If you like Lego, you’ll probably appreciate this US company’s innovative building system that uses industrial hemp as its main component.
Industrial hemp has been used for building applications for thousands of years. In more recent times, hemp has enjoyed renewed popularity in developed countries thanks to a more favorable legal environment.
As a building material, hemp has a lot going for it – fantastic thermal attributes and environmentally friendly among them.
Founded in 2014, Just Biofiber Structural Solutions has developed a patented building system based on structural blocks made from hemp that it says outperform virtually all existing and alternative building systems. The blocks are made with hemp hurd/shiv, – the woody core of the hemp plant, a proprietary mix of lime, sand and an internal structural composite frame. It’s this frame that enables the blocks to be stacked like Lego.
Each block measures 21.332 x 10.666 x 8.000″ (541.83 x 270.92 x 203.20mm) and for residential applications weigh 30.0 lbs (13.6 kg). The block for commercial applications is a bit heavier at 32.5Lbs (14.7kg).
Holding together the blocks is a flax-lime mortar and glue. Once a wall is assembled, the interlocking caps on the top row are cut off, and a top strip is affixed with bolts.
Among Just BioFiber Block benefits:
- High insulation value
- Insect and mold resistance
- High fire resistance
- Good sound dampening attributes
- High load bearing capacity
According to Just Biofiber, buildings made with the blocks will last for more than a hundred years.
One of the very interesting attributes of hempcrete is its carbon capture attributes. Aside from carbon already present in the stalk, as hempcrete fully cures over a number of years, the lime soaks up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This can help to offset other carbon intensive materials used in the construction of a house, such as concrete for the foundations.
As for pricing, the company says its hempcrete blocks can be up to 37% lower than traditional building materials with comparable specifications.
Here’s a closer look at Just Biofiber’s system:
Learn more about the many benefits of building with hemp.