UK-based Lhoist Group has developed a durable, sustainable, and energy-efficient building material called Tradical Hemcrete. A blend of hemp shiv (the woody material from industrial hemp plants) and a lime-based binder, Hemcrete is an easy-to-work and carbon-negative material.
Hemcrete is vapor permeable for moisture regulation, and provides both thermal insulation and thermal mass. It is also resistant to fire and pests. Hemcrete is generally used along with framing supports since by itself it’s not as strong as concrete; however, it’s also not nearly as brittle, so building with Hemcrete doesn’t require expansion joints.
Importantly, Hemcrete is not just a carbon-neutral building material, it’s actually carbon-negative. Industrial hemp is a fast-growing plant that absorbs substantial amounts of CO2; when processed into Hemcrete, all of that carbon remains sequestered within the material. The amount of sequestered carbon more than offsets the CO2 from producing and transporting the material; according to the manufacturer, each cubic meter of Hemcrete locks up 130kg of carbon dioxide.
Tradical Hemcrete is distributed by Lime Technology, Ltd. For more information visit the Lhoist Group website.
(images: Lime Technology Ltd.)