Texas A&M has received roughly $3.94 million in funds for 3D-printed hempcrete research. This money is expected to be used to research and create resilient buildings with the new hempcrete material. Supposedly a alternative to the very environmentally unfriendly concrete, hempcrete could lower the environmental impact of construction all over the globe.
This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) program. Petros Sideris, assistant professor of the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will head the project as principal investigator. There are also many other professors on his team including Maria Koliou, department head, Zachary Grasley, Anand Puppala, Manish Dixit, and Wei Yan. Each of these professors play a key role in the development and research within this program.
Hempcrete is expected to be a considerable replacement for concrete within the next couple decades if all research goes well. The substance is created by mixing hemp powder, fibers, and other materials with lime and water, producing a light, strong, building material.
“While production of conventional construction materials such as concrete requires large amounts of energy and releases large amounts of CO2 (carbon dioxide), hempcrete is a net carbon-negative material, which can provide major environmental benefits…Resilience to natural hazards is intertwined with environmental sustainability because building damage and subsequent repairs due to extreme events such as hurricanes result in major environmental impacts,” Sideris said.
Using this hempcrete can also be beneficial due to the flexibility of the material. Hempcrete can be used in a 3d printer style production method, ensuring quality structures that can be put up rather quickly when compared to traditional concrete.
The funding from HESTIA will be used to research the material and overcome barriers associated with carbon storing buildings.
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