Hemp sweet home

Belinda-Jane Davis
Hemp sweet home
Hemp builder Shane Hannan, in front of the first house at Shepherds Ground that he has finished with the hempcrete. Picture: Marina Neil

It wasn’t all that long ago that if you mentioned your joint was made of hemp, you’d have the police scrambling.

But things are clearly changing.

The house could be mistaken for stone, or even an elaborate paint job, but it has, in fact, been made out of industrial hemp.

And the advantages are numerous.

It only took a week to build the walls once the timber frame and roof were constructed.

Dungog builder Shane Hannan is building four hemp houses at Shepherds Ground in Butterwick – the first eco village of its kind in NSW where people live in tiny, off-the-grid houses and collectively work the land.

Each hemp wall takes on the triple role of the exterior wall, insulation and the interior gyprock.

If that’s not enough, it’s easy to work with, quickly holds its shape, deters termites, is fire proof and boasts a long list of benefits for those wanting to cut their power bills and escape mould.

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