AU: Hemp-made houses built to ease rental crisis

Hemp - it's been used to make rope, textiles and clothes, paper and bioplastics, and hemp oil is used medicinally. And now, it's one of the newest materials to build houses. Two such "hemp houses" being built on 25 acres (10 hectares) of land near Cattai Wetlands, north of Taree on the NSW Mid Coast, are nearing completion.

Barry Lambert AM decided on hemp as the material of choice to build the two houses on his land. It was a natural decision for him; Barry has been a passionate advocate for medicinal cannabis research since his granddaughter Katelyn was born with Dravet syndrome. Her life has been saved with the use of hemp extract, and Barry has been recognized as a medical cannabis pioneer in Australia.

As a result, Barry became chairman of a company that grows hemp in Tasmania (he is no longer the chairman). He decided to have the two houses built for two reasons. One, although he concedes two houses aren't many in the big scheme of things, was because of the current housing crisis. The second reason was to show people what hemp houses are like.

"I'm a community-minded sort of person, and I can afford to do it, so why not do it? And why not do it so they're not like every other house?" Barry said.


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