s ability to reduce noise pollution is one of the many benefits that make it an attractive alternative to traditional building materials.
Overall, using hempcrete in building homes offers several benefits, including sustainability, insulation, durability, non-toxicity, and versatility. It is a building material that can help create healthy, energy-efficient, and long-lasting homes.
How Hempcrete is beneficial for the environment?
Hempcrete is helpful for the environment in several ways. Firstly, hemp is a renewable resource that grows quickly and requires minimal water and pesticides, making it a sustainable alternative to other building materials that have a more significant environmental impact. Hemp also has a negative carbon footprint, meaning that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits, which can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
In the production of hempcrete, the hemp fibers are mixed with a lime-based binder and water to create a composite material. This mixture is then poured into moulds and allowed to dry, creating blocks that can be used for construction. Compared to traditional building materials like concrete, the production of hempcrete requires less energy and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, making it an eco-friendlier option.
Additionally, hempcrete’s insulation properties can help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool buildings, resulting in lower energy costs and fewer emissions from heating and cooling systems. Hempcrete is also vapor permeable, which means that it allows moisture to pass through the material, reducing the risk of mould and mildew growth and improving indoor air quality.
Furthermore, hempcrete is a durable and long-lasting material that does not require significant maintenance or replacement, reducing the amount of waste generated from construction and demolition activities. Overall, using hempcrete as a building material can help reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry and contribute to a more sustainable future.
In conclusion, using hemp to build homes has several benefits. Hemp can be used to create sustainable building materials like hempcrete, which has a negative carbon footprint and is lightweight, durable, and fire-resistant.
Hempcrete is also vapor permeable, termite and mould-resistant, and has excellent acoustic properties. Using hemp as a building material is a sustainable and eco-friendly option that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve indoor air quality, and create healthy living spaces. Additionally, hemp is a versatile plant that can be used in many different industries, from textiles and food to health and wellness products. As awareness about sustainability and environmental issues continues to grow, using hemp in construction is becoming increasingly popular as a viable solution for a more sustainable future.