Hemp in construction/renovation - Hempcrete - Hempwool...

3 Replies

Several threads could be created about industrial hemp and it's role in real estate, society, and the environment. I'll post this thread and see where the conversation goes. 

Farm bill 2018: The farm bill legalized growing of industrial hemp (low THC/psychoactive characteristics). This launched a frenzy of entrepreneurial energy. I have seen new building materials, real estate syndication offerings (for farms and processing facilities), and too many others scenarios to mention.

For this thread let's start with two main topics: Hemp building material resources, and hemp related real estate deals.

First building material and resources: 

USHBA United States Hemp Builders Association website: https://ushba.org/

Some key members/founders that I have been consulting with are Hempitechture: https://www.hempitecture.com/, Americhanvre: https://americhanvre.com/, and others for architecture and engineering.

Some key materials that can be used in new builds and restoration (especially historic) are hempcrete and hempwool. 

The main function of hempcrete or hempwool is insulation. 

Share resources that you know and if you are in the biz. This podcast has a wide variety of guests and the conversation is very articulate:

Second let's discuss real estate deals. 

I have reviewed a PPM for a farm/processing facility for CBD.

I have looked at re-developing an abandoned grain silo (in an Oportunity Zone!) to be a processing facility for fiber. 

I am designing to build single family homes utilizing hempcrete. 

As an entrepreneur the process has been enjoyable. Frustrations exist in supply-chain and adoption, but many solutions are surfacing. 

Let's discuss, and share! Enjoy!

@Clifton Kaderli

For now I’d stay away from hempcrete since the long term structural stability of the building is on the line and it’s not been tested for long enough. As insulation it could work, that’s more tested. Also to think about: are the products approved & rated to go into construction in the IBC and your local area? For syndications of farms, well buyer beware on the long term longevity of that, that’s why only Accredited Investors can get into publicly marketed syndications.

@Frank Hinck

Correct and astute observations. I am only evaluating using hempcrete as insulation within a wood frame structure. It does make other components better in strength and performance, but at the end of the day the may role that it fills is insulation. I am designing the structure with hempcrete in mind so as to have the process of installing and building make sense. 

Some recent ASTM testing documents the fantastic fire rating. I also have an engineer willing to convert the R values so that I can meet local building requirement. This is for the homes we are building in San Antonio, TX. 

Farms going after CBD production certainly had a "Wild West" experience. Fortunes were made and lost. That part of the industry (CBD) should settle down very soon. As for the fiber and grain production, I feel those are driven by more stable market demands. CBD was like everyone just discovered air. 

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