HEMP HOUSE: East Texas couple builds home with “hempcrete”

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An East Texas couple is trying to change the way people view hemp. Instead of growing the plant, they are building with it. It looks like your typical house.

“This is going to be the screened in porch,” says Dianna Henry as she showed KETK the home she and her husband are building.

While you would normally find drywall and insulation inside the home, you won’t find it here.

“Dianna, my wife, was doing some research and started finding information about hempcrete,” explains Dave Henry. 

Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp, lime, and water. Once mixed all together, it forms a sticky-like substance used to create walls. 

“Bring it in, you put about 6 inches. A level of about 6 inches down, and then you tap it down,” says Dianna as she explains the process. 

This is the couple’s third time building a home, but this is the greenest one. They started this project a couple of weeks ago, with the help of Left Hand Hemp.

Founded by Kelly Thornton, the organization travels all over the world, teaching others how to create houses using hemp. 

“It’s ecologically superior to anything, just about, that’s out there right now,” says Dave.

His wife agrees. “It regulates the moisture in the house. Mold can’t grow in it. It controls the air in the house. It’s healthier air.”

If you look closely at the walls, you can see small spaces in between the material. By not using solid material, air from outside will be able to flow through the walls. 

According to the American Hemp Association, hemp can be found in a lot of different products, including food, drink, body, and skin care. The Henrys are hoping the plant will be built into more homes. 

In order to create hempcrete, the leafy plant is broken down to its core. In the middle are wood-like pieces, forming a product that is used across the world. 

“They’ve got hempcrete houses in Europe that have been there for hundreds and hundreds of years, so I’m expecting this one’s going to last a whole lot longer then we are.

One wall at a time, the house is taking green to a new level. 

While hemp is similar to marijuana, it contains very low levels of THC, the chemical compound that produces psychological effects. The Henrys say it’s hard to predict when the 3-bedroom house will be finished. It all depends on how long it takes for the hemp to harden. 

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