Tallest-ever hemp block building will be hotel – media

South Africa’s Cape Town is finishing a hotel that will be the tallest building in the world built using hemp-based materials

Tallest-ever hemp block building will be hotel – media

Tallest-ever hemp block building will be hotel – media

The 12-story edifice in South Africa would be the first skyscraper to incorporate cannabis-based materials

South Africa is opening a hotel soon that will be the world’s tallest building made out of industrial hemp. The 12-story structure in Cape Town, consisting of 54 rooms and named 84 Harrington Street, is expected to be completed next month.

The building’s walls are erected using “hempcrete” bricks made from the cannabis plant and supported by a concrete and cement structure. Afrimat Hemp, which produces the bricks, claims that they are eco-friendly, carbon negative, fire-resistant and also provide insulation.

Boshoff Muller, director of Afrimat Hemp, told AFP that “the plant absorbs the carbon, it gets put into a block and is then stored into a building for 50 years or longer.

Though the business is a major processor of cannabis, the builders said they had to import industrial hemp from Britain for the project, as South Africa had prohibited local production until the government began issuing cultivation permits last year.

In February of this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged to prioritize the development of the country’s fledgling cannabis industry, citing the potential for at least 130,000 jobs.

Afrimat Hemp intends to produce its first blocks from South African hemp soon and Wolf+Wolf, the architect of the Hemp Hotel, has said that using locally grown cannabis will increase the number of such structures as 84 Harrington Street in the region.

The firm behind the hemp blocks has addressed concerns over the cost of using hemp bricks but said that while they are 20% more expensive than traditional materials, their ability to lower carbon emissions presents “huge opportunities” in the fight against climate change.

We can fund forests or we can fund someone to live in a hemp house. It’s the same principle,” Wihan Bekker, carbon consultant at Afrimat Hemp, explains in AFP’s report.