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Pre-fab hempcrete construction materials offer alternative to traditional builds

Pre-fabricated blocks on the drying racks at IsoHemp's factory in Belgium.
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Pre-fabricated hemp building solutions will get special attention at this year’s 10th edition of the International Hemp Building Symposium, set for Lacapelle Marival, France, Oct. 11-12, 2022.

“We are showcasing solutions that can be mainstreamed to make hemp an alternative to the highly polluting conventional building industry,” said Steve Allin, IHBA Director.

Pre-fab hemp construction materials offer an alternative to the traditional infill building method in which forms are moved from one spot to another to create walls around a wooden frame. Several companies have developed such materials in blocks and panels, which are growing in popularity among hemp builders, Allin said

Companies presenting pre-fab solutions include:

IsoHemp: Fernelmont, Belgium-based IsoHemp started making hemp building blocks by hand in 2012, gradually expanding production to reach output of 1 million units per year at the company’s high-tech factory.

The Cape Town hempcrete project

Afrimat: Architect Oliver Wolf, who designed a hotel project in Cape Town, South Africa, will talk about materials that went into the building from Afrimat, which has developed its own formulated lime binder for hempcrete blocks.

8th Fire Innovations: The Alberta, Canada-based contractor and technology developer will present its Devita-branded blocks and panels.

Decortication, spraying

Delegates at this year’s Symposium will also have the chance to see demonstrations of hemp decortication technology from Hemp Act of France, which has developed systems that turn out hurd for the building sector, and high-quality fiber for textiles on a large scale.

And two companies will demonstrate hempcrete spraying systems. Baumer Hemp, St. Vit, France, will showcase EREASY, a system the company has been developing since 2014. EREASY can be used for floor, wall and roof construction. TecnoCanapa, Novagli di Montichiari, Italy, a green building materials supplier, will also demonstrate hempcrete spraying.

Truly International

A wide range of demonstrations and presentations from all over the world are on tap for the two-day event, which will feature representatives from Australia, Belgium, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Holland, India, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Nepal, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK and the USA

Allin pioneered the IHBA, which he serves as director. An author, teacher and consultant on ecological building, he has been building with hemp and promoting hemp’s use in construction all over the world for the last 20 years. He is the author of “Hemp Buildings: 50 International Case Studies” (Seedpress, 2021), and Building with Hemp (Seed Press, 2005, 2012), and an extensive collection of papers on hemp-based construction.

The in-person symposium can also be accessed live online.

The 10th edition of the IHBA event will be held in Lacapelle Marival, France, Oct. 11-12, 2022.

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