If you have some construction knowledge, you will know that lumber is one of the most commonly used building materials, and it has remained valuable for many years. Although it is not the most popular of all the building materials in the market (Concrete takes the crown), wood is still a preferred option and will remain so in the future.
If you take a closer look around your neighborhood or city, you will find that houses, bridges, and other structures made out of wood, and this is a historical idea as, for a long time, wood has maintained a prime spot. However, lumber prices have skyrocketed, which has an interesting impact on the hemp industry globally.
The increasing prices for lumber
People trade lumber all over the world as every country has lumber in use for construction purposes. Recently, it was revealed that the price of lumber has tripled within the last year. Construction firms and individuals who buy lumber are shocked by the increase in price, and everyone is scrambling for alternative building materials to lumber.
The conversation on seeking alternatives is more about getting a more sustainable material that will crash the lumber price and be better suited for the environment. Is it possible that hemp is the material of choice?
Hemp: a building material
Sometimes when people consider hemp, they link it to certain products such as clothing or paper. More recently, there has been an increase in the demand for hemp, which happened because of the increased popularity of CBD products. As you already know, CBD products are gotten from hemp.
Interestingly, hemp can be utilized, which is gaining a lot of popularity due to the increase in lumber prices and hemp as a building material. This idea is backed by the realization that the inner woody fibers in the hemp plant can be maximized to create boards that are similar to wooden boards (these are called hemp boards).
Hemp as a building material can also be used to make “Hempcrete” Yes, you guessed right; it is similar to concrete. But unlike concrete, hempcrete is a much more environmentally-friendly material, and with the world-embracing such sustainable ideas, it is gaining a lot of attention.
Hemp grows faster than trees; they are more pest and fire-resistant, and even though for many years the prices for hemp construction materials are more than that of lumber, the gap is no longer wide.
The sustainable advantages of using hempcrete as a building material
Many states are currently moving to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, which is also extended to the legalization of industrial hemp. Although hemp is a close cousin to recreational marijuana, it embodies less than half to one percent THC. Hemp is also cultivated for its woody essence and is a significant sustainable and renewable alternative to cement.
When hempcrete is used on a building project, moisture evaporates, which means you wouldn’t have to worry about molds that mess up the appearance of your building.
Termites mostly thrive where moisture is present, and since hempcrete enables water to evaporate, termites will not settle in on your building. Termites on a building project cause it to shrink when traditional materials are used, and without termites, hempcrete wouldn’t shrink.
Since hempcrete is lightweight, moving them around the job site is more accessible and transporting them from one place to another is very easy. Hempcrete is also non-toxic; they add more value to the building project than other traditional materials. Their strength increases with time, making the building sturdier and toxic-free.
Hempcrete is an alternative to traditional cement blocks, and this means when it is used, it reduces the demand for cement blocks and timber framing. This demand reduction also means the pressure on forests globally will be cut down.
Did you know that an estimated 15 billion trees are cut down yearly? There will be less deforestation with hempcrete, thus offering a natural contribution to combatting global warming.
Hempcrete is the complete definition of a sustainable option as, unlike other building materials, it doesn’t require extensive and damaging chemical processes. Builders often have a higher risk of several health issues because of their exposure to chemicals on construction sites.
With hempcrete, such risks are minimized as the builders will be using a healthier and safer option. Hempcrete is carbon-neutral and can be used for different types of buildings with the promise of being safe for use long-term. The cement industry is a most significant contributor to global warming, which leads to climate change (5% of all CO2 emissions).
When hempcrete is used, it doesn’t require widespread chemical processes like burning fuels that enable greenhouse gas emissions. The lime used in hempcrete captures the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the hydrated lime hardens into limestone.
Sourcing materials for construction can be a logistics nightmare, mainly if your building project is located where materials are not easily accessible. With hempcrete, builders have easy access because these are locally produced materials that do not require additional agrochemical products. It is also good to reactivate and strengthen the rural economy: it is a renewable agricultural resource.
In previous times, when the price of an item unexpectedly hits the roof, people tend to wait a while until the costs reduce again before they can make purchases. But we are dealing with the construction, which sometimes means the prices for materials go higher, and we have to continue building; this is where alternatives become essential.
Lumber has become extremely expensive, so what can we do? We rely on hemp!! The cannabis and hemp industry is known for providing alternatives and it is now the reality with the construction sector. The exploding lumber prices are suitable for the hemp industry in the long run, and with all the advantages listed above, you are getting a good deal at a pocket-friendly rate.