Hempitecture to Establish First Hemp Insulation Designated Facility in the U.S.
Tara Olivo, associate editor | 06.16.22
Hempitecture, a Ketchum, Idaho-based company, will soon be manufacturing a non-toxic, no-VOC, and more sustainable thermal insulation product for residential and commercial buildings. Once complete, Hempitecture’s 33,000 sq. ft. nonwovens plant will be the first hemp insulation designated facility in the U.S.
“As you can imagine the cost per square foot of insulation is outrageous when you’re importing a voluminous building material,” he says. “Come this fall, we’ll be pulling the lever and transitioning from an imported source to the U.S grown and manufactured. We’re really excited about that because we’re supporting the emerging industrial hemp supply chain and the natural fiber supply chain as a whole.”
When Hempitecture begins production this fall, the company will be making some changes to the formulation of its product HempWool, and the process of manufacturing it will be adjusted to meet all U.S. relevant codes and standards. The company has also done extensive research on R&D and understanding of which fire retardants are safe, healthy, and non-toxic, and Hempitecture will be rolling out a fire-resistant insulation product in 2022/2023.
Benefits of Hemp
While Mead says there are many other great bast fiber crops out there, one thing that makes industrial hemp so compelling is that it’s a rapidly renewable resource that can be grown in a variety of climate types and in a variety of regions across the U.S. Also, during its three- to four-month cultivation cycle, it offsets about 9.8 tons of CO2 per acre. “It does that more so than any other bast fiber crops while also requiring less inputs than some other fiber producing crops, making it a truly sustainable, rapidly renewable resource,” he explains. “The fiber itself, when grown with the proper genetics and processed properly, also produces a fiber that is very strong. It has a variety of benefits due to its somewhat porous structure. The porous structure of industrial hemp fiber actually in part lends to the insulative capacity of the fiber itself.”