NZ Natural Fibres is enabling the growth of hemp based construction techniques with its commissioning of New Zealand’s first hemp decortication facility in Christchurch.
In a strategic partnership between the Carrfields Group and Hemp NZ, this industry initially set out to create an end-to-end pathway for the growing, harvesting and processing of hemp in NZ at a scale which will enable commercial entities to seriously consider substituting their existing building products with hemp-based alternatives.
The first-of-its-kind machine mechanically separates the bast fibre from the exterior of the stalk, from the lightweight core, hurd. It is the hurd that is used with a binding agent in the construction of ‘hempcrete,’ an alternative to concrete.
“It is becoming increasingly important for construction companies to be using more sustainable materials” says Business Development Manager Ryan Cosgrove. “We are offering a material that has a fantastically low carbon footprint, is completely renewable and sustainable, and now at a scale that can give people confidence to spec for hemp.”
Though only in the market for under a year, the response has been overwhelming for hemp hurd as a building material. “It really feels like there was a small army of people just waiting for this to finally be available in NZ, and once we were open, they all quickly made contact.” As NZNF continues to streamline their operations and increase production rates even further, they are focused on creating more partnerships which reach even closer to the consumer.
“The opportunities for hempcrete construction in NZ, particularly in smaller healthy homes, are really incredible” says Cosgrove. Numerous construction companies are all testing and engineering so they can specify hempcrete in their projects and NZNF is ready to fill those orders as they come in.
NZ Natural Fibres