Because South African authorities do not distinguish between hemp and the euphoric THC-laden "dagga" plant, its benefits as a super-sustainable building material have largely gone untapped. Until now - a tireless hemp advocate, Tony Budden joined forces with Dutch architect Erwin van der Weerd from Perfect Places to build South Africa's first seven-roomed hemp house in Noordhoek. The home is designed to showcase hemp's incredible potential as a building material and convince the government to remove obstacles for widespread commercial development of one of the most resilient, versatile, and fast-growing carbon sinks on earth.
The home is completely biodegradable and features one of the most sustainable building materials on earth: hemp!
The staircase is made from laser-cut steel and locally-sourced ash (FSC certified, of course.)
The flooring is made from cork while 85% of the cabinetry and furniture is made from hemp.
With superior insulation, north/south orientation, solar paneling, rainwater harvesting, and advanced wastewater treatment systems on-site, this incredible showcase building is so much more than just the "Hemp House."
Hemp continues to sequester carbon - making it a great combatant against greenhouse gas emissions.
Although it is illegal to grown hemp in South Africa, Tony Budden's efforts (combined with others) may well pave the way to establishing a local industry that would have widespread benefits for South Africa's people.
Since this is South Africa's very first modular hemp home, the building process entailed a steep learning curve. But the home came out beautifully in the end.