We've seen tiny and modular homes, and we've seen net-zero energy homes with a green roof, but we've never seen all of these sustainable design strategies combined with hempcrete. We're about to, though. Disturbed by the dearth of resilient housing to protect the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, GreenBuilt became motivated to design an alternative housing solution using what is widely recognized as one of the world's most sensible building materials. Led by Christina Griffin, they came up with Hemp Home: Tiny+, a remarkable design expected to meet the most stringent green building standards in the world.
“Tiny+ does not require the burning of any fossil fuels even in the cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers of the Northeast,” according to the GreenBuilt team, which is based in New York’s Hudson Valley. “Designed to provide superb indoor air quality, superior comfort, and unmatched resilience, it will be the first modular HempHome to meet the stringent healthy building and energy efficiency standards of The Passive House Institute and the Living Building Challenge.”
GreenBuilt founder Jim Savage told Inhabitat they can build a house with a total footprint of either 425 sq. ft. or 700 sq. ft., with the main living area, kitchen, mechanical module measuring either 210 sq. ft. or 340 sq. ft. He said the house will have 12″ thick hempcrete walls, which provide R-30 insulation, along with triple pane windows, solar panels, and a heat recovery ventilation system. It will also have a green roof – in part to manage stormwater runoff.
The solar panels will produce both electricity and hot water, while the heat recovery ventilation system will enable a continuous flow of fresh air and maintain constant temperatures indoors. These homes are mold, pest and fire-resistant, and the prefabricated hemp panels help reduce construction costs.
“Tiny+ is the first step toward bringing environmentally friendly, non-toxic hemp building materials into the mainstream,” writes Savage. “It’s a step toward creating healthy, affordable homes that are climate resilient and will help reduce carbon emissions. It’s also a step toward bringing a sustainable cash crop back to American farmers and quality jobs back to American workers.”