Structural Solutions from Hemp
The aim of the Rakenneratkaisuja hampusta project (Structural Solutions from Hemp) is to promote the generalization of hempcrete or hemp and lime structures as a strong alternative in construction, due to its energy efficiency and ecological nature. In hemp structure, the good qualities of the well-known construction materials – concrete, wood and rock – are combined. In the construction business, implementing new materials is slow.
Even though practical experience and research data on hemp structures exists abroad, domestic proof of the material is needed in order to develop the related entrepreneurship and construction in Finland. Several questions are related to the introduction of a new construction material, and this project tries to clarify the matter for entrepreneurs, consumers, designers and authorities. Thus the development of a new livelihood is promoted within the region and resource-efficient and carbon neutral construction is supported.
The project produces open concrete information on the soundproofing qualities and fire resistance of the structure as a basis for more exact product development, to be utilised by enterprises. Definitions of decomposition will produce knowledge about the recyclability of the product extracted from fields and mines back to the field as a fertiliser, so that the product would not produce waste at any stage of its life cycle.
The fibre in hemp fibre is one of the strongest natural fibres in the world and its cultivation for industrial use has increased in the 21st century. In Southwest Finland it was grown in an area of about 100 hectares in 2015, and the cultivation is on the increase. About 30% of the crop is valuable fibre and the rest, about 70%, is light, wood-like hurd. The hurd produced by one field hectare yields material for building a detached house.