It is absolutely amazing the diversity of materials we are using these days as building materials for our homes and business. As we move further into a world looking for sustainability and ways not to damage the environment around us the ideas are coming hot and heavy about even newer materials. Considering that in the US buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions the demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint building the demand for building materials to meet these needs will only increase.
One new (to the United States) material that is getting a lot of attention is from a UK-based business, Lhoist Group, and their Tradical® Hemcrete® concrete substitute. This a product made from mixing hemp, lime and water and is 7x as strong as normal concrete as well as being carbon negative.
Good looking, environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable, Hemcrete® is as versatile as it is sustainable. It can be used in a mind-boggling array of applications from roof insulation to wall construction to flooring. It is seven times stronger than concrete, weighs half as much, and is less prone to cracking. Hemcrete® is also waterproof, fireproof, insulates well, does not rot and is completely recyclable. In fact, the manufacturers say that demolished Hemcrete® walls can actually be used as fertilizer!
Source: Inhabitat :: Carbon Negative Hemp Walls are 7x Stronger than Concrete
The problem is that the species of hemp used in making Hemcrete is illegal to grow in the US which means the product has to be imported making an expensive alternative for now.
image courtesy of Inhabitat