Hemp Industry Daily reports……

Hempcrete leap: Lack of processors, standards create barriers to expanding hemp use in construction

Neither the International Code Council (ICC), which provides standards for building systems, nor the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which provides standards for products, has published guidelines for the use of hemp building materials. The result is complicated permitting requirements often decided on a case-by-case basis.

An ASTM subcommittee on industrial hemp, formed in 2017, has proposed a review of test methods for hempcrete insulation materials and the development of new test methods for establishing unbiased data on hemp materials. It is unclear, however, when builders can expect an ASTM certification for hemp-based products.

The U.S. Hemp Building Association said it is engaging with the ICC and ASTM to establish building standards for hempcrete to “solve the permitting and performance issues that have prevented hempcrete from gaining a larger presence in the US.”

The association plans to lead fundraising campaigns for the combined cost of ICC and ASTM certification, estimated at between $320,000 and $550,000.

Those certifications could help hemp gain a foothold in the conventional construction space, where builders and contractors often have a preferred approach to construction and may be unwilling to try a hemp-derived product.

“Oftentimes we see homeowners ‘steered’ into the materials being proposed by their insulation installer or general contractor,” said Gibbons, the COO of Hempitecture. “They might be unwilling or unable to work with a new material and warn the client against it.”

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Hempcrete leap: Lack of processors, standards create barriers to expanding hemp use in construction