Why We Should Be Using Hemp In Construction

Guest Post By Jacob Waddell

Hello everyone, it has been awhile since I wrote the first part of what was supposed to be a two part blog on building with hemp. Since then I have pushed forward with my own efforts and have become the President of the US Hemp Building Association (USHBA). We are striving to forward the use of hemp for construction by educating the different stakeholders and pushing for standardization that will allow for hemp materials to become more mainstream.

I am thrilled to be able to lead the USHBA up this mountain, but it unfortunately means that I must leave my current role at Ology Essentials. As my farewell, I would like to share with you all the top 5 reasons to build with hemp and look forward to watching Ology grow while I focus on this new endeavor. Together we can make a real difference.

Top 5 Reasons to Build with Hemp:

Your Health

Humans are spending larger and larger portions of their time inside buildings. Because of these extended periods of time indoors, the primary environment we are exposed to are from the buildings we live and work in. The construction industry has increased the amount of chemicals it uses to combat issues of fire retardancy and increasing insulation values. The net effect is that we are continually exposed to higher levels of chemicals from the buildings we live in. The illnesses this exposure causes has been defined as Sick Building Syndrome. Hemp can be used as an alternative to these chemical laden products decreasing your daily exposure to harmful chemicals.

The Environment

The construction industry worldwide accounts for 39% of our carbon footprint with 11% of that coming from the building materials, according to the latest reports from the UN. In order to make real strides forward in decreasing our impact on the environment, we need to start looking on how to decrease that impact coming from the construction industry. Hemp in certain forms presents a carbon neutral or even carbon negative (carbon sequestering) material. If you then include the energy savings potential of building with materials like hempcrete, the overall decrease in carbon is huge.

Durable Housing

Hempcrete is one hemp building material that has many benefits. It provides a solid insulation layer that stabilizes the temperature and humidity of the building while also being fire resistant, mold resistant, and pest resistant. This creates a building which requires less energy for air conditioning and temperature control while avoiding some of the major issues associated with modern houses especially in areas prone to fires and pests.

Job Creation

Hemp has the potential to be a crop that farmers can depend on for future income as it becomes more widely utilized. Hemp building products create the opportunities for new businesses as entrepreneurs and inventors create new products with hemp. Hemp materials like hempcrete present the opportunity for new specialties in the trades, offering new income streams to construction professionals. From seed to structure hemp provides job opportunities at every stage that could bolster local economies by providing new jobs.

Equality in Housing

Current affordable housing utilizes some of the most unhealthy and poor quality materials available on the market. This means that individuals living in affordable housing are often made to live in extremely unhealthy buildings which in turn leads to lower life spans. Hemp products are being researched by a number of groups trying to create healthy affordable housing options. If these projects are successful, they will give communities options to create affordable homes that are healthy, and long lasting.

To learn more about the USHBA and how you could become involved please visit, USHBA.org. And be sure to check out my first blog post about the first time I attended a Hemp Building Summit in 2019 – you may become just as inspired as I was. 

Jacob Waddell

President of the USHBA

Jake’s life goal is to positively affect the course of his life and others. From cancer research to world travel, from creating music to years in the automotive industry, he has searched for this opportunity. Through all his efforts, Jake believes hemp has the highest potential to accomplish his goal. Grow More Hemp, Save the World! Jake has a MS from Georgia Tech, MBA from TN Tech, and BS from the University of Florida.

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