Hemp Building Association
New Zealand (HBANZ)
Photo credit: Designer: Tracy Graham (Connected Designs), Builder: Nick Sowden (Sowden Building Solutions)
Promoting & Supporting Hemp Construction
Why Build With Hemp?
Access to land? Able to grow?
If you have access to land where you could grow your own hemp, you could potentially use the hurd from that crop to build your own hemp house (or retrofit an existing house). This is because you will be able to get your crop processed at the decortication plant in Christchurch – NZ Natural Fibres
Although this maybe a challenge if you are north island based (in terms of transportation of material to and from the decortication factory in Christchurch), it is till preferable to importing your hurd from overseas.
Because hemp is classified taxonomically as Cannabis sativa, New Zealand’s hemp cultivation is regulated by the Ministry of Health.
Farmers/growers who want to work with cultivate hemp must first obtain licenses from the Ministry of Health. Industrial Hemp Licensing Application Guide is located online here.
Producers are only allowed to sow seed varieties which are on the approved cultivar list, also found on the Ministry of Health website – view here.
We’re in a bind…
A second reason for the limited number of hemp houses in NZ so far, has been that the binder for the hempcrete (ie the second main component of the hempcrete) has had to be imported from Australia or Europe.
The binder is generally made from lime (hydrated lime and usually also with hydraulic lime and / or clay). We currently do not have a certified hempcrete binder being produced in NZ and so we still have to import it. This is especially the case for commercial hempcrete builders in NZ who want the certainty of using a certified performance known product. This is less of an issue for those folks wanting to do their own smaller builds of sleepouts etc as it is possible to make your own binder.
It is hoped that a NZ produced and certified binder will be being produced and sold commercially in NZ in 2021.
We have included links here to the existing suppliers of binder in Australia, and to NZ Natural Fibres for hemp hurd purchases.