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By HempBuild Mag
Hemp building materials were featured at the SXSW Climate Change conference March 11 in Austin, TX, and the hemp building community came together to raise money to build refugee hempcrete housing in Ukraine.
At the conference, Ray Kaderli, founder of Texas-based Hemp Build Network was joined by Ukrainian hempcrete builder Sergiy ‘Doctor Hemphouse’ Kovalenkov CEO of Hempire USA and Kim Croes, CEO and founder of Michigan-based FiberFort. Jean Lotus, publisher of Hempbuildmag.com moderated.
Kaderli described how his 3-bedroom/2-bath hempcrete project in San Antonio was built with 20,0000 pounds of hemp in the walls, which meant that tons of carbon were being sequestered.
“That’s 20,000 pounds of carbon that’s sequestered out of the atmosphere,” he said, as first reported by San Antonio Community Impact. “You can make a quick impact with that.”
Kovalenkov, a structural engineer and builder of dozens of hempcrete structures in Europe, Central America and the United States, praised the healthy benefits of hemp-lime and pointed out that the product allowed creativity for architects. “This is a gold mine for architects and designers. You can shape any house with this material,” Kovalenkov said.
Croes, of Detroit, described her journey as a house painting contractor who switched careers to escape the toxins found in traditional construction materials. Croes built the first spray-applied hempcrete home in Chelsea, MI this summer.
“I wanted to find a more natural way of building,” Croes said.
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In addition, hemp companies Tiger Fiber US Heritage Group, HempWood, Saoirse Learning Center ,Texas Hemp Processors, Haven Earth PMA and Complete Hemp Processing exhibited with booths at the SXSW Creative Industries Expo.
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Later, hemp builders gathered later at Friends and Allies Brewing in Austin to support Kovalenkov’s Hemp.Ukraine.Recover hempcrete refugee housing project in western Ukraine. Among the supporters were were Finlay Sabin of Hemp Ecosystems, River Richardson and Imani from Haven Earth, PMA, Cody Ley, Nancy Brazill, Christine Dunn, Jennifer Bailey of Saiorse Learning Center, Greg Wilson of HempWood, Henry Valles, James Forbes of Tiger Fiber, Mario Machnicki and Tai Olson from US Heritage Group, Ken Meyer and others.
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Originally published March 23, 2023 on Hemp Building Mag