Hemp in our homes?

Could hemp be used as a building material in our homes in the future?

Hemp has been used as a construction material dating back to over a thousand years and it is currently gaining some momentum in the building industry today. Benefiting from being zero-carbon, airtight, breathable and having excellent thermal performance, hemp as a building material does seem like a good idea. It has a couple of drawbacks though, one being issues with shrinkage after drying and the time it takes to cure (four to six weeks in fair conditions). Although, Ian Pritchett, managing director of Greencore Construction, has developed the world’s first modular system of prefabricated hempcrete panels where the panels dry under factory conditions and do not suffer from shrinkage after installation, which is positive news. The panels were used on a Marks and Spencer’s which opened at Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port in 2012. Take a look at the environmentally-friendly plan of the store below which is part of their ‘Plan A’ – “…a way to help build a sustainable future by being a business that enables our customers to have a positive impact on wellbeing, communities and the planet through all that we do.”

Photo Source: Daily Mail

Nice work M&S. You can read more from RICS here.