Mother Earth Living

Hemp Housing Going Commercial in Australia

Newly legal to grow, industrial hemp is causing quite a stir in Australia. One researcher is developing a hemp mixture that could construct homes.
By Danae DeShazer
April 2008 Web
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In our March/April issue, we announced that industrial hemp was making a comeback. This biofiber can be made into compression-molded panels for constructing doors, cabinets, furniture, wall partitions and decking.

It’s still illegal to grow the crop in the United States without a permit, but researchers and developers are jumping on the band wagon in Australia, which recently legalized industrial hemp crop growth. Australian researcher Klara Marosszeky is working on developing hemp concrete, a mixture of hemp hurds, lime-based binder, water and sand. The cement-like fiber can be molded into building blocks, sprayed walls, panels and in-fill for new eco-friendly homes. The great thing about hemp is that it is vibrantly renewable. Marosszeky says you can grow enough hemp for a house on approximately two and a half acres in four months.

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More about hemp

• Oregon has made it legal to produce, trade and possess industrial hemp. Check it out!

• Hemp is a renewable source that can be grown without pesticides, but it's illegal in the U.S. Read about the history—and future—of hemp in the U.S.

• Bring some style to your home with these organic hemp accent pillows.

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