Sun Valley man builds homes with hemp
One Sun Valley man turns a dorm room idea into a sustainable business.
“I was really fascinated with ways that we could build more sustainable, more naturally, use products that are from the earth, and carbon dioxide capturing," said Matthew Mead. "Most of our products offset carbon dioxide, and some of them are even carbon absorbing."
Mead is the CEO and founder of his business Hempitecture, and works hands on building the homes out of hemp, including their current project right outside of Hailey.
With his business he and his team build homes out of all natural materials, including hemp.
“All of the materials that are repurposed are actually clad around our primary material which is hemp Crete," Mead said. "It’s a bio composite building material, and it’s derived from two things — the wooden core of industrial hemp stock and a limestone base binder."
Idaho is one of the only states in the U.S. where hemp is not legal.
“In Idaho, industrial hemp currently is illegal to cultivate, and there are some challenges with transporting it across state lines," Mead said. "Our material though is derived from the industrial hemp stock, it has nothing to do with CBD or THC. All of the parts that we use are derived from plants."
As well as building homes, he hopes to educate people about why using natural materials is the way to go.
Recently, Hempitecture hosted the first US Hemp Building Summit in Ketchum, where 250 people attended.
“Our building materials are the epitome of a healthy building approach because it creates a healthy indoor air quality, there is no air toxins, so ultimately it kind of contributes to the health of the people in the home,” Mead said.
Hemp is 30% more expensive than other construction materials.