Hemp Could Be Key To Zero-Carbon Houses

A house made of hemp on on Saltspring Island in British Columbia.A house made of hemp on on Saltspring Island in British Columbia.Hemp, a plant from the cannabis family, could be used to build carbon-neutral homes of the future to help combat climate change and boost the rural economy, say researchers at the University of Bath.

A consortium, led by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials based at the University, has embarked on a unique housing project to develop the use of hemp-lime construction materials in the UK.

Hemp-lime is a lightweight composite building material made of fibres from the fast growing plant, bound together using a lime-based adhesive. The hemp plant stores carbon during its growth and this, combined with the low carbon footprint of lime and its very efficient insulating properties, gives the material a ‘better than zero carbon’ footprint.

Professor Pete Walker, Director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, explained: “We will be looking at the feasibility of using hemp-lime in place of traditional materials, so that they can be used widely in the building industry.

“We will be measuring the properties of lime-hemp materials, such as their strength and durability, as well as the energy efficiency of buildings made of these materials.

“Using renewable crops to make building materials makes real sense – it only takes an area the size of a rugby pitch four months to grow enough hemp to build a typical three bedroom house.

“Growing crops such as hemp can also provide economic and social benefits to rural economies through new agricultural markets for farmers and associated industries.”

The three year project, worth almost £750,000, will collect vital scientific and engineering data about this new material so that it can be more widely used in the UK for building homes.

The project brings together a team of nine partners, comprising BRE Ltd, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio architects, Hanson Cement, Hemcore, Lhoist UK, Lime Technology, National Non-Food Crops Centre, University of Bath and Wates Living Space. As part of the project the University of Bath received a research grant of £391,000 from the Renewable Materials LINK programme run by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

– Article from ScienceDaily on April 13, 2009.


1 Comment

  1. Sir Les on

    Glad to see people thiniking green!
    it is a fact that hemp and marijuana can fuel a sound economy that is eco friendly!

    The complete benefits are coming to the forefront of our lives and minds in a full circle!

    From climatization of the Earth, oxygen production and C02 consumption, and the filtration of water and transpiration form soil to air, Just in growing the plant alone, to food production, textiles,Fuels, Medicine, compost, and mycellium for healthy soils…these plants have Just about ever market cornered, and who knows what other deeper benefits it may contain in historic value, and as plants change over time and mutate or evolve into new plants..what the future holds for this plant and all life that eat of it…or in some way offers the elements to other plants to cause change when change is needed in the eco systems.

    Why a Prohibition to Grow a plant Law is wrong, is because it cuts into the ideal of evolution and religion!

    If one thing is removed from the chain of life God made, and Gave to humankind to “tend” and “keep”…”restore”..so that those gifts continue on in time, and are well cared for…the idea of eternal Life might Just rest in that domain/direction/action!

    All plants God gave are Good…when used in the right light!

    Hydroponics could help mass produce the production, and help “fuel” the Human condition to new economic and benefical estates of bliss…(space ventures to seed new worlds)

    The US Governing Bodies are using strong arm tactics to impose their bent will on the world..and to uphold this law which to my mind contradicts My Bible and the supposed word of God.

    Eden and Edens are what Humankind need to focus on!
    And all plants are welcome in that established Truth!
    To remove one..causes a change to occur in that “chain of life” which it may support, or it will support, or will cause change to come about in future….so to remove a living thing that supports other life,,causes chaos in the food chain, in the fractal of life…and those living things that rely on these plants…change!…pestulences arise!…cause and effect!…and the human solution to this problem is Poison the pestilence we are creating by removing thier food supply…….Smart people eh?

    So the law prohibiting the cultivation of any plant…is In my mind Unlawful to nature!..if God is the giver of Everything as atated in Genesis 9:3!

    A way to peace?
    Free trade?
    In GOD we trust?

    Just some of the word humans like to express as having truth…but in truth they are in most instances Lies when coming from nations that prohibite certain plant growth!

    So with Marijuana and Hemp…there is truth to the story of Eden or atleast a possiblity of it…and if Humakind would just look deeper into the benefits and employ /setup industrial directions in the propogation of all plants…and the free trade that stems from a healthy world….this world would be at peace!

    It is because of the bent human law, and unfree trade…that WARFARE is now running rampid in the world…while Holding a bent law over it, and trying to stamp out a plant God made, and judged as being Good (genesis 1:12,1:29,9:3)….and putting it in his garden called Eden….Would they put God into prison for making and growing Marijuana or hemp?..so why do they do it to his children?

    Now if the USA /commonwealth is thinking in terms of God, saying do not touch this plant….then we have to understand that God wants this plant in his Garden (thus it is there as a gift onto all Humakind by word of God ) and if we do not touch…it doesn’t mean to wipe it out!…as it is the prohibition contradicts God…and removes the plant from the garden!…told not to touch?…God Gave it all..Genesis 9:3!..and so in all it has to be restored..sinlessly preferably if possible.

    So the law prohibiting the cultivation of Hemp and Other plants is the worst law humankind have imposed on the world!

    Think Green!
    Think Eden!
    Think climatizing the earth naturally = less fuel and power needs! = less cost to live!= less stress = less doctors!

    That about summes it up…a cleaner, greener, healthier way of life!..that cost less to live!
    No doctors required?

    Linda a no brainer to me…more along the lines of commonsense…but it would seem that isn’t one of humankinds strong points…if the word of God has been with us since the begining….and only now is it coming to be understud….a bit too late?

    Sir Les