As the population continues to grow, the list of potential issues that need to be solved in order for future generations to enjoy the same standard of living that we currently have grows with it.
Sustainability is a big issue that needs to be met. Most commonly used resources are finite and the amounts that are widely available are dwindling. The earth is struggling to produce resources at the rate that humanity, and its growing population, is using them.
This has led to entrepreneurs, the world over, searching for more sustainable materials in every aspect of life. Be that food, transport, or in this case, building and manufacturing.
One Sustainability Technologies graduate is sure that the answer to a great many of these issues, could have been found in one of her college projects.
During her time at Cape Fear Community College, Leigh Humphries, who hails from North Carolina, put together a doghouse, innovatively made from the sustainable building material ‘hempcrete.’
What Benefits Does This Material Hold?
As previously mentioned, sustainability is a global issue, and it is one that absolutely must be solved, at that. The earth cannot afford to run out of raw-materials and mankind’s chosen way of life, cannot afford for it to do so either.
Clearly, these issues are close to the heart of Leigh Humphries. Leigh was clearly passionate about her chosen topics of study, stating: “I kind of immersed myself in the construction and building science part of it.”
The first time that Leigh heard about hempcrete, was in one of her college classes – a ‘Green Building’ class, which directly addresses sustainable and renewable building issues and how they can be addressed, and, as many people have been in recent years, she became fascinated by the potential of the hemp plant and ‘hempcrete’ and how it could be used in a renewable future in the building industry.
When it came to her final project, Leigh felt that the potential she had found for hempcrete, when studying and researching the material and its potential applications, was significant enough to justify its use for her product in her final project.
After obtaining approval to use the material from the head of her class, Leigh began planning and putting together her doghouse.
To break away from Leigh, just for the time being. I am sure that many of you will have suffered from mold or fungus in your homes. Even if briefly, and for those of you that have not suffered from it, I am even more sure that you will be aware of the issues that it can cause and have hence taken the necessary steps to avoid it at all costs.
Well, just like ranges of hemp-based clothing and bedding, amongst other products like CBD oil (here you can find full-spectrum CBD oil for sale), buildings manufactured from hempcrete have a breathable quality that allows the building to stay resistant to mold, fungus and other such potential health issues.
On top of this, containing a natural base to the material, hempcrete has no toxins, which can often be found in building materials that are currently being used on a grand scale. It is also highly cost-effective and definitely puts a large tick in the ‘green’ box, as it is estimated that it could help to reduce the cost of heating by up to 70 percent.
A Simple Creation:
Made from nothing more than hemp, water, and a lime-based binding agent, with the core of the hemp-plant naturally being the core of the material, hempcrete is not a complex material to construct.
However, as the reputation of the hemp plant recently took something of a knock, due to government propaganda, that turned out to be wide of the mark, its availability can still be limited in some States.
This was something that Leigh found, as she had to get her hempcrete imported from elsewhere, with the plant not being as widely available in North Carolina as she would have liked.
On top of this, Leigh also put together her own lime binder, although this was simply down to both budget constraints, and the fact that her doghouse would not be inhabited by human beings – however, this was a personal choice from a college student who was on a tight budget and we feel it necessary to stress that commercial lime binders are both available and preferable when creating hempcrete based structures for habitation.
What Does the Future Hold:
Not to cover old ground, but it has been stressed throughout this article, that concerns sustainability issues and the needs of future, larger and possibly even more demanding generations are growing.
It is the responsibility and the aim of innovative, fresh-minded entrepreneurs, like Leigh, to help to shape a more sustainable and viable future than the one that is currently being shaped. This is being done in many ways and hempcrete certainly seems like it could help to shape smart cities of the future.
However, as is always the case when innovating, risks may need to be taken, and a taking a risk is exactly what Leigh did when putting together her project. Granted, she didn’t have as much to lose as some, and could have sourced materials elsewhere had her the idea of her project been rejected, but as touched on earlier, hemp is only beginning to regain its positive reputation.
It is still very positive though that Leigh did not encounter any negativity towards her project, her idea was met with open arms and she was able to continue and take the development of her idea forward.
Not content with graduating from college, Leigh then went one step further and began introducing others to her innovative doghouse structure, presenting it at the Wilmington’s Earth Day Festival, where once again, it encountered a positive response and was met with enthusiasm and intrigue.
While she was there, she met with a company called ‘Hemp Pharmacy’ who make CBD oil from the hemp plant (check out here the best CBD oil for vaping), as well as a string of local builders, all of which seemed enthusiastic about the applications of the material, and once again, there were no negatives to take from these meetings.
Then, in what is possibly the most exciting development for Leigh since starting her project, she added: ‘Some real estate brokers that I spoke with are also really interested and one, in particular, is working on getting the local Habitat for Humanity, once it becomes more affordable, to build the first hempcrete home.’
With hemp returning to popularity and seeing a vast increase in its use in a range of applications, it should not be long before the price of the plant decreases in line with its usefulness as a global resource with such a huge range of applications that could affect our planet in such a positive way.
Read more at CBD Oil Adviser.