Builders Are Replacing Concrete With Hemp To Save The Environment

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It is difficult to imagine that cement could be replaced by any other material for major construction projects. However, the industry is beginning to look at alternatives for a variety of different environmental and economic reasons.

Builders Are Replacing Concrete With Hemp To Save The Environment

It is difficult to imagine that cement could be replaced by any other material for major construction projects. However, the industry is beginning to look at alternatives for a variety of different environmental and economic reasons.


As Bloomberg reports, cement manufacturers are responsible for roughly seven percent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, the massive demand for cement has created a global shortage of sand, that could have a catastrophic impact on both the environment and the economy.


Hemp-based concretes are surprisingly among the most promising and environmentally sustainable alternatives to conventional concrete. That's not only a theoretical idea or prediction, but something builders are already implementing in their architecture.


64-year-old Mac Radford, the owner of JustBioFiber Structural Solutions, one of the leading manufacturers of hemp-concrete, says that demand for the material has recently increased so much that he's having a hard time keeping up with that demand, and once his expansion is completed, he estimates the company will produce enough hemp brick to build roughly 2,000 houses annually.


As Radford told Bloomberg, his company is already making a profit, and with a new $28 million investment, they're hoping to continue their expansion even further.



Hempcrete was originally developed in France more than 30 years ago. But the use of hemp in construction materials dates back as far as ancient Rome when it used to be mixed into the mortar that was used to build bridges. It wasn't until recently that modern builders began taking this material seriously and started considering it for large scale projects.


Along with being better for the environment, hempcrete is more resistant to fire, regulates temperature better and offers better ventilation than conventional concrete as well.


As reported by Quentin Pichon, the founder of CAN-Ingenieurs Architectes, a company specialized in hempcrete, the material is now becoming increasingly common and was even used in the construction of a seven-story municipal building, though he didn't reveal the specific location.


As The Mind Unleashed reported, Dutch company Dun Agro put a hemp home on display in late 2018. Dun Agro hempcrete is made from water, glue, and hemp fibers. After it's pressed together in a mold to make prefab sections, the mixture dries for three months before the sections are assembled to create an entire home.


More sustainable alternatives in construction are definitely needed as they are in almost every industry. Beyond the concerns of greenhouse gas emissions, there isn't enough sand to sustain the increasing demand for conventional concrete. That poses another environmental crisis, as this type of sand needed for concrete is often harvested from riverbeds, that destroys ecosystems and threatens the biodiversity of plants, fish and animals.


It's not something people think about often, yet sand is the second most used natural resource on Earth, surpassed only by water. That high demand often creates an incentive for criminal cartels to fight over resource-rich territories in the developing world, disrupting the local ecosystem and terrorizing civilians that attempt to get in their way.


If the construction industry were to adopt a renewable alternative like hemp fully, it could radically improve some of those social, environmental and economic concerns.

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Thinking Humanity: Builders Are Replacing Concrete With Hemp To Save The Environment
Builders Are Replacing Concrete With Hemp To Save The Environment
It is difficult to imagine that cement could be replaced by any other material for major construction projects. However, the industry is beginning to look at alternatives for a variety of different environmental and economic reasons.
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