“hemp premium plus” – that sounds like a good high. but you would be doing the fast-growing plant an injustice if you reduced it to this effect. from 1000 BC until the middle of the 19th century, hemp was the most widely cultivated crop in the world. it was used to make clothing, canvas and even paper: the 42-line gutenberg bible was printed on hemp and levi strauss sewed the first jeans from hemp. the seeds of the plant can also be eaten, they are rich in protein, contain a whole range of vitamins and plenty of unsaturated fatty acids.
today, the respective thc content determines whether a hemp plant falls under the narcotics act or is an agricultural crop that can be used to make ropes, for example. hemp rope is low-stretch, tear and abrasion resistant, unaffected by strong acids – great! how we would love to transfer these properties to other products. hemp is also suitable for insulation . the photo does not show synthetic hazardous waste that pollutes the environment after the demolition of a building, but a natural product that firstly grows back and secondly decomposes itself when it is composted.
and there are even more advantages of hemp as a building material: little water is used in its production, co₂ is bound, and it can be grown without pesticides because the plant is resistant to pests. hemp insulation allows houses to breathe naturally by wicking moisture away through the fibers. at the same time, it offers excellent protection against summer heat, has a very good sound insulation value and can be used without protective clothing – so why aren’t such clever materials used everywhere? so please take this post as both a new year’s greeting and an educational card about how we want to plan and build: ecologically oriented, sustainable and sensible. and with building materials that are not only intelligent, but also beautiful. just like the buildings we plan for you.
wishing you a happy new year
photo: hans hansen