LONE STAR HEMPCRETE™ believes that a building should exist in harmony within its environment and in nature. This has been our focus since its inception in 2019. We believe that in the school of architecture where it was all about shapes and sterile industrial look and cookie cutter homes of brick, cement siding, fiberglass insulation, sheetrock and paint there has to be a more eco friendly alternative and one of the answers is LONE TEXAS HEMPCRETE™.
We firmly believe architecture should be firmly rooted in place, using local resources and materials and that is our ethos!
LONE STAR HEMPCRETE™ strives to be an industry leader in this emerging market utilizing Hempcrete in design and construction to give our future customers the green dream home they've always wanted to reduce our carbon footprint while using the most cost effective materials we can offer.
Benefits and constraints
Hempcrete provides high vapor permeability because of the mixture's ability to easily absorb or release water vapor from the air. In frame structures, hempcrete mixtures can be used as filling materials in infill walls. Increasing the density of the mixture allows the production of roof or floor insulation hempcrete materials. Decreasing the density allows the production of indoor and outdoor plasters. Hempcrete blockwalls can be laid without any covering or can be covered with finishing plasters. This latter uses the same hempcrete mixture but in different proportions.
The fact that the mixture contains a plant-based compound introduces the caution against water and rising damp levels. Hempcrete walls need to be built with a joint between the wall and the ground in order to avoid capillary rising as well as water runoff at the wall base. Moreover, hempcrete block can only be installed above the ground level. External walls need to avoid rotting of shives by implementing protection by the rain gale with sand and lime plaster. The exterior of a hempcrete based assembly needs these protections, but the interior side of an assembly can stay exposed.
Life cycle impacts
Just like any crop, hemp absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere while growing, so hempcrete is considered a carbon-storing material. Accordingly, this CO2 will be stored in the hempcrete after fabrication and for the duration of hempcrete life allowing positive environmental benefits. The specific amount of carbonates in hempcrete actually increases with the age of the block. The amount of CO2 capture within the net life cycle CO2 emissions of hempcrete is estimated to be between -1.6 to -79 kg CO2e/m2. There is a correlation that increasing the mass of the binder which increases the mixture density will increase the total estimated carbon uptake via carbonation.
The main cause of environmental impacts for hempcrete comes from the production of the binder. Reports have estimated that 18.5% - 38.4% of initial emissions from binder production can be recovered through the carbonation process. The binder is produced by the calcination of lime which takes place in kilns at very high temperatures. The transport phase poses embodied energy impacts since it involves the consumption of diesel. The diesel consumption also occurs due to the functioning of machineries used for hemp shives production.