This week in New York, the International Code Council (ICC) approved Hemp-lime (Hempcrete), Proposal_RB316-22 for the International Residential Code (IRC). This is the first step toward the ICC’s formal adoption of hempcrete as an officially recognized residential building material!
The US Hemp Building Association (USHBA) has been working towards this goal for years and very intensively since last October. Hundreds of hours have gone into the work and it has been an intense process, but we are very excited about this historic moment and the giant stride for hemp-lime construction in the US.
The approval of this proposal triggers a public review process that will continue until June 20, 2022. The ICC will make a final determination at the September 14-21, 2022 Public Comment Hearing, in Louisville, KY.
Click here to learn more about the Proposal RB316-22 and submit your feedback to the council through the ICC’s cdpACCESS portal.
This effort was only possible with the generous donations provided to the US Hemp Building Foundation. Thank you to everyone who supported the effort including large donations from Environmental Living Industries, MPactful Ventures, and Grassroots Development LLC.
Here’s the team of hemp building advocates who testified at the ICC committee hearing:
- Martin Hammer – A lead code consultant on the proposal, Architect
- Bob Escher AIA – Founding President of the USHBA and President of Escher Design
- Alex Escher – Director of Hemp Fiber Application at Escher Design
- Anthony Dente – The lead engineer on the proposal from Verdant Structural Engineers
- Tom Rossmassler – President and CEO of Energia and Chief Embodied Officer of HempStone
- Tim Callahan – Design Engineer, General Contractor, Founder Callahan Home Design
- Anthony Néron – DuChanvre, Canada
- Jacob Waddell – Executive Director, US Hemp Building Association
- Kiko Thébaud – A primary author and proponent for the proposal, founder Thébaud LLC
- Sally Warren – Board-Certified Naturopath and Member Build Green Now
- Henry Gage, Jr. – Director of Certifications, US Hemp Building Association, founder of Build Green Now
The writing team of Kiko Thébaud, Mary Dempsey, Cameron McIntosh, Gary Fox, Matt Marino, and Jacob Waddell guided by the incredible consulting and engineering team of Martin Hammer, David Eisenberg, and Anthony Dente carefully crafted this document over 4 months. Gathering input from experts around the world, including 4 civil or structural engineers, 4 architects, 15 hemp-lime builders, 6 industry representatives, an academic researcher, an energy expert, and 2 code experts.
Reason for this proposal:
According to the 2021 UN Global Status Report “Construction accounts for more than 35% of CO2 emissions.” Hemp-lime is a low carbon footprint material. According to a testimonial by Sally Warren, Phd., and Board-Certified Naturopath: “As a naturopath I have worked with many health issues resulting from mold in homes. CDC recognizes the big issue of mold in homes, especially black mold. An advantage of Hemp-lime is that the lime acts to resist mold growth. Mold prefers higher acidity. Mold can cause many health conditions including asthma, reproductive issues, and memory loss.”
If hemp-lime is adopted by the ICC for usage in residential building code, the creation of new solutions can accelerate. With industry support, the USHBA will offer training, provide model test plans and complete accredited tests proving how Proposal 316 supports safe build with hemp-lime (hempcrete).
About The U.S. Hemp Building Association
The mission of the U.S. Hemp Building Association is to support and advocate for hemp building professionals, projects and materials in the United States. To facilitate, thorough education, the establishment, stabilization and growth of a thriving American hemp building Industry.
With the world filled with concerns over health and environmental issues, hemp building products provide a solution to both. The use of chemicals in our buildings have increased as we try to improve their fire resistance and thermal performance. This has increased the prevalence of Sick Building Syndrome caused by the exposure to these toxins. Hemp materials can replace the use of these chemical laden products and improve the health of people living in them.
The future will demand improvements in our construction practices to create a sustainable industry. Hemp is our opportunity to improve the health of our families and our world by building smarter. Please join the USHBA in making healthy hemp homes a reality.
The USHBA is a non-profit and your financial support is critical for the completion of this work. Click here to learn more about USHBA and become a member!