By Mayukh Saha
Cannabis, among numerous other uses known to us all, has extremely tough fibers which this company molds into the material hempcrete. They make it by pressing the fibers, water, and glue and letting the mix dry for three months.
Then this material is used to create parts of a house that can be assembled like furniture from IKEA. The resultant houses take only a part of the time houses of that size generally take to be made and they are more durable and earthquake-resistant.
The Netherlands has always had a liberal attitude towards things like hemp and cannabis and also hash, as we all remember from the film Pulp Fiction. Anyway, currently, 1100 hectares of land are under hemp cultivation, thanks to its status as a very profitable crop.
As a matter of fact, Colorado State collected some $247m of taxes resulting directly from hemp and weed production.
The company, Dun Agro, advertises this housing method as a more environmentally friendly option. They cite the carbon cycle as their USP.
Briefly: carbon exists in “harmless and useful” states and “harmful and useless” states. Plants do the job of fixing unusable and harmful CO2 from the air into their bodies as glucose and cellulose, both useful and harmless forms. Animals do it too, in the form of the calcium carbonate in their bones.
Hemp is probably one of the best at carbon-fixing, taking in 13.5k kilograms of carbon in itself as it is used for some purpose like making textiles. The same goes for hempcrete production.
And we know what you are thinking: no you cannot just break off pieces of the house and smoke it off to get high. The hempcrete does not have THC, the active ingredient in doobies, so no, you cannot smoke it.
Given the current output of hemp in the Netherlands and the demand for the houses, Dun Agro stated that it is possible to make and sell upto 500 of these houses every year. The number, of course, can be scaled up or down according to fluctuations in the two factors.
It was only on 30th November 2018 that Dun Agro unveiled its first “prefabricated” house and they soon followed it up with another one.
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And like a good, eco-friendly alternative company, it cites the negative carbon footprint of hempcrete as the primary advantage of the house.
It is noteworthy that many countries face housing crises, including the UK, and still more in the third world face crises of resource deficits and financial issues when it comes to housing.
Can hemp houses, which take less time, are more durable and are also eco-friendly, be the solution?
Credits: 123Rf Dun Agro