House of Hemp

  House of Hemp

Posted by CN Staff on January 10, 2004 at 10:32:56 PT
By Roberta Avery, Special To The Star 
Source: Toronto Star  

Dalston, Ont. -- Kelly Smith and Greg Herriott built their new home as an homage to hemp.The walls of Smith and Herriott's 4,500-square-foot house are filled with hemp weed, the floor and ceiling beams are stained with hemp oil, the roof is shingled with hemp composite and they plan to use hemp oil in the furnace.
But though their octagonal home has hemp at every turn, they won't be getting high.Like all commercially grown hemp, the weed grown at Herriott's Hempola Valley Farm contains only the minutest traces of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana."We built the house because we wanted to show people that hemp is a versatile product with a lot of applications," said Herriott.Part of Hempola's mandate is to develop hemp products that our environmentally friendly, so they incorporated that philosophy into the building of their octagonal home, said Smith."We used natural products such as slate and bamboo and as much reclaimed wood that we could get our hands on."The focal point of the house is a 45-foot-tall white pine beam — stained with hemp oil of course — that reaches from the basement through all three storeys. From that central beam eight more beams fan out on each floor to support the ceilings.In a building technique similar to that used in straw homes, more than 400 bales of hemp weed were used to form the outer walls. The walls were then secured with wire mesh, which was then parged with concrete and painted."I can tell you, painting all that concrete was a huge job," said Smith.The result is a home "that breathes" while still maintaining an insulation level of R42, said Smith.Since the hemp weed is encased in concrete, it poses a very low fire risk, she added.To make the home more energy efficient, a glassed-in sunroom forms an envelope on the west and south sides of the building."It works very well when we get sun," said Smith.Herriott installed a regular oil furnace but is working on developing heating oil from the oil squeezed from hemp seeds."In theory it should work very well, even in a house furnace," said Smith.The couple used reclaimed doors, reclaimed hemlock for the floors and bamboo compressed into strips that resemble hardwood flooring for the stairs.All the natural wood in the home, including the reclaimed elm in the breakfast bar, is stained with hemp oil, and the board and batten that covers some of the exterior is also stained with hemp oil.The Enviro Shakes used for the roof are a composite of hemp and recycled tires and carry a 50-year warranty.The couple's budget was $300,000 for the three-bedroom, three-bath home, built on 20 hectares near the village of Dalston, about 15 kilometres north of Barrie, but their determination to make the house both environmentally friendly and luxurious led to some serious overruns.Smith estimates that even though they have done much of the work themselves, the home has cost more than $570,000 so far. "And we're not totally finished yet," she said.Some of the luxury features include a two-person Jacuzzi in the master-bedroom ensuite and large windows on the third floor that give a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the rolling hills that surround the property.The third-floor room is used as Herriott's office, but Smith doesn't rule out making it into a stunning master suite.Herriott and Smith started Canada's first commercial hemp farm in 1998. They grow, manufacture and market hemp seed and hemp seed oil products through national distributors throughout Canada and the United States.Hempola, which also contracts farmers to grow hemp on 160 hectares of farmland in southwestern Ontario, has about 30 product lines, including hemp oil salad dressing, high-protein pancake mix, lip balm and hemp oil used as a wood finish.With much of the Dalston farm turned over to research and development of hemp crops, they had to buy most of the bales of hemp weed they needed for the building, at about $5 a bale."That's about twice the cost of buying regular straw for house building. But when you own a hemp company, you don't want to use anything else," said Herriott.Note: Couple built 4,500-square-foot octagonal home to show hemp's versatility. Commercially grown hemp means house won't get you high.Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)Author: Roberta Avery, Special To The StarPublished: January 10, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Toronto Star Contact: lettertoed Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Hemp Links Green, Green Grass That's Home Still High on Hemp

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Comment #9 posted by mayan on January 11, 2004 at 02:11:10 PT
UK Hemp
Here's a relatively recent article regarding UK hemp...Hoping hemp will make comeback:
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on January 10, 2004 at 16:49:41 PT
 recycling tires for roofing ----this can be big
The Enviro Shakes used for the roof are a composite of hemp and recycled tires and carry a 50-year warranty.
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Comment #7 posted by Nuevo Mexican on January 10, 2004 at 16:38:56 PT
Great Idea!
I liked the last sentence or summary at the bottom of the story:
Note: Couple built 4,500-square-foot octagonal home to show hemp's versatility. Commercially grown hemp means house won't get you high.I've always planned on building a Hemp bale house, but I think it will be one that does get you high. Imagine turning your house into a giant vaporizer. With the great minds here at C-News, any suggestions!I'm sure there's a way to do it, and when they go on the market, you could buy the industrial hemp house, no high, or the sativa/indica hemp house, with high, for an added fee I'm sure! I never thought about my home getting me high 'naturally', until I read the summary at the end of the story. Was that intended? Was that line written by a prohibitionist?It does need to be looked at, just think of how many would be ordered if available. The 'hottest' new trend in home constuction, unable to keep up with demand!And it doesn't have to cost twice as much as you budgeted, as has happened to them, but they went ALL the way, which I can appreciate, probably because they can afford to. More power to them! Succesful hemp business people! Awesome!E.J: This article deserves a prayer of thanks and a little dance! Another great idea! The Cannabis News Think Tank started here!Can we import hemp bale anyone?
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 10, 2004 at 12:03:46 PT
JR Not That I Can Find
I've looked but haven't found one so far. I hope someone finds a picture. I really want to see it too.
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Comment #5 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on January 10, 2004 at 12:02:22 PT
Are there photos of this house online somewhere? The text description makes it sound intriguing, with that gigantic white pine beam. I'd love to see it.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 10, 2004 at 11:35:45 PT
Picture of Hemp Field and Web Site
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on January 10, 2004 at 11:32:13 PT:
The construction techniques could be simplified
To use less materials. And therefore cost less money. In more temperate climates, it could be ideal as low cost shelter. This sounds very interesting...
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on January 10, 2004 at 11:30:24 PT:
I gotta see this place!
I've had a long-standing interest in low-cost housing for the less fortunate, and this place sounds ideal...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 10, 2004 at 10:52:00 PT
News Brief from The Canadian Press
Huge Barrie Pot-Grow Operation BustedJanuary 10, 2003BARRIE, Ont. — Over 100 police officers converged on a former Molson brewery site today, exposing what they say is the largest marijuana grow operation in Ontario history.Ten people were arrested and officers hunted for others possibly hiding in the massive three-storey building."The building is very elaborate," said Ontario Provincial Police Supt. Bill Crate. "There's concerns about booby traps, there's concerns about hydro and the way that its set up."Thousands and thousands of marijuana plants, being cultivated with sophisticated watering and chemical grow devices, are believed to be on the site — an 11,250-square-metre building located in an industrial area."You drive by this brewery on the 400 highway," said Crate."I find it quite interesting that something is occurring like this under everybody's nose."Crate said the police have never seen a grow operation of this magnitude.The ten people arrested did not put up any resistance, said Crate, and charges will be laid in the next few days. Copyright: 2004 The Canadian Press
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