A team of students in Morocco have successfully developed an environmentally sustainable home made almost exclusively from hemp and solar panels.
This was a competition entry in the SUNIMPLANT project’s ‘Solar Decathlon’, a competition organised by the United States Department of Energy and Morocco’s Centre de recherche en Energie solaire et Energies nouvelles to encourage construction of solar-powered buildings. This design is unique and was built from only locally sourced hemp, vegetable-based bio-resins, and other non-synthetic materials found in the region.
“This ‘spaceship’ is advanced in time and reflects a turn not only in North Africa but in hemp construction, which doesn’t have comparable prototypes anywhere in the world.” — Monika Brümmer, German Architect and Project Leader
Monika’s building offers the opportunity of an entirely off-grid experience, unencumbered by the need for outside electricity while maintaining the comfort of a modern lifestyle. Demand for hemp-based building materials has been high lately, especially as more people learn that ‘hempcrete’ can replace traditional fibreglass, sheet rock, and drywall and offers superior temperature control, flame resistance, and noise reduction.
“The cylindrical envelope of the circular building, with minimal exposure of the 24 exterior panels, gives interior comfort through optimal damping and thermal phase shift, and osmosis of the components in the hempcrete formulation,” said Monika Brümmer, as reported by Hemp Today.
Despite some technical difficulties, this Moroccan ‘hemp house’ shows the world that environmentally sustainable construction is possible.