Hemp seeds and hemp fibers can be used to create over 50,000 different products. For the building industry, hemp fibers could be the next greatest solution.
Hemp can be made into any building material, including fiberboard, roofing, flooring, wallboard, caulking, cement, paint, paneling, particleboard, plaster, plywood, reinforced concrete, insulation, insulation panels, spray-on insulation, concrete pipes, bricks, and biodegradable plastic composites which are tougher than steel.
Foundations can be made out of hemp hurds, a processed based on ancient technology adapted for modern use. Hemp foundation walls are 7 times stronger than concrete foundations, half as light, and three times as elastic, which means that these building will bend, but not break. Because of their superior strength and flexibility, hemp foundations are resistant to stress-induced cracking and breaking. Even earthquakes and other natural disaster cannot break or crack these structures.
Concrete pipes can be made out of hemp fiber which cost 1/3 that of polypropylene. These pipes have greater flexibility, greater elasticity, and are resistant to cracking. Stones can also be made out of hemp by wetting the stalk's cellulose, and forming it into a hard black rock, which can be cut, drilled, cast, carved, or formed into any shape. Hemp building material could allow us to replace the need for wood, bricks, and fiberglass insulation.
Hemp resin can be used as an additive in the creation of biodegradable polymers that help to reduce the problems of waste disposal associated with toxic materials. Biodegradable polymers can potentially be combined with plant fibers to produce biodegradable Eco-Composite materials. The reinforcement of these polymers by means of vegetable fibers improves their mechanical properties and opens up new fields of application within the construction industry with the use of techniques such as film stacking, injection molding, and press consolidation.
A mixture of hemp fibers and hurds subjected to extreme heat and pressure can be molded into a completely biodegradable material that possesses excellent thermal and acoustic capabilities, as well as being fire-resistant and competitive in mechanical characteristics (tensile and compressive strength) with modern materials that are produced with a petrochemical base.
The biomass from the hemp plant can converted into many forms of energy that can be used throughout the household and the community. Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol, ethanol, or gasoline at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy. Perhaps one of the most beneficial characteristics of this renewable resource is that the hemp plant can be used in its entirety, and that a streamlined life-cycle assessment yields positive impacts on the environment throughout the growth, harvest, and production stages.
The industrial hemp plant offers a wide variety of high performance applications through the many aspects of community design, and will help strengthen our local economy, return power back to our local agricultural industry, and restore the environment as it grows.