Photo by LEMOAL

News | 02.01.2022

France Just Announced Its First All-Hemp Building

The Pierre Chevet Sports Center in France is the country's first hemp building.

More countries than ever are looking for new ways to utilize hemp, and the latest was France, which just announced its new hempcrete building. We’ve already touched on how hemp could replace steel rebar as it’s much safer to use and just as sturdy, but an entire building made from hemp is far more exciting. 

Hempcrete is a blend of hemp hurd, lime, and water, and that’s exactly what the Pierre Chevet Sports Center is made up of. According to Fast Company, the 4,000 square-foot facility just outside of Paris uses hemp panels that were grown roughly 500 kilometers from where the building is. 

Fast Company also spoke with architects who helped design the Pierre Chevet Sports Center, including French designer Lemoal Lemoal, who said hempcrete offers quality acoustics, thermal properties, and fire resistance. He added that although it might cost more money to build a hemp-based facility, the many benefits of hempcrete could save companies money in the long run. 

Photo courtesy of The Plan

Utilizing hemp and replacing it with common construction materials isn’t all that difficult, and one couple in Pennsylvania knows that best. Husband and wife Drew Oberholtzer and Anastasiya Konopatskaya teamed up to create a hempcrete cabin in May 2021.

According to the couple, the cabin is 140 square feet, and it only took three tools to build, “an electric drill, mallet, and a screw gun,” notes The Growth Op. They added that hempcrete’s mold, fire, and insect resistant properties are ideal for Northeast climates, humid ones like Florida, or dry environments in California.

We love to see the addition of hemp in modern construction, especially when there’s a bigger idea in mind. Heading north to Vancouver-based Global Hemp Group (GHG), the company partnered with Western Sierra Resource Corporation and recently purchased a string of land in Hayden, Colorado, where they plan to build a “green community.”

Photo by LEMOAL

The green community has an official name dubbed a “Sustainable Economic Zone.” According to GHG, it will build affordable, durable, and long-lasting housing with hemp-based materials. While the plan will roll out over the next twenty-odd years, the company recently secured 830 acres to build these affordable homes. 

The company learned everything there is to know about construction with hemp-based materials through its master builder, Gabriel Gauthier, who built the very first hemp-based house in North America in 2005, still sitting in Montreal. Since then, Gauthier has constructed well over 50 hemp-based homes in Ontario and Quebec while renovating more than 100 existing houses with only hemp matter.  

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