As real estate development recruitment specialists, we have seen the Australian construction and development market to currently be under its tightest cost pressure event, with materials shortages, logistics and supply chain issues, prices are continuing to soar and there has never been a more expensive time to build product.
In addition to this, investor ESG metrics are driving appetite for newer and smarter ways to build more sustainably, either via less carbon intensive means, or through new materials that are better suited than the current “status quo” of traditional “bricks and mortar”.
What is Hempcrete?
Simply put, Hempcrete is without doubt one of the most exciting products slowly emerging that can satisfy high demand, is wildly sustainable, out performs most current materials in terms of thermic response, acoustic defence, incredibly fire resistant, is mould proof, termite and pest proof, and most importantly – is actually carbon-NEGATIVE. Hempcrete sequesters carbon as a built-form product whilst also having a fantastic negative-carbon footprint through its growth and production lifecycle. What is Hempcrete? See link at the end of this article for government explanation.
Hempcrete’s alignment to institutional grade property currently sees challenges from a structural perspective, but there are advancements with new forms of products slowly trickling into the international market that will be suited to various forms of asset class in the coming years. Hempcrete was approved as a construction product in the last 12 months by the Australian Building Council.
One of the regions currently progressing a new product for commercial grade development is North America, namely Canada. ‘Just Biofiber’ is a Canadian start-up that is pioneering a new blocking technology with incredible load-bearing characteristics. Presented in the video below, JBF’s technology has recently started receiving Canadian building code approval for most testing and they have recently been satisfied and approved to utilise the blocks for the first time as a structural (load bearing) construction material. Engineers that are engaged are satisfied with the current state of the performance of the system and blocks, and therefore discussions have begun with various developers for supply of blocks starting next year.
How can the Australian construction and development market utilise Hempcrete?
Without question the earliest asset classes that will benefit from adopting hempcrete would be residential homes and apartments (BTR or BTS), as well as hotels and student accommodation. It is already being utilised in some retail fitout as design and project management companies become aware of its performance benefits as well as its aesthetic appeal. Zimmermann is one brand of note that has rolled out hempcrete blocks in multiple stores nationally.
As Australia transitions to more sustainable and “greener” construction alternatives, hempcrete will be firmly on the agenda. Government agencies at a State and Federal level are now pushing ahead with plans to start converting our significant farming footprint & agriculture industry into large scale hemp production.
Click here to watch the government explanation.
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