Green Stays The Tallest Hemp Hotel Is Set To Open In Cape Town, South Africa

Hemp bricks are carbon negative, which means they take more planet-warming gases out of the environment than they put in
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

The world's tallest building made entirely of industrial hemp will shortly open its doors in South Africa. The Hemp Hotel, at 12 floors, offers a stunning perspective of Cape Town's towering Table Mountain while leaving a little ecological footprint. The walls of the structure are built of "hempcrete" blocks manufactured from the cannabis plant and are supported by a concrete and cement framework. It will include 54 rooms and is set to be finished by next month.  

Hemp bricks are gaining popularity in the construction industry due to their insulating, fire-resistant, and climate-friendly features. The blocks are carbon negative, which means they take more planet-warming gases out of the environment than they put in. They are widely used in Europe for the thermal rehabilitation of existing structures. According to Afrimat Hemp, a subsidiary of South African construction group Afrimat that constructed the hotel's bricks, the carbon footprint of a 40-sq m (430 sq ft) residence made with hemp is three tonnes of CO2 lower than that of a conventional building.  

Built Green

The Hemp Hotel has been named the tallest building to incorporate hemp-based materials in the world by the International Hemp Structure Association in Ireland. Since its inception in 2009, the association's goals have been to develop, promote, and support the production and use of all hemp-based construction materials and by-products in a sustainable and bio-regional manner for the benefit of the world's ecosystem and communities.

Afrimat Hemp director Boshoff Muller told AFP that as more people learn about the insulating, fireproof, and environmentally beneficial properties of hemp bricks, their use in buildings is increasing. He stated that the blocks are carbon negative, which means that they remove more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they emit, making them excellent for thermally upgrading older buildings, particularly in Europe. He explained that the plant collects carbon, converts it into a block, and then stores it in a building for 50 years or more.

The hospitality industry has been researching the use of sustainable building materials. Innovative building materials have gained popularity in recent years because they enable developers to meet sustainability goals while remaining cost-effective and long-lasting. Some of the materials utilised include

  • Bamboo, which is a strong and lightweight material that may be used in a variety of construction applications, including flooring, ceilings, walls, and furniture
  • Steel that has been recycled multiple times without losing its performance or characteristics
  • Straw bales, which can be used in place of traditional building materials
  • Rammed earth, which is formed by combining soil with other elements, such as straw or clay and compacting it into blocks. It is an incredibly durable material that has been utilised in construction projects all around the world for millennia

Cover photo credit Shutterstock

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