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.
Klaar voor de opening van het eerste prefab #hennephuis ter wereld. Ontwikkeld door Dun Agro en klaar voor op grote schaal bouwen van aardbevingsbestendige en klimaatvriendelijke woningen! Rechts in aanbouw, links al klaar: pic.twitter.com/1ibvoyaBPh
— Urgenda (@urgenda) November 30, 2018
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.
*please note the house picture is not the actual prefab house
Feature image: Skitterphoto and GDJ on Pixabay