Hempcrete Bakery Build – Part 1

The Hempcrete Bakery Build! Follow along with Derek, Founder and CEO of Hemp and Block LLC, as we work on another exciting hemp building project. This may be another “World’s First!” that we are proud to share. Located in Colorado, this old, run-down shop is being renovated into a hempcrete bakery!

Using a variety of cast-in-place methods, including tamping and spray (shotcrete) applications, the space will be retrofitted with hempcrete (hemp-lime) for major performance upgrades. Benefits of using hempcrete for walls, floors and ceilings:

  • long term durability and strength
  • great insulation and thermal mass, reducing cooling and heating costs -resistance to bugs, fire, mold and pests
  • walls that absorb and damper sound
  • walls that “breathe” (vapor permeable but water-tight), helping to manage humidity, air quality and comfort
  • a natural alternative to conventional, toxic construction materials
  • a sustainable healthy home or building that is carbon friendly; carbon sequestering even, as hemp pulls in CO2 during its growth cycle and hempcrete draws in even more CO2 from the air as it cures and hardens

For this build, we are using our proprietary hempcrete binder and processed American hemp hurd. Our hempcrete binder is proudly 100% Made in USA with domestically sourced ingredients. It can be used for mixing hempcrete, as a plaster or render, or a mortar, depending on mix design.

For example, a mix ratio for mortar by volume: 1 part binder, 2 parts clean sharp sand, just enough water to make a stiff mortar…

And for the hempcrete mix ratio, on this build for walls we did 1.5 parts binder to 3 parts hemp hurd. 1:3 works real well for typical walls but in this bakery (fire risk!) the extra binder makes for an even denser and tougher wall. Still quite hempy. May use the lighter 1:3 mix on upper level of wall (9′ and above to the vaulted ceiling).

About Hemp and Block LLC: Proud to be Colorado’s First Hempcrete Block Company as of 2018. Nearly America’s first… but perhaps the longest running American producer of hemp blocks? We are working every day to get hemp building into the hearts and minds of more and more people.

Unlike most hemp blocks on the market, which are imported from overseas and burn up lots of fuel crossing the ocean, our hemp blocks are cast and cured in the USA. Also, our building materials such as our proprietary hempcrete binder is 100% made in USA. Did you know that most hempcrete/lime binders are imported, too? We also only use American grown hemp!

Hemp and Block LLC makes these choices to help support and create more jobs and businesses for Americans. Supporting local farms, economies and supply chains as best we can! Every hemp block we cast or for every hemp wall put up, we are putting dollars into pockets of our friends and neighbors throughout our region.

A little more about our operation… Our hemp building products are manufactured in a quality controlled environment with strict requirements for raw materials, production and curing. Consistent quality, assured.

Family owned and operated in the USA since 2018!

And eager to innovate… Colorado’s first hempcrete block company, creator of the World’s First hempcrete garden bench, coffee table, hemp pavers and more to come!

Be sure to join us on social media:

Instagram: @HempandBlock

YouTube: @HempandBlock

2 thoughts on “Hempcrete Bakery Build – Part 1”

  1. I have built a cast in place hempcrete cabin. I am getting ready to build a house made of hemp cast blocks. Are your blocks structural? Do they work for 2 story homes? How do you secure them to the foundation?

    1. Hemp and Block, LLC

      Hi Dale,

      Thanks for your questions. Congrats on the cabin, that sounds great.

      Currently, our hempcrete blocks are geared to comply with the standards being set by industry for “hemp-lime” / hempcrete. As you may have seen, its entry into the residential building code is for use as non-structural, insulating, wall-infill system. Although I have formulated exceptionally strong and dense mix designs, to help support the work being done by USHBA and hemp builders, stakeholders, I’m keeping the conventional hempcrete blocks in line with the definitions and expectations being established. This includes specs for density among others. As shown in the link below, looks like code submittal is specifying height up to 25′ but for 1 story home. Although, two story hemp homes have been built. This may be a local building approval discussion.

      Here is a great resource on hemp-lime construction; building to code. The proposal for use submitted for residential code. Great info, illustrated detail, including for moisture barriers etc:

      With that being said, our hempcrete blocks are compatible for use with methods currently used to make hempcrete structural. For example, the Europeans started using hemp blocks with a big hole to run rebar through; lintel blocks; bond beams etc. with concrete/grout pour filling all cavities to tie the floor, columns and beams together. The hemp blocks being used are “conventional” as described above, it is the rebar and concrete method that makes it structural. (I have some reservations about steel rebar and rust/spalling potential, fiber or basalt frp rebar may be better for longevity)

      These hemp blocks will bond to a slab or foundation or plinth with mortar. As you may know from your previous build, rising damp needs controlled, such as beneath the slab the blocks are laid on or between blocks and foundation. Depending on your structure/framing design (timber, rebar/concrete etc) blocks could be secured several ways. In the rebar/concrete/bond beam example, blocks are secured in conventional block masonry fashion with rebar coming up through block from the foundation. With timber frame, and there is a similar illustration in the pdf linked, foundation secured such as with J bolts through moisture barrier and sill plate, blocks fastened to timber frame with stainless steel ties.

      Happy to discuss more, you can always reach me directly: derek “at” hempandblock.com

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