Hemp Squared has been awarded a $100,000 WA state government Regional Economic Development (RED) grant to expand its eco-friendly hemp block production business.
Hemp Squared claims to be Australia’s only commercial manufacturer of building blocks made from THC-free carbon sequestering industrial hemp combined with a lime-based binder, a material already commonly used in construction in Europe and Canada that has the potential to keep absorbing carbon from the air for up to 25 years.
The company plans to use the grant towards an expansion of its manufacturing facility with a large production and block drying area, increasing production capacity from 12,000 blocks a year to 200,000 – enough blocks to 60 homes per year. Its facility uses renewable energy, water recycling and waste-reducing initiatives to ensure sustainable manufacturing.
Hemp mixed with a lime binder is a sustainable building material that resists mould, bushfire, termites and vermin, making it well-suited for the Australian climate. It is highly insulating, humidity-regulating and has a very long lifespan, with the potential to continuously absorb carbon from the air for up to 25 years after installation.
“The demand for sustainable building products is growing,” Hemp Squared founder and chief executive officer Iggy Van said.
“Hemp-lime has been used in the domestic housing market for decades in Europe and we are able to use their experience to ensure our product is durable and meets the expectations of home builders and occupants today.”
Hemp is a versatile material that is used for thousands of products including fabrics, cosmetics and bio-fuel.
“Collaboration with others in the industrial hemp industry is vital – from farmer to processor to manufacturer and end user. Developing a reliable supply chain will make this a fast-growing industry in WA,” Mr Van added.