The first prefab hemp house in the Netherlands! A solution to the housing crisis?

A Dutch company, Dun Agro, has built a prefab for a house* made entirely from cannabis. The hemp house is located a couple of hundred kilometres away from Amsterdam and is said to be more sturdy and affordable than traditional houses as well as earthquake-resistant.

How is this cannabis concrete made?

The process begins by making “hempcrete”. Hemp is a tough strain of cannabis that is already used to make a variety of commodities such as clothes, food and bio-fuel. Unlike marijuana, hemp does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive substance that gives you the high (so no you cannot have a mass weed supply by purchasing one of these houses).

Dunagro’s hempcrete is made by melting hemp, water and glue and then pouring the mixture into a mould to create the foundations of the house. It takes around three months to dry.

The solution to the Dutch housing crisis?

These abodes can be built in a much shorter time than traditional homes because the material is built beforehand meaning the house can be erected easily.

Based on the production of hemp farms in the Netherlands, Dun Agro believes it is feasible to make and sell around 500 of these homes each year.

A hemp house: Is it environmentally-friendly?

We will start with a basic biology lesson: Plants fix unusable and damaging CO2 from the air through absorption and conversion. Hemp is a “carbon-fixing” master-plant as it takes on 13,500 kilos of CO2 when it grows which is then utilised it the hempcrete. This is also known as a “carbon-negative” material which means more carbon is sucked out of the air when growing the hemp plant than is emitted through the production of the hempcrete.

There is currently 1100 hectares of land being used to grow hemp in the Netherlands. Hemp is an appealing and advantageous crop to invest in as it grows exceptionally fast, doesn’t require many pesticides or fertiliser and produces deep roots which create a sturdy ground.

“..industrial hemp is the highest biomass producer of all agricultural crops. Its growth rate outclasses that of trees: hemp produces per hectare in four months the equivalent to what trees produce in seven years” 

-source: ‘hempcrete factsheet’ by tom abbott

Does the shorter building time compromise the durability?

Nope! These homes are said to be more durable and even earthquake-resistant. Hempcrete is also great at regulating temperature meaning huge savings can be made on energy costs.

This prefab house was unveiled at the end of November 2018 and there are plans to produce another one soon.

If you’re interested in learning more about the miracle cannabis plant then check out our article on five myths about weed and the ultimate guide to smoking weed in the Netherlands. 

*please note the house picture is not the actual prefab house

Feature image: Skitterphoto and GDJ on Pixabay

Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


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