It's actually a gym ...
A French architecture and landscape firm from the town of Croissy-Beaubourg has built the country's first public building in hemp concrete: the Pierre Chevet gym.
The 380 square meter building includes a training room and changing rooms. the hemp concrete is a mixture of hemp, lime and water and therefore the new hemp gym has a negative carbon balance.
Hemp concrete weighs eight times less than regular concrete and has thermal and acoustic properties, as well as fire resistance. Hemp can grow up to 13 feet (4 m) and can be grown in 90 to 120 days. It is lighter and cheaper than wood and can grow 100 times faster than an oak.
According to researcher Darshil Shah of the Center for Natural Material Innovation in Cambridge, hemp can capture carbon twice as efficiently as a forest of trees.
“Many studies believe that hemp is one of the best converters of CO2 to biomass. It is even more efficient than trees. Industrial hemp absorbs between 8 and 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare of crop, ”according to the Hemp Industry Daily.
The architects of studio lemoal lemoal told Deezen that the main challenge with hemp is convincing customers that it is a viable alternative to concrete, because a hemp wall looks a bit more rustic and not as refined as concrete. Hemp concrete is currently more expensive than concrete, but with its insulating properties, it can be beneficial in the long run, due to lower energy bills.
The walls of the building are filled with hemp concrete blocks, then covered with fiber cement panels to protect the hemp blocks from climatic conditions. The hemp panels were cultivated and manufactured within a radius of 500 km around the site, by the cement manufacturer Vicat.
It is to be hoped that this new environmentally friendly material will be more widely adopted by architects around the world.
Building materials are responsible for 11% of global carbon emissions. As the construction industry continues to look for ways to reduce its carbon footprint, scientists, architects and manufacturers are looking for natural materials. Along with many other biomaterials like mycelium and algae, hemp is gaining popularity as one of the most durable materials in the world.