Houses made of hemp could help combat climate change!

27 10 2009

professor pete walker - university of bath

We have recently come across this very interesting press release from Professor Peter Walker at the University of Bath (U.K) who is leading the research into the use of hemp-lime in construction.  Buildings and other infrastructure currently accounts for almost 20% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  This is another example of how this wonderful plant can help save reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Recently we brought you the news that Hanes – one of the worlds biggest consumer brands – has been investing in a new hemp technology called Crailar which requires only a fraction of the water needed to make cotton; and we are very happy to announce that it is the subject of another of our articles, a Dutch company called Hempflax who has won the contract to supply the raw materials to Hanes – i.e. the HEMP!

Here’s the press release:

Houses made of hemp, timber or straw could help combat climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of building construction, according to researchers at the University of Bath.

Currently the construction industry is a major contributor of environmental pollutants, with buildings and other build infrastructure contributing to around 19% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  Researchers at the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials are researching low carbon alternatives to building materials currently used by the construction industry.  Although timber is used as a building material in many parts of the world, historically it is used less in the UK than in other countries. Researchers at the Centre are developing new ways of using timber and other crop-based materials such as hemp, natural fibre composites and straw bales. Their work using straw bales as a building material has already been featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs series.

Professor Peter Walker, Director of the Centre, is leading the research. He said: “The environmental impact of the construction industry is huge. For example, it is estimated that worldwide the manufacture of cement contributes up to ten per cent of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions.  “We are looking at a variety of low carbon building materials including crop-based materials, innovative uses of traditional materials and developing low carbon cements and concretes to reduce impact of new infrastructure. As well as reducing the environmental footprint, many low carbon building materials offer other benefits, including healthier living through higher levels of thermal insulation and regulation of humidity levels.”

Their research is being presented at the Sustainable Energy & the Environment showcase at the University of Bath.  The exhibition will be opened by David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities & Skills, and will be attended by industrialists, research councils, local and national government representatives and other key stakeholders from across the South West.  The exhibition coincides with the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment (I-SEE) at the University of Bath, which will bring together experts from diverse fields of science, engineering, social policy and economics to tackle the problems of climate change.

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Hanes invests in Hemp!

17 08 2009

After a decade trying to prove that hemp could be soft as cotton, one American company is starting to draw the attention to its product from some of the world’s biggest consumer brands.

Naturally Advanced CEO, Ken Barker poses with hemp fibres.

Based in Portland, Oregon – Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. – has developed an enzyme treatment which makes organic fibres (principally hemp and flax) suitable for producing clothes and other uses.  This treatment is known as “Crailar Fiber Technology”.  Here’s the information that Naturally Advanced provides about Crailar on their website:

“CRAILAR employs a simple, efficient 100% organic, enzyme bath and scales easily to leverage the global industrial hemp industry. In addition, CRAILAR Organic Fiber will be cost-comparable to organic cotton. Therefore, CRAILAR enables the transformation of hemp into a better sustainable alternative to organic cotton. ”

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Hemp Based speakers

19 11 2008

speaker-store

The people from Hemphop.com sell Hemp based speakers systems, not only because of the environmental benefits, but because they believe Hemp is superior to any other other materials. This is what they have to say:

We developed Hempcone technology for our speaker cones after finding hemp to be the lightest, strongest and most durable material available.  Hemp’s frequency response, dynamics and tonal balance are unmatched by any other material – natural or synthetic.  The fact that hemp is a sustainable green resource is an added benefit.

Visit hemphop.com for more information





The truth behind industrial Hemp

23 06 2008

Why criminalising industrial hemp is criminal

Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana, seeds

The cannabis plant is being rediscovered for it environmental friendly applicability. As you might know hemp is one of the oldest crops domesticated by man. The history of cultivating hemp goes back for thousands of years. Cannabis cultivation appears to have evolved simultaneously in separate civilisations across Eurasia.

Humankind’s earliest utilisation of cannabis was most likely in eating the seeds of the plant. Hemp seeds are among the most healthiest of grains on this planet. These seeds are low in saturated fats and full of high quality protein.

Hemp is one of the most valuable and versatile resources known to man. The manifold advantages of fibre hemp as a primary agricultural resource are apparent from the very outset of cultivation. Apart from hemp’s natural resilience, the fibre for which the plant is prized for is not a viable food source for pests. Therefore, industrial cannabis requires no insecticides. Hemp outgrows any competing plant which removes the need for herbicides, and even weeding.

Furthermore, the fibre hemp root system is highly beneficial to the structure of the soil in which it grows. Hemp requires no artificial fertilisers and, vitally does not deplenish its soil of essential nutrients in the way of many cash crops (such as cotton, corn and tobacco which can ruin for decades the land upon which they grow). This is due in part to the outstanding self-composting properties of hemp.

The stalk of the hemp plant produces one of the world’s strongest natural fibres and can be used to make things like rope, textile and paper. Hemp pulp is by far the most efficient, rational choice for paper production. Hemp also competes with the other fast growing plants that are presently a resource for pulp.

Most of these products can be recycled several times. For example, after being used, hemp textiles can be processed into paper; paper converted into building material which on its turn may ultimately be used as an energy source. Also the seed of the hemp plant contains high grade food oil that can be used as a bio-fuel and in the manufacturing of paint and soap.

Equally important is that in the treatment and processing of hemp fibres, wood and seeds, no chemicals are necessary – only mechanical methods and natural decomposition. Therefore, hemp does not only benefit the environment, but also human beings, animals and plants because the final products do not contain any harmful chemical residues.

These are just a few of the solutions offered by hemp to the various environmental problems faced today. The qualities that made cannabis one of our ancestors’ most useful and valuable resources are no less important in the 21st century. Considering the sorry state of our planet’s ecosystem and endless political turmoil over the control of finite, fossil-based energy resources, we might conclude that hemp is of even greater importance to us than to our forbears.

Dismissing these arguments just because of the fact that cannabis is an illegal substance is not only short-sighted but flat-out criminal.








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