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Where has the idea of hemp housing come from?

John Patterson changed the game when he began to build small houses out of hemp in USA, Colorado. With the use of his special hemp mixture, hempcrete, he was able to create a tiny house, using hempcrete as a replacement for dry walls, insulation and exterior boarding’s. Building on John Patterson’s idea is Jack Bennet, another pioneer in the hemp building industry. Through NUNAworks Jack Bennet has begun to develop hemp houses in Alaska.

A well-known fact is, Alaska is an extremely cold state in America, especially in the winter. Thus, the average household in Alaska pays out more than $500 a month during the winter months.

Diesel is the main source of heating throughout Alaska, costing $7-$10 a gallon. Jack Bennet wants to introduce hemp as a sustainable and efficient alternative to diesel. With the help of NUNAworks, Jack has been able to build hemp houses in Alaska with glowing results.

If more houses were built out of hempcrete,it would offer much higher insulation than traditional homes, and it would help reduce energy costs by 50%-70% annually for families. Meaning families would be saving a lot more money if they lived in a hemp house.

This would become Jack Bennet’s mission, alongside NUNAworks.

Who is Jack Bennet and what is his vision?

Jack was looking for inspiration after studying at Cisco Networking Academy in San Francisco, practicing self-care techniques and working in social justice. He would find that inspiration when he and his partner would return to Alaska, and run into a hemp home. After seeing this hemp home, his goal would become to bring sustainable restorative practices to construction in communities. 

Seeing the hemp home, he would further his knowledge on it through reading the national publication of the National Carolina Hemp Home. In the specific article he read, the architect wanted to build an allergy free home because the synthetic sensitivity his daughter had. Being around traditional house home materials causing distress and severe health difficulties for his daughter. Hempcrete is a hygroscopic material, which allows water vapor to go through it, making it a more breathable material than the traditional ones.

Jack Bennet saw making a home out of natural materials as a great idea, due to him being an advocate for organic foods like vegan CBD gummies, clean water, and natural healing remedies. So why not use natural materials to make a house as well, as it would be good for both the people and the planet.

Since this revelation, his vision has begun to take place.

Him and his crew experimenting with hemp insulation material before trying to build with it. They would research everything before attempting to use it, reading every book on hempcrete and contacting hemp builders from all around the world. Using what they learned, including people’s case studies of failure with hemp, they were able to find the right mixture. They created a Portland Cement replacement with a lime-based Hemp-Bond mix that was locally sourced.

During 2016, NUNAworks and Jack Bennet built a model of the hemp home using this mixture to show people what hempcrete could do. They were actually already building sustainable homes before even using hemp but the adding of hempcrete made the houses even more sustainable. An average home lasts 80-100 years which sounds relatively good, but a hemp house dwarfs this number as a hemp home has a lifespan of 600-800 years. The first floor is made out of rammed earth and the second floor made out of hempcrete. An all-natural house can be achieved with the use of hemp, including as an energy source (solar and water).

Jack Bennet has continued to pursue the interests of hemp since 2016. Jack is an expert to Alaska state and Federal legislators (state resource), Alaska Tribal Government and a commercial developer for industrial hemp. He has featured in Press Releases throughout the U.S. concerning his research and development and commercial developments in the various U.S. hemp industries.

The benefits of Hemp Bond mix

Cost Effective

The Hemp Bond mix contributes nothing to global warming as it has a zero-carbon footprint. In comparison to, Portland cement which creates over 40 billion tons of carbon waste. Along with being more environmentally friendly compared to Portland cement, Hemp Bond mix is stronger, self-levelling, and does not have to be cooked.It also water-resistant. The aim of Jack Bennet is to develop this indigenous technology and apply it to a rural area in Alaska, which has funding to start a pilot home village.

If Alaska was to accept this natural idea, a household could save a vast amount of money, up to 70% in fact. As previously stated, it costs $7-$10 a gallon to heat a home with diesel, which impacts an average household by 50%. A lime-based insulation is highly needed in Alaska as the cost of energy continues to rise.

