Is cannabis the answer to sustainable construction?

by Steve Randall30 Aug 2019

While the burgeoning pot industry in Canada continues to make headlines, there’s another cannabis-related success story gathering pace.

The market for hemp to be used in construction is seeing strong demand as builders seek alternative materials in a world where reducing carbon footprints is increasingly important.

Mac Radford is one of the growers who, 6 years after setting up his company JustBioFiber Structural Solutions, is seeing such strong interest for his product that he’s struggling to meet demand.

“We have way more demand than we can supply,” Radford told Bloomberg.

Radford’s facility in Airdrie is being expanded with the aim of producing enough Lego-like hemp bricks each year to build 2,000 homes.

He says that old practices need to change and explains that the hemp bricks have solid ‘green’ credentials.

The hemp fields absorb carbon while they are growing and when used in a building they also provide better ventilation, fire resistance, and temperature regulation than their traditional counterparts.

Although energy consumption is a key focus for reduction of carbon, the materials used in construction are a major component of a building’s carbon footprint.

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