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June 17, 2019

Hemp houses could be greener, fire-resistant and built like Lego



As reported on CBC News, all in all, Terry Radford’s new product — with apologies to Pink Floyd — looks to be anything but another brick in a wall.

That’s because the president of Just BioFiber, based in Airdrie, Alta., believes it has come up with a hempcrete-based brick that is more than the equal of the usual homebuilding materials.

Radford, president and CEO of Just BioFiber, says his company has found a way to combine hempcrete — the wooden core of the hemp plant — with lime and water to create a building block that he believes has the potential to change the way we build homes. Radford says the product is as environmentally-friendly as it is user-friendly.

“My brother is the guy who actually invented the product. What had happened is he started working with hempcrete and fell in love with the material because it had these great properties,” Radford said.

“The benefit to hemp is it’s very insulative. It has thermal retention and captures CO2 while it’s growing, [at a rate] four times faster than trees, so it’s a carbon negative material. We’re actually removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it inside these building materials.”

In addition to being more environmentally-friendly than traditional building materials, the bricks resemble giant Lego building blocks, and offer superior cooling and heating properties, Radford says.

“The No. 1 advantage to having a hemp building is probably the indoor air quality for the occupants,” he said.

“It regulates humidity. There’s no mould that can grow,” he said.

“It’s very warm in winter and it’s cooler in the summertime — it’s basically just an ideal building material for interior comfort and air quality.”

“This works really well in hot climates, without the need for air conditioning, and same in cold environments.”

The company’s hemp blocks are also fire-resistant, Radford says, before pulling out a blowtorch and demonstrating by holding the flame to some hempcrete.

Watch the video and keep reading on CBC News


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