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The Innovation We Strive for in Idaho and Beyond

The University of Idaho and Hempitecture partner up in the advancement of sustainable building materials.

This spring, the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) awarded the University of Idaho with a $206,624 grant to assist industry partner Hempitecture Inc. with research and development on their natural fiber insulation product called HempWool®. The project team will conduct insulation, fire resistance, and thermal conductivity tests. This cooperative effort will advance HempWool®, as a pioneering sustainable product in the building industry

“This new coating approach leverages our world-class research strengths within our Idaho universities," said Idaho Department of Commerce Director, Tom Kealey. "The commercialization potential from this public-private partnership will enhance Idaho companies and customers globally.”

Read the full announcement of the IGEM Grant recipients.

On July 20th, Mattie Mead, Founder, and CEO of Hempitecture, traveled to Moscow, Idaho to meet with the Ph.D. researchers at the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources to discuss the project.

As Hempitecture transitions to building out their flagship hemp manufacturing facility in Jerome, ID, University of Idaho is suited as an ideal research partner to help accomplish the RND goals of Hempitecture, helping speed up the commercialization efforts of hemp insulation.

In meeting with the research team, we discussed the three primary objectives for this scope of work:

  • The first is to understand the thermal resistance of HempWool® and the variables related to the thermal and acoustical resistance of natural fiber insulation products.

  • The second will be an analysis of the fire resistance of HempWool®. An investigation will be conducted on a variety of fire retardants (FR) to be used in HempWool® while keeping health and low-carbon goals at the forefront of the work.

  • Lastly, the U of I research team will be examining the biodegradability of HempWool® and they will be looking at mold growth and resistance, pest resistance, and the strength, durability, and moisture content of these materials.

Hempitecture is honored to partner with the Ph.D. researchers at the Renewable Resources lab and we are thankful for the opportunity to utilize the IGEM grant. With this partnership, we are leveraging world-class research within Idaho's universities while trailblazing the way to healthier greener building materials in the US.

Mattie Mead says, “We are truly appreciative of the Idaho Department of Commerces’ IGEM Award and we feel fortunate to be located here in the great state of Idaho, where such generous resources are afforded to start-up companies, like ours. With the IGEM grant we look forward to commercializing our products and not just growing in Idaho, but THRIVING in Idaho."

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