As any good hippy will tell you, the cannabis plant isn't only good for getting stoned. Hemp has been used for thousands of years for all kinds of stuff, including making rope, clothing, and even cars. With this in mind, Albany, NY-based Green Built has high hopes it can bring cannabis construction into the US mainstream with its hemp-based tiny house.
Joking aside, it's important to note that hemp construction isn't new or even unusual outside the US, and makes sense as a sustainable building material. Green Built aims to use Hempcrete (essentially a mix of hemp, lime and water) to build its tiny house. Used quite widely in the UK, Hempcrete is non-toxic, has good insulation properties – and no, it won't get you high if your house burns down.
Assuming all goes to plan (and that's still a big assumption at this early stage), the first prototype HempHome: Tiny+ is slated to comprise 522 sq ft (50 sq m) of floorspace, which may be pushing it a little for a strict "tiny house" definition, but it is still on the snug side. The floorspace would be split between a deck, living room, kitchen, foyer, master bedroom and bathroom.
In time, the firm plans to make several other models available too.
Green Built is aiming to meet Passive House standards for the HempHome: Tiny+ which is a very exacting green building code and the team includes Passive House experts, so it should be extremely efficient to heat and cool.
The home would be topped by a green roof and efficient mechanical ventilation in addition to triple-glazed windows, which should also help maintain a steady temperature inside. Electricity and hot water would be produced via a roof-based solar system.
Green Built hopes to fund the development of its prototype HempHome: Tiny+ with a Kickstarter campaign. At the upper end of the scale, promised rewards include a HempHome dog house for US$1,000 and a shed for $5,000, while cheaper options include chocolates and a wallet.
Check out the pitch video below for more information.