As civilization advances throughout time, the materials we use to produce the structures of society also advance. A new advancement that has not been talked about nearly enough is the implementation of hemp in the world around us. Hemp has hundreds of different uses, one of those uses is the ability to be a literal building block in the homes and buildings we reside within.
As of relatively recently, hemp has been used more often to create homes, structures, and other buildings in a more environmentally friendly way than concrete. These new hemp houses, when created, produce significantly less carbon emissions than its counterpart’s brick, concrete, and wood.
One man who understands this more than most of us is Christian Eiskamp. Eiskamp has spent the last few decades trying to build a more sustainable form of home, one made of hemp. In Oldenburg, Germany, Eiskamp has been building single family homes for the nearly 100,000 residents. After he learned that concrete is responsible for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, he vowed to find a more eco-friendly material. This new material, hemp, has revolutionized the way he builds houses.
His new houses come with a base made from reinforced hemp. This hemp replaces the traditional concrete base and foundation of most houses. This eco-friendly house does come with drawbacks though. The cost of one of these houses is roughly 15% higher than traditional methods. Eiskamp blames this on the lack of normality and production of reinforced hemp. Once this becomes a mainstream thing, prices are expected to drop significantly.
There are also many other alternatives to hemp such as a mix between hemp and concrete, as well as recycled PET bottles which aren’t in short supply. Many others are also working on new materials like the University of Colorado, who is looking to create a sustainable building material from the biproducts of microalgae.
One thing is for sure, the switch from concrete will happen eventually. Society cannot continue to function with this extreme use of concrete within society. Will hemp be the material to take over the market or will it be something else?
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