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by Jean Lotus
Hemp building materials will be featured on the National Mall in Washington DC as part of the annual HUD Innovative Housing Showcase in June. The annual event June 9 – 11 presents cutting-edge building innovations to the public in an outdoor showcase.
The Innovative Housing Showcase is a three-day event featuring “new building technologies and housing solutions that are making housing more innovative, resilient, and affordable for American families,” according to HUD. More than 2,500 people, including policymakers, housing industry representatives, media and the general public, are expected to attend, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said. This is the third time HUD has hosted the showcase, which previously was staged in 2019 and 2022.
“I invite everyone to join us on the National Mall this June to see our collaborators’ ingenuity on full display,” Fudge said in a March statement. In particular, homeowners, future homeowners, entrepreneurs, real estate professionals, contractors, lawmakers, civil servants, veterans, and military professionals are all encouraged to attend, the agency said.
Hemp building materials will be showcased as part of the Department of Energy’s emphasis on plant-based decarbonizing building materials. Hemp building material companies participating in various DOE incubators were invited to attend, including Indianapolis-based Chris “Mr. Hemphouse” Penn and others. The US Hemp Building Association will also have a booth at the National Mall, featuring dozens of hemp building materials from hempcrete to HempWood, to hemp batt insulation and hemp rebar.
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The showcase will include exhibitor demonstrations, entrepreneurs and leaders in the housing industry. Dozens of exhibits will include full-sized prototype homes, displaying innovative building technologies that address affordability, resilience and the future of housing, the agency said.
Hemp building material companies believe this opportunity will push hemp into the spotlight with a national focus, stakeholders say.
By lucky coincidence, the role of industrial hemp as a US row crop is being discussed in Congress leading up to the 2023 Farm Bill.
Using hemp for building materials, employing technology well-developed for 30 years in Europe, is a quick win for building material uses for the plant, said Ray Kaderli, USHBA president in a statement.
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“Hemp building materials displayed on the National Mall will turbocharge education and answer questions on this remarkable building solution,” Kaderli said. “This showcase will move the industry forward.”
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Originally published April 25, 2023 on Hemp Building Mag