Brooke Berge Weekly Journal 13
A large percentage, of CO2 emissions are caused by the building industry. It is estimated that about 38% of CO2 emissions in the United States are caused by buildings (inhabit). Carbon neutral buildings are becoming more and more popular, as we try to steer away from buildings negatively impacting the environment. Hempcrete is a material similar to concrete made out of hemp plants’ woody inner fibers, and mixed with a lime-based binder. It is used as an insulator, not structural. Positives of this material include it being made out of a renewable source, and it is also lightweight, so it requires less energy to transport the blocks. Also, it is sustainable as well as 100% recyclable.
Producing materials out of renewable sources is important, however, when creating materials out of plants, it is important to be aware of the amount being produced, as well as the rate it is being produced. We don’t want to deplete our natural resources, so every time they are used for materials they need to be replanted. A good quality of the hemp plant is that it grows quickly. Although it seems like a good idea to use this building material, it is actually illegal to grow the hemp plants used to create Hempcrete in the U.S. because it closely resembles the marijuana plant, but it is legal in Europe and Canada. Because of this, it is very expensive to use in the U.S. It should be legal to grow in the U.S, because the cost would be reduced so it could be used more.