Green Building With Hemp
Hemp is being incorporated into the process of building in order to provide a non-toxic alternative other building materials while also producing a greener home.
The hemp industry is budding in Central Oregon. By “hemp,” I’m referring to the “sober cousin” of Cannabis sativa—industrial hemp, not marijuana. Drive around the tri-county area and you’ll see fields full of lush, dark green industrial hemp plants. Grown for cannabinoids, such as CBD oil, these plants represent the present status of hemp production in the area.
History holds another view of hemp grown in America. Bearing the moniker, the “Plant of 25,000 uses,” it begs the question, “When history and the present connect, what’s the future for hemp?” One answer: hempitecture.
Hempitecture is just that: hemp-infused architecture. One of the byproducts of industrial hemp is the processing of the inner woody core into smaller bits known as either “hemp hurd” or “shives.” The decortication process, which removes the fibers from the woody core, is either a labor-intensive process or done with expensive machinery. The processing can impact the efficacy of the hurd, so this is an important step. The broken-down hurd can then be made into a variety of products, from paper to animal bedding to construction material such as hempcrete.