About Us

US Hemp Building Association
Join Us
USHBA Since 2019

“I don’t know if hemp is going to save the world, but it is the only thing that can.”

Jack Herer

Our History

Like minded people have come together with a shared mission to use hemp as a sustainable building resource. Beyond education, we demonstrate the uses of hemp in building and are working towards certification of hemp building materials.

What Drives Us

Our Mission

The purpose of the USHBA is to support and advocate for hemp building professionals, hemp building projects and hemp building materials in the United States.


Join Us

Saving the world

Why Hemp?

It is all about carbon

Growing hemp at scale will pull massive amounts of CO2 and the utilization of the hemp in place of traditional methods will further offset CO2. Every part of a hemp plant has a use and a purpose.

Benefits of Hemp fiber

The long outer fibers of a hemp stalk are stronger than steel. They are woven into comfortable, durable fabric at a fraction of the environmental impact of cotton. The inner hurd used for hempcrete is not only a healthier finished product, but it is CO2 neutral or negative.

Hemp as a super food

The seed or grain of hemp is high in protein and amino acids. With up to 30% protein and an abundant crop, hemp can feed the world.

Hemp as medicine

Research will catch up to anecdotal evidence. There is a reason why just about everyone has heard of CBD. We are learning more and healing through hemp.

Innovation with hemp

The lifting of prohibition is opening up new research. Look for much innovation like the use of hemp fibers to make super capacitors at a fraction for the cost for traditional graphine.


Our Board of Directors

Jacob Waddell


Jacob has a science background with years in engineering in manufacturing environments and running businesses. His mission in life is to make a positive impact on the world around him. This sometimes manifests as empowering people around him to reach greater heights and other times can be seen as a relentless drive to accomplish tasks that he sees as important. A natural leader who believes that teams make the difference and that carefully analyzes situations to achieve success. He believes in win-win agreements and holds honesty and kindness as important virtues.

Jacob is the COO of Ology Essentials.

Education: Masters in Material Science and Engineering and MBA

Saba Tesfay

Vice President

Rachel Berry


Rachel Berry is the founder and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, a women-led grassroots organization dedicated to building the resources and relationships necessary to grow a sustainable and equitable Illinois hemp industry.

She is a first-generation regenerative farmer raising poultry, growing heirloom vegetables, native medicinal plants, and industrial hemp with her family on their 13 acre homestead.

As a community organizer and dedicated volunteer she works to educate farmers, business owners, law makers, and families about the potential of hemp as a community crop. She is also experienced in hemp-lime construction.

Kimberly Claxton



Kim Claxton has a love for numbers and an appreciation for cannabis, so working in the industry was only natural. Today, she runs a full-service accounting firm, which provides tax assistance, bookkeeping, payroll, and CFO services to the cannabis industry.
She loves working with cannabis clients and values the opportunity to help them navigate the tricky world of finance and accounting.
She is a passionate advocate for the plant and the rights of patients and consumers and is involved with numerous organizations promoting cannabis education and advocacy, including Memphis NORML.

Eric McKee

Founder of the USHBA & 
Director of Strategic Growth

Eric McKee is the Founder and CEO of Wndr, a Colorado startup whose mission is to infuse sustainability and style with economic viability in building with Hemp. Eric built the first permitted hempcrete structure in Denver County which  gained national attention and propelled Eric to the forefront of the Hemp industry. Eric has contributed countless hours to promote building with Hemp, including time in Haiti’s Wynne Farm Nature Reserve demonstrating Hemp’s application for humanitarian and ecological purposes, speaking and training at multiple Hemp Expos, Symposiums and Webinars, and contributing his expertise to the International Hemp Building Association.

Sergiy Kovalenkov

Director of University Relations Development

Known the world over as Dr. Hemphouse, Sergiy Kovalenkov, Civil Engineer, has worked on numerous hemp insulation projects across the globe in countries like: Ukraine, Switzerland, France, Russia, Poland, Australia,USA and Poland. In 2015, he founded Hempire UA in Ukraine, which has developed Hempire Mix, a 100% natural binder, that when mixed with hemp and water creates one of the lightest, carbon negative hempcrete insulation materials on the planet. Hempire has received  high recognition and numerous awards for innovative technology and developing creative, challenging projects building with Hemp. In 2018, Sergiy has founded Hempire USA in California. The company will focus on bringing a new hemp processing technology and other natural, innovative materials to US market and rest of the world.

Henry Valles

Founding Board of Directors Member

Henry Valles is a NAR Green Certified real estate professional with Realty Austin, Co-Founder & Vice President of the Texas Hemp Industries Association and a hemp building advocate. In 2017, He spearheaded Austin’s first hempcrete home in Community First Village, a community for the chronically homeless. Henry has delivered presentations on developing communities through hemp building at multiple conferences, such as the International Hemp Building Symposium and EarthX. Inspired to bring more sustainable and non-toxic solutions to the real estate and building industries, Henry continues to educate his community and champion the use of hemp-based building materials through his real estate and hemp building consulting practices.

Cameron McIntosh

Director at Large

Cameron has served as the Vice Chair of USHBA Area Leadership Committee, is a founding influencer of USHBA since 2019. He is a founding member of All Together Now PA Industrial Hemp Supply Chain Coalition and owner of Americhanvre, a licensed and fully insured hempcrete installation firm in Allentown, PA.  

Bob Escher, AIA

Founding President

Vermont Architect, Bob Escher AIA, hails from an impressive family of builders and engineers whose projects include New York’s original Yankee Stadium and Switzerland’s Gotthard Tunnel.
A practicing architect for over thirty years, his firm features a national portfolio of completed projects in numerous states including New York, Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont.
After completing the first permitted hempcrete structure in Denver Colorado in 2017 and being elected president of the USHBA in 2019, Bob is ready to take the lead to educate, innovate and create the infrastructure to bring hemp-based
construction materials to the marketplace.