Local builder James Isaacs says building homes out of hemp is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ways
of doing so, after starting construction on his first hemp house. Mr Isaacs runs the Belubula Hemp Homes construction business, and is currently working on a house made out of hemp on The Escort Way in between Cudal and Eugowra.
But while this is the first house he has made from hemp, it certainly won’t be the last, with a list of properties on his list to be made out of the plant-based substance. While it seems bizarre to be building a house with hemp, Mr Isaacs said it had actually been happening on parts of Europe for the last couple of centuries, but the concept had not been seen in Australia until much more recently. He said the biggest advantage of this unusual method was that the houses would last for longer, and give back to the environment.
“Hemp is carbon neutral. It breathes in carbon dioxide similarly to how trees do, plus it’s good for surrounding soils,” he
said. “It has good acoustic and thermal insulation as well, and saves the home owner in the long run as they will not need to use their heater or air conditioner as often.” A house made from hemp is still built with a timber frame, and the hemp mixture sits outside of it.
The mixture is made from hemp herd and lime binder, and is coated on the outside with a lime render that protects it from the elements.
Over time the hemp will petrify and turn to stone, increasing its life expectancy to infinity, whereas most other houses only
last for around 50 years before needing maintenance. “Our business is working on streamling this concept, but we’re really pushing how environmentally friendly it is,” Mr Isaacs said.