How to Make a Hempcrete Wall

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Ben Christensen of Oregon Hemp Works and Joy Beckerman of Hemp Ace International demonstrate how to make a hempcrete wall as a community project. You can build your own home with this product and it will be completely reusable, recyclable, and durable.

Ben Christensen:
Joy Beckerman:
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0:01 Hempcrete Demonstration
So today we have built a demo wall out of hempcrete. The purpose of this is to show people how you can build with this material in more of a practical application, where you would see it as a wall with the frame, with the light switch, and socket, and stuff like that.

0:22 Carbon Sink
Now, hemp is absorbing a whole of CO2 while it is growing, so we’re doing something wonderful there. The growth cycle of hemp, 90 to 120 days for the type of fiber we’re looking at. This is a fast growing, renewable, carbon absorbing, biomap.

0:40 Hempcrete Recipes
A basic hempcrete recipe is 4-1-1. Four parts industrial hemp hurd, to one part lime based binder, to one part water. We take that appropriately processed and dried hemp hurd, we add the water to it, so that the hurd can soak up that water. Once we add the lime binder into the water, we’re going to start to get our chemical set. Hurd, then water, then lime, mixed together, about seven or eight minutes once you’ve got the good mix. Test it to make sure you don’t have too much or too little water which, again, will change with the temperature and humidity of the day, how much water you use.

1:16 Casting Hempcrete
Then we cast that mix, that hempcrete, which is basically putting it in the wall. If it were concrete, they would call it pouring. Since it’s hempcrete, we call it casting. Then we tap around the edges, and the timber framing, and we continue on up until we have gotten to the top of our form. We remove the form. Put the form up a little bit higher, and repeat that process.

1:40 Hemp Building and Community
Get 15 great people there from you community, you empower them on how to build their own home, much like the Amish barn raising, and you get your building done in a day depending on how big it is. Mix, cast, and tamp. At the end of your hempcrete home’s life, that structure’s life, you can actually take the hempcrete home apart, crack that hempcrete up, and put it into your next hempcrete mix and/or you can use it as some type of a soil amendment. We’re talking about reusable, recyclable, and durable. It just doesn’t get any better than that.