April 2017 Newsletter

April 2017 Issue


Dear IHBA Members,

At last I have got round to writing to you all. I have been so busy with other Hemp building activities I have not had the time.
We should start off by announcing that our 7th International Hemp Building Symposium will be held in Montreal Canada this October 17-18 so we are asking for presentations and papers. This year we are being hosted by ARTCAN the leading Canadian Hemp Builder in recent years who under the guidance of Gabriel Gauthier have built many homes in the Quebec region. We will be visiting one of his projects during the event and will see Hempcrete and Hemp plaster used to restore and improve a Church and adjoining building of stone.
We are offering sponsorship of the event in several ways and all details are available online including delegate booking. Your membership gives you reductions on these fees of course.
7th International Hemp Building Symposium

Since our Symposium in Verona three of the projects that were presented featuring using Hemp to rebuild in remote earthquake prone regions have all had developments.
S.H.I.V. ‘s project in Nepal has launched a crowd funding campaign to help further their project building homes for the disadvantaged people of the Dalit caste in Southern Nepal.  hEmpowering Bottom-Up is a project jointly initiated by Shah Hemp Inno-Ventures (SHIV) and Women Development Advocacy Center (WDAC). Both SHIV  and WDAC () are organizations of Nepalese origin and working in Nepal for the economic and social development of Nepal respectively. We initiated this project in July 2016 and with support of HempConsult and Hempro International (Germany based firms) finished the prototype home for a family of five in December 2016 (https://hemptoday.net/shiv-nears-completion-hem…).
The kind donation by HempConsult and Hempro International gave the project the kick start it needed and Dhiraj and his team have also had help from others in the Hemp world besides myself especially from Hana Gabrialova Czech and Laurent Goudet from France to name two.

Hemp House Dalit Nepal

Erecting the frame for the the first Hemp house in a Dalit village. Nepal

A very kind donation was also made by Hempflax Europe by Oana Suciu ceo of operations in Romania, who after I had made my presentation at the 6th Symposium in Verona about my work in Haiti, approached me with an offer of a whole shipping container of Hemp hurds for our project Mobil Ekol. This was also gratefully received as it meant a lot to the realization of the first Hemp buildings which will be built by our young team when I return in May this year. We are working with another team to establish hemp production in Haiti and hope to grow around 2 hectares this summer. if this works out we can start to think about a decortication system which of course the IHBA is also working on with our involvement with Initiative Chanvre which we will hear more about at our Symposium in October.

Small scale processing is still a major focus of the IHBA as there will always be a demand for local materials for small scale building projects or renovation work. There is also of course a growing demand for new housing everywhere and I know we can definitely offer a solution for this problem with Hemp materials. In my professional work I am developing a plan for a Decortication Line, a Hemp board production facility and a Modular Housing factory. If these elements are combined I am sure the economics will work out as the product is first class and with the best concepts for housing design could provide both employment and housing on a local or national level and initially at an international level due to export potential. Watch this space.!

The third project we have news about is the one in Morocco led by Monika Brummer of Cannabric fame. She has been preparing a project there in the High Central Rif for the last couple of years and will also be looking for funding to continue the work she is doing there which also includes developing the prototype decorticator she has. We will be keeping you posted on all these projects.

Mexico Hemp Building

Members of the Mexico hemp building team.

It is going to be a busy year for training courses for building with Hemp. There has already been one in the U.S. held by IHBA members Hemp Technologies in Rochester NY and another one more recently in Mexico held by Heavengrown headed up by Steven Clarke who attended our Symposium in Spain in 2011.

More courses are being offered this year the first in Costa Rica the second in Latvia and the third in the UK both the course in Latvia and the one in the UK will be held at Hemp farms providing the attendees a chance to see the building material growing nearby.
Here are the details of these courses. Booking for the course in Latvia will be open May 2nd.

Hemp Building course Costa Rica

Hemp Building course Costa Rica


Hemp Building course UK

Hemp Building course UK


Hemp Building course Latvia

Hemp Building course Latvia


test Hempcrete blocks

24 test Hempcrete blocks cast with a variety of materials as binder.

I have also been assisting Liam Donohoe our new co director with his PhD research into classifying Hempcrete by casting 24 test blocks of different mixes to compare binder setting and drying times together with hardness and permeability qualities. There are many more tests to do over the summer and we await his results later in the year.
Finally on a musical note here is a video of musician Aviva Vevuzela.

All the best

Steve Allin