Hemp is the name of the soft, durable fibre that is cultivated from plants of the Cannabis Genius, cultivated for commercial use. In these modern times, hemp can be used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradeable plastics, construction, health food, fuel, and medical purposes with modest commercial success. In the past few years, society has begun to revisit this plant for its sustainable and eco-friendly properties. Furthermore, science has linked green building, which can improve indoor air quality via extra ventilation and less-toxic materials, to a reduction in health problems such as asthma.
Heading your Way
A recent teleconference in Canada officially announced an industrial hemp partnership between the District of 100 Mile House and The Alternate Village at the University of Manitoba (U of M).The announcement follows an earlier meeting held in Winnipeg where district and The Alternate Village representatives explored potential opportunities for working together to develop and demonstrate hemp-based products for green-building applications.
At the 100 Mile meeting, district attendees included administrator Roy Scott, planner Joanne Doddridge and Coun. Mel Torgerson. 100 Mile House Industrial Hemp Pilot Project student co-ordinator Robin Diether and steering committee members Garry Babcock, Jim Dunsmuir and Ken Meville joined them. 100 Mile House has been looking toward much-needed economic diversification for some time now and the hemp project will allow two avenues of opportunity, namely the green-building industry and industrial-hemp processing. The two groups will share research information and demonstration methods regarding sustainable building technology which will include results from a test building that will be constructed.They also discussed how the non-structural walls of the test building would be constructed of hempcrete, a product made by combining the hemp hurd – the part of the plant left once the fibre is removed – with a binder. After its extensive efforts to research a variety of related information, and with no hemp-fibre processors located in the United States and only a few minor operations in Canada, the District of 100 Mile House has now branded itself as the Canadian knowledge centre for industrial hemp fibre processing. The green building opportunities of industrial hemp have already been put into practical use in several houses in Canada, including one on Saltspring Island, Eising said, adding there is a huge market in the U.S. to tap into.
Below is a Hemp House in North Carolina exemplifying the power of Green Design, the home costs about $100 a month to heat and cool: