Gallery: Nation’s First Hemp House Makes A Healthy Statement

For this application, hemp hurds are mixed with lime and water onsite and poured in-between the exterior supporting studs in lifts.
For this application, hemp hurds are mixed with lime and water onsite and poured in-between the exterior supporting studs in lifts.

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, the 3,400 square foot Push House features a mainstream design with some very different systems behind its walls. The home’s use of hempcrete was only the start — for this application, hemp hurds are mixed with lime and water on-site and poured in-between the exterior supporting studs in lifts. It is the core to a breathable wall system — Hemcrete is actually less like concrete and more like infill straw bale, as it is non-structural. The insulating quality is r-2.5 per inch, and it has the unique ability to capture airborne pollutants over time — it absorbs carbon when it is grown and in place. The material’s high thermal mass helps keep a steady interior temperature as well.

The interior walls are made from Purepanel, another unique product that is made from recycled paper. It consists of a rigid skin with a corrugated paper core, just like cardboard. The project also features 30 window frames that have been salvaged and fitted with high tech glass. They were placed to get the most daylighting without overheating the space. An open floor plan helps the light penetrate deep into the home as well.

The energy-efficient wall system is coupled with a super efficient 21 SEER air-based heat pump to effectively heat and cool the home without a huge outlay of money in equipment. All of this pays off in a home that costs little to run — it ended up costing a respectable $133 per square foot to build. Although some compromises were made, like introducing petroleum-based foam products into the ceiling and foundation, the home exemplifies how health, energy and design can all exist in sync. Anthony is looking forward to building some smaller homes using the same materials after getting through the learning curve of using Hemcrete. In the end, he says he will only build houses that are safe enough for his own daughter to live in.

+ Push Design


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  1. Why You Will Soon Be Bu... September 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

    […] there are DIY books detailing how to work with the material. A few Hempcrete houses have even been erectedin America since it was introduced in 2009, but given hemp’s federal illegality it still must be […]

  2. Jane Rimmer May 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    \\\”R-rating of 200 & tires are almost free.\\\”
    I think that you missed part of the non-toxic aspects of the article. Tires contain a large amount of petroleum products, something that I\\\’d certainly want to eliminate from my breathing area.

  3. salt lane September 26, 2011 at 11:34 am

    you would still need plenty of insulation in the northern part of the globe since the r- rating is only 2.5. Ugly deign & costly. Try a tire bale house. R-rating of 200 & tires are almost free.

  4. harish sharma May 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    a very interesting and inspiring innovation on hempcrete as the green vision

  5. sustainablearchlobo September 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I wonder what the R-value or R-rating of the “Hemcrete” is? This is a great innovation in the use of hemp products for building material. I hope to see the legalization of hemp in the US in the near future. Our politicians have no idea how hemp could stimulate the economy and help the reduction of carbon emissions in the US. Come on Obama Administration!!!! WE WANT CLEAN AIR AND GREEN JOBS!!

  6. jamesj12 September 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Hemp houses are great. There is a new technology from Australia where you can Grow Your Own Hemp Home! Also offers full construction manual for building with hemp

  7. wendit September 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Clean and Classy! I love it… I would love to build one! Are you hiring??

  8. Lola1 September 28, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Good idea, ugly design (apart from the basic structure).

  9. brecholle September 27, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Someone please call me when one of them go on fire. lol

  10. Xcelerated Training September 27, 2010 at 9:56 am

    That’s interesting… the things that they come up with these days.
    Where can I get one?

  11. rom September 24, 2010 at 10:38 am

    At $452,200, I dare say I can’t afford this “light on cost” house.

  12. E Green September 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    fabulous! i want one…

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