As designers of custom residences that utilize hemp as a building material, Alembic Studio, LLC receives many inquiries every week from people that are interested in learning more about the use of this material and if it is an intelligent choice for their construction project.  As part of our ongoing research in the field of hemp construction, we have amassed a significant data-base of information, and we want to share that with you here.

Is a hempcrete building a smart approach for you? The answer to this has a lot to do with your location, climate, personal needs and budget. In our experience, hempcrete has many unique qualities that make it an excellent, preferred wall system, but it is not viable in all places for all people.

There is a lot of great information about hempcrete (hemp-lime) available on the web, though a significant portion of it ranges from wishful thinking, to misleading, and to outright dangerous. Whether we are personally involved with your project or not, we want to see that your hemp project is successfully conceived and brought to fruition. After all, we won’t achieve “hemp victory” with poorly designed hemp buildings.

 

Answers to some frequently asked questions:

Why build with hemp?
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As designers of custom residences that utilize hemp as a building material, Alembic Studio, LLC receives many inquiries every week from people that are interested in learning more … Read More

Does building with hemp cost more?
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The building process with hemp follows a format that is a bit different than typical construction, but the methods employed are simply variations on common themes. An experienced … Read More

Does building a Hempcrete Wall take longer?
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Most likely. As with any masonry-type construction, there are some limitations to the installation. For example, if the temperature gets too low, or there is excessive moisture in … Read More

Is Hemp Good for Net-Zero?
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Hempcrete is not just an insulator; it prevents damp and mold growth, and buffers temperature and humidity, making the building a healthy environment. From an R-per-inch standpoint, there … Read More

Are Hempcrete Walls Carbon Negative?
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At the 27th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, in Belgium, Patrick Daly lectured on the carbon neutrality of hempcrete walls. As a technologist and energy specialist, … Read More

I’m chemically sensitive. Can I use hempcrete?
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We’ve found that the ability of a Hemcrete® wall to mitigate interior moisture issues is one of its most desirable qualities. The hygroscopic qualities of the lime binder, … Read More

Will a hemp house catch on fire easier?
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A hempcrete wall system is significantly more fire resistant than a typical insulated wall. The shiv within the wall is coated with lime and is finished with about … Read More

Can Hempcrete be used in a basement?
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No way! Hempcrete is not a structural element and may not be used as a foundation material. As a wall and insulation system, a 1′ clearance to the … Read More

Can I build with Hemp considering legal standing?
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We have found that when presenting to code officials, it is important to emphasize the essential characteristic of the hempcrete – it is an insulation system with unique … Read More

Can I Make A Hemp Binder?
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Not recommended! There are those that mix their own binder from common recipes, as it is less expensive than purchasing pre-mixed binders. There are two primary factors that … Read More

Does Hempcrete smell?
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The part of the plant that is mixed with a binder is the woody stalk, referred to as shiv, or hurd. The raw shiv has an odor similar … Read More

Hemp is not ‘Marijuana’
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Technically, industrial hemp and marijuana are both Cannabis Sativa. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed fiber strain of the Cannabis plant. Hemp has absolutely no use as … Read More

How strong is hemp as a wall system?
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Pretty darn strong, but it’s not concrete – it is a fraction of the weight, and about 1/20 of the compressive strength of concrete. Keep in mind that … Read More

What are my finish options with hemp walls?
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We recommend that the exterior be finished with an approved system like Baumit®. The interior may be finished with lime render, clay plaster, or lime-over-clay. Mineral colorants can … Read More

What is the R-value of Hempcrete?
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The R-value varies with the density of the mix – the more binder, the less insulation. Additional binder increases the density of the material and hence its heat … Read More