Nov 11, 2023

Spotlight On Hemp Building Materials At DC National Mall

Hemp building materials will be showcased during June at the National Mall in Washington DC as part of the annual Innovative Housing Showcase.

Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the event is a three-day extravaganza that welcomes the public to experience firsthand the cutting-edge technologies revolutionizing American housing. By promoting innovative, resilient, and affordable housing solutions, HUD aims to transform the future of the housing industry.

Participants in DOE incubators were invited to contribute to this year; including the US Hemp Building Association (USHBA), which advocates for hemp building professionals, projects and materials.

Among the solutions to be showcased by USHBA will be building materials made with hemp including hempcrete, blocks, flooring, batt insulation, geopolymer and even rebar.

Non-toxic, fire-resistant, insulating, mold-resistant and durable, hemp construction materials can also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the building industry. This showcase aligns with recent legislative moves to lower embodied carbon in new constructions, and HUD's $4 billion plan to retrofit affordable housing with low-carbon, energy-saving solutions.

"Hemp building materials displayed on the National Mall will turbocharge education and answer questions on this remarkable building solution," said Ray Kaderli, USHBA president.

Often referred to as "America's Front Yard," the National Mall stretches from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial. It's flanked on either side by the Smithsonian Institution's museums and is also home to the Washington Monument.

The National Mall is a significant place for American civic life, and attracts millions of visitors a year – so it's a great destination for exposure. The organisers of this event seem to have pretty modest expectations for attendance though – "more than 2,500 people", including policymakers, housing industry representatives, media, and the general public, are expected to attend.

But given hemp's increasingly popularity generally, perhaps the event will draw far larger numbers than that:

The Innovative Housing Showcase will take place on the National Mall in between 4th Street NW and 7th Street NW, June 9 – 11. Further information available here.