Hemp lime construction is recognised internationally as being a low impact, carbon-negative, sustainable form of construction that can be used in volume house building or even multi-storey office blocks, factories and warehouses.
It provides a genuine solution to demands for zero-carbon construction.
Hemp lime can capture carbon dioxide and lock it up into buildings. Canberra now has it’s first very own hemp home. Find out more by reading this blog: http://www.planitgreen.net.au/blog/canberras-first-hemp-house/
Watch this 7 mins video that explains hemp building:
Hemp Building Sessions
On Wednesday 25 November 2015, the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) Canberra Branch supported by SEE-Change Inner North, had a public meeting on Hemp lime construction.
This information evening was a wonderful way to learn all about this product.
On 28-29 November 2015, SEE-Change collaborated with the Australian Hemp Masonry Company to deliver a two day workshop in Canberra that provided hands-on learning about how to construct using hemp.
Both of these events were well attended.
The following information and links will give you an overview of the potential of hemp lime construction and regional hemp fibre production.
Australian Hemp Masonry Company (AHMC)
The AHMC website www.hempmasonry.com.au details the performance characteristics of hemp construction in summary.
It also gives an overview of hemp agriculture and research in both the hemp farming sector and building for the past 15 years, and on the Useful links page there are references to international research on soil remediation.
Business opportunities of hemp
There are a multitude of industrial applications for hemp fibre and a multitude of small business opportunities in value adding.
AHMC have a focus on sustainable regional development across Australia and are developing strong partnerships with sustainable farmers linking them with housing clients in their state.
From an environmental perspective, growing and harvesting a fast growing biomass that is known as a bioremediator and locking the carbon into durable infrastructure is a highly effective carbon management strategy.
AHMC have also had a long term interest and done some preliminary work in building capacity in Aboriginal communities, with the goal of enabling communities to be involved in creating their own hemp housing. This is an area of work they are keen to further.
Benefits of hemp construction
Hemp lime construction when it is based on regional production addresses multiple economic, environmental and social objectives:
- low embodied energy buildings that are airtight and energy efficient and lock up carbon
- suitable for volume housing or multi-storey construction, warehouses and factories as the walls are built around a frame, or can be prefabricated
- can be built onsite quickly and efficiently
- light to handle
- potential with thicker walls to avert major operational energy use e.g Adnam’s Brewery
- improved indoor air quality in homes and workplaces through breathable walls which manage humidity e.g. Science Museum
- farming of large areas of biomass (12 – 15 tonnes per ha) that sequester a very high volume of carbon in a short timeframe (4 – 5 months)
- industrial hemp fibre crops regenerate land. They can be farmed sustainably because the very high level of infield leaf drop from dense planting and the stubble enriches soil carbon at a rate of 1 tonne per ha
- hemp is considered to be highly beneficial in a crop rotation and can be grown without pesticides and herbicides