Environmentally Friendly

Besides Hemp saving you money, it also helps preserve the environment. It could potentially help with the global warming crisis, scientists urgently warning people to be more environmentally friendly or face extinction by 2050.

 One of the problems that add to global warming and world pollution, construction waste. Over half of the world’s energy consumption 55%, is construction waste related. Residential and commercial buildings alone account for 39% of CO2 emissions, according to Rachael Garland of Greenflower. Hemp is a replacement for dry walls, OSB plywood, fiberglass insulation, polyurethane foam.

Hemp can reduce the amount of waste, as hemp homes have zero construction waste, so building hemp homes would reduce the carbon footprint. Greg Flavall of Hemp Technologies describes the hygroscopic properties (meaning it absorbs moisture from the air) of hemp that makes it so effective for regulating indoor humidity. This creates a natural energy source for housing.

Currently, hemp farming is in a prohibition period, making it difficult, as the hemp has to be imported, slowing down the process to build a hemp house. The freight costs are sky high. If people were allowed to grow their own hemp, hemp farming will help cut freight costs and bring countless industries to Alaska and make it easier to build hemp houses. It will also offer, efficient, allergy free and affordable homes and build energy.

The law on Hemp in Alaska

On February 13th, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska, an Alaskan house committee passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp as well as hemp products such as high CBD vape oil, allowing for farming of hemp, by research institutions and state pilot programs. This is for research purposes only and has failed to get hemp commercialized, unfortunately. Although there still remains confusion what it means by ‘‘research purposes.’’

The first known case of hemp growing in Alaska was 1963. A state agronomist had a partnership with the University of Wisconsin to test out hemp. It was tested in the delta region of Alaska during the summer months. They would discover hemp would be able to grow during the long days in Alaska, proven that hemp could grow in the state. Hemp has grown in Alaska since maybe illegally but that could be soon to change in 2020. Rob Carter, the head of a new industrial hemp pilot program, pioneering to have hemp plants in the ground in Alaska and building an economy with it. 

The Growing Popularity of Hemp in Alaska

Hemp has been popular among the older generation, most likely because of its pain relief effects. While the younger generation does not seem to be aware of it. Most people are clueless about hemp having all these industrial applications.  This was the view in 2016, Zachariah however recently wrote how CBD is getting more popular in Alaska for Alaska Public Media. There are even talks about Coca-Cola exploring CBD products like CBD xrp oil capsules and Alaska CBD is turning up in cafes and stores showing how popularity is vastly growing in Alaska. So, hemp has gained popularity over the years and could easily make the transition into the construction industry.

Jack Bennet was able to present a question and answer session to the governor of Homer while promoting his idea of the use of hemp. He brought samples of hemp shiv, so everyone would know what one looked like. Hemp shiv is the chopped up, woody core of the hemp plant. The crowd was in awe at what Jack was showing them and the potential the plant had. Although the governor did not seem as impressed as everyone else, he was still interested and impressed by what was on display. The mayor, however, was notably enthusiastic, asking Jack to return at a future date to show the council, suggesting people would accept moving into a hemp home world.

How can the readers help?

The awareness of hemp is always the main goal. Here are some ways given you by CBD Oil Adviser that can help promote hemp and adopt a hemp lifestyle.

  1. Wear hemp clothing. Hemp clothing is easy on the environment, cost-effective and weather resistant.
  2. Experiment with hemp seeds. Trying using them with salad dressings, yogurt, and smoothies.
  3. Start a microgreen business. ‘’small is beautiful’’, you can start your own microgreen business working with local chefs or packaging microgreens for storefronts.
  4. Begin a hemp building project. Working with your community, build hemp sheds.

If you are indeed planning on building with hemp, start practicing with a shiv and binder. All climates are different on how much ratio you have to use. Do not try simply follow a YouTube clip on how to do it, as it harder than it looks. A nice way to make sure you on the right path is to engage a community hempcrete workshop.

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