How a company is making building materials from a newly legalized crop
KETCHUM (KIVI) – A house built from plants – the idea seems strange at first, but an Idaho company has a chance to change the insulation market by creating a bio-based, non-toxic and safe to touch product that could end up on the other side of your walls.
Hempimagecture started in the dormitory of CEO Mattie Mead who wanted to change the way homes were designed. For thousands of years before the industrial revolution, houses were made of fairly common materials like rock, mud, and plants.
America’s history even began with the use of hemp. The first American flag made by Betsy Ross was made from hemp fiber. Although this crop has hundreds of different uses, unfortunately the laws took hemp off the market until it was recently re-evaluated in 2018 and legalized again for production.
Although Idaho was the #50 state to allow hemp cultivation again, the door has opened to many new possibilities in the industrial hemp industry – and Hempitecture wants to start with insulation.
“Our mission is to manufacture, distribute and innovate the most sustainable building materials on the planet,” said Mattie Mead, CEO of Hempitectures.
The insulation is called hemp wool. Compared to other products on the market, this plant-based building material is an ideal thermal material, stores carbon and resists moisture, which makes it more durable.
Although Mead is focused on creating sustainable products from hemp fibers, his other business is changing the way the public understands what hemp really is. Thoughts of potted plants and marijuana come to mind for many, but industrial hemp is only similar in name and relationship to the plant. The crop has no cannabis related properties and hemp fiber could be the next best crop added to the agriculture industry.
“One of the goals of hempitectures is to de-stigmatize the use of industrial hemp and raise awareness that it is an agricultural product that can restore opportunities to farmers in rural communities and that these are places where opportunities have been missed in recent years,” Mead said.
Not only does Mead want to change the insulation market, he hopes to grow Idaho’s agricultural industry. Hemp is a new crop that could be added to the rotation and has the advantage of not consuming as much water as other crops available for planting.
This dichotomy could strengthen Idaho’s hemp production and develop a new partnership with companies like Hempitecture making Idaho a top player in the hemp market.
“After many years of nationwide bans, we are seeing industrial hemp being grown and planted,” Mead said. “We’re not just seeing this in the United States, we’re seeing it now in Idaho, and we’re really excited about the future of bio-based building materials made in the United States.”
For more information on Hempitecture, Click here.