Hemp Houses – The Secret of Building Sustainable Homes

After the areas major agricultural product, hemp is creating a comeback in the Altiplano section of Granada, Spain. Before late nineteen sixties industrial hemp growing formed the backbone of the wholly agricultural section of Spain. Towards the end of the Franco era, with the invention of nylon and the mechanisation of agriculture most of the population was forced off the land to get work on the coast and major cities.

With the advent of the eco-age the interest in industrial hemp will be revived since it is just a major constituent of eco-bricks, an essential component of sustainable housing.

Hemp originates from the Anglo Saxon word’haemp’and is the popular name for plants of the cannabis genus. Hemp usually refers to the strains of the plant cultivated exclusively for industrial use instead of cannabis which can be related to pot and similar drugs.

Hemp features a huge selection of uses but remains overshadowed by the cannabis connotation of illegal drugs, with which it is often confused. However hemp can legally be grown, under licence, in several countries, such as the European Union countries and Canada.

Cannabis sativa L. is the variety primarily grown for industrial purposes, it is just a fast growing plant and has been cultivated for several thousand of years getting used to produce rope, clothing, paper, hemp oil and medicines. Growing hemp improves the condition of the floor and reduces ambient contamination. It is a strong plant that requires neither herbicides nor pesticides during its cultivation.

Hemp as an industrial material features a ten thousand year history. The initial recorded use of hemp was as a towel fabric, within China as far back as 8000BC.C. Circa 4000B.C. hemp started to be used, again in China, to produce ropes and as food. 2000 years later, the Chinese hemp oils and medicine were in use. By 1000B.C. its use had spread to India and Greece where the initial cases of hemp paper were found. kratom’s benefits

By the 6th century hemp had been used in Europe in some amazing ways, in France a hemp reinforced bridge was built and it is still used today. The hemp fibre also found uses in sailmaking, caulking materials, fishing nets and lines. In later years hemp was used to produce a variety of foodstuffs including butter and beer. By the 15th century Renaissance painters were utilizing hemp canvases.

Today industrial hemp can be used to produce a staggering selection of products which range from medicines, body care products, building and insulating materials, clothing, textiles, food, fuel, livestock food and bedding, plastics and paper.

In the building industry hemp bricks, for their sustainability and excellent insulation properties, are increasingly being used to construct external and internal walls of ecological homes. In this area of Spain the external walls of an eco house will consist of a eco-bricks, manufactured in Guadix with the proprietary name of Cannabric® ;.

Cannabric® derives its properties from industrial hemp fibres (cáñamo). The hemp bricks are comprised of industrial hemp fibres, slaked lime and a combination of innert mineral materials. The bricks combine the functions of a lot bearing wall that’s fire-resistant and does not require the addition of thermal or acoustic insulation.

The main component of the eco-brick is industrial hemp which has a very low thermal conductivity (0.048W/m²k) producing a stone with vastly superior insulation properties against both cold and heat. The mineral component of the bricks gives them their mechanical strength. Being fully a solid brick, with a higher specific heat, it has the suitable thermal properties to guard against heat.

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