The United States demand for insulation is estimated to rise 3.7 percent per year to approximately $9.5 billion by 2021.[i] And with so much demand, new types of insulation are being tested for the future. We will focus on one—Hemp.
According to Green Building Advisor, “Two North American companies are producing insulation for residential construction from locally sourced hemp fiber. This gives builders an alternative to fiberglass, plastic foams, and other more conventional materials.”[ii]
Europe Has More Access to Hemp
In Europe, builders have access to hemp insulation, but availability has been limited in the U.S. Some U.S. builders have toyed with a mix of hemp fibers and lime called “hempcrete.” But, because of U.S. laws, extensive use of industrial hemp has been blocked.
One Canadian company capable of producing threadlike hemp insulation on a commercial scale is Montreal-based MEM Inc. Not far behind producing hemp fiber insulation is a biomaterials supplier in Louisville, Kentucky, called Sunstrand. And, new on the scene is Nature Fibres, a Canadian company based in Quebec. [iii] The interesting fact about Nature Fibres is they moved into Asbestos, Quebec, to start up their business. The town was named after asbestos because of the former industry in town. But, due to the associated health risks, those manufacturing facilities are closing their doors.
Benefits of Using Hemp
The benefits of using Hemp for insulation are many. It is biodegradable and has a very long service life. “Walls opened up in France 50 years after construction showed hemp insulation looking essentially brand new.” Hemp is composed mostly of a natural fiber (88% hemp fiber and 12% polyester fiber) with no chemical binders and no VOC (volatile organic compounds) off-gassing. As a result, it allows water vapor to pass through it. and is naturally repellant to rodents and insects.
It is clear that with all the changes in the market and with regulations, the insulation industry needs to keep up with demand and changing times. The Green Cocoon is a company that looks to help people lower their carbon footprint by increasing their home's efficiency. We do this while using the greenest products available on the market.
[i] Walls & Ceilings (2019, August 6). An Optimistic Look into the Insulation Future. Retrieved from wconline.com.
[ii] Green Building Advisor (2018, March 8). Hemp Insulation Comes to North America. Retrieved from greenbuildingadvisor.com
[iii] Eco Home (2018, October 19). Hemp Insulation in Canada & USA – Insulating Naturally Is an Eco-Friendly Alternative. Retrieved from ecohome.net.