What is a HemPod?

September 21st, 2010 by Author4 Leave a reply »

The United States still bans hemp because of its relationship to marijuana, but for other countries they recognize its economic and environmental benefits.  Hemp can be found in paper, clothing, and increasingly in houses due to its soft hardy fiber.

Now in the United Kingdom, Bath University researchers have constructed a building they call the “HemPod”.  They are doing this to test the suitability and durability of hemp as a structure for building material.

The HemPod is a one story building with hemp-lime walls, which are made from the chopped core of the industrial hemp plant and a lime-base binder.  The binder protects and sticks to the hemp fibers, which makes the material resistant to fire.  Industrial hemp absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows and can be harvested sustainable.  It is also drought and pest resistant.  According to researchers hemp can be grown in about three months to build a typical three-bedroom home.  They say they would need about a soccer size field to do it.  After the hemp is used they say you can use the rest of the plant along with the seeds for oil and food.

These hemp houses are already being built and existing in other countries such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.  The HemPod is only being used for research and scientific testing.  For the next 18 months using temperature and humidity sensors within the walls the researchers will be testing the HemPod to determine how quickly heat and water vapor will pass through the material.

There is one home in America where hemp has been very successful.  In Ashville, North Carolina the home owned by Russ Martin and Karon Korp say the insulating power is phenomenal.  CNN interviewed the couple who own the fist home in the states and Martin, said that the cooling bill for their 3400 sq. ft. home is only around $100.  It’s a sleek and modern looking home said CNN.

A company called Push Design contrasted the house out of a mixture of hemp, lime and water called “hempcrete”.  No this house won’t get you high because industrial hemp doesn’t contain any cannabis what so ever.  You can buy hempcrete in the U.S. but it has to be imported from another country where hemp is grown legally.

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