Hemp House Pulls CO2 From the Air

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

hemp house, green architecture

Photo courtesy of Push Design

  • Hemp house pulls CO2 from the air: As hemp is making a major comeback around the world, five U.S. states have already legalized the recreational use of cannabis and hemp-based building materials are now also gaining popularity. The very first American house constructed with hemcrete was recently completed in Asheville, North Carolina. The so called Push House of 3,400 square foot area features many eco-friendly elements, besides the non-structural system hemcrete. Hemcrete is essentially a solid and breathable wall system, where hemp hurds are mixed with lime and water on-site an poured in-between the exterior supporting studs in lift. The insulating quality is r-2.5 per inch and it has the unique ability to capture airborne pollutants over time, such as absorbing carbon when it’s grown and in place. In addition, the material has a high thermal insulating capability and and allows to maintain  steady interior temperature, saving on heating and cooling costs. The interior walls of this stylish modern and eco-friendly house are made from Purepanel, a unique product made from recycled paper. It consists of a rigid skin with a corrugated paper core, similar to cardboard. The house is also reusing 30 salvaged window frames that have been fitted with high tech glass and are located to provide for the most daylighting without overheating the interior. The energy-efficient wall system is coupled with a super efficient 21 SEER air-based heat pump to effectively heat and cool the home, reducing utility costs and also the need for expensive equipment. With all these very eco-friendly features, the Push House costs only about $133 per square foot to build.

    hemp house, green architecture, design innovation

    Purepanel used on interior walls; Photo courtesy of Push Design

  • Eight steps to more bike-friendly cities: Biking in cities as a green form of transportation, leisure and sport activity can be very healthy, efficient and rewarding. However, it can also be very stressful, dangerous and intimidating. Cities need to create and maintain certain provisions that are essential for biking. Here are eight fundamental steps that will encourage city residents to bike more: 1. Protected bike lanes, 2. Dedicated bus lanes, 3. Congestion pricing-charging drivers higher rates for using roads during peak hours, 4. Higher changes for street parking, 5. Adding more bike racks, 6. The Idaho Stop: a law that lets cyclists obey slightly different rules than cars at traffic lights and stop signs, 7. Bike-sharing programs, 8. Car-sharing programs.
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