84 Harrington Street – a pioneering green construction project by two Cape Town-based companies, Hemporium and Afrimat Hemp – is officially the world’s tallest building constructed using hempcrete (infill) blocks and hemp building materials.
There is a massive increase in the global demand for bio-based construction which is driven by the need for the reduction of CO₂ emissions.
Hemp construction is considered the gold standard for CO₂ reduction in buildings, and 84 Harrington Street sets the benchmark for how to build a safe, carbon-neutral, multi-story building using hemp materials.
“We wanted to take hemp construction in South Africa to the next level, while contributing to the inspiring hemp construction projects being undertaken globally,” says Duncan Parker, Founding Partner and CEO, Hemporium.
“Afrimat Hemp, a subsidiary of mining and materials company Afrimat, is leading the way in South Africa and Africa for a new era of carbon-neutral building materials and investing in a sustainable future in construction, and proudly supplied the hempcrete blocks and building systems for 84 Harrington Street. We partnered with Wolf & Wolf Architects, a small practice specializing in contemporary and sustainable architecture, which is considered pioneers of hemp construction in South Africa. Furthermore, having a reputable and skillful contractor like R&N Master Builders made this project possible and shows that they are forward-thinking and ahead of the pack when it comes to the construction sector,” says Boshoff Muller, Managing Director, Afrimat Hemp.
The benefits of using hemp in a multi-story building:
- Hemp is 100% natural, CO₂ absorbing, sound absorbing, energy saving, and durable,
- The superior acoustic performance ensures privacy between units.
- Vapour-permeability: The ability of hempcrete to easily absorb and release moisture assists with regulating the buildings’ internal humidity, thus maintaining healthy indoor air quality.
- The lower density of the hemp blocks reduces the load of the walls on the foundations and therefore the cost of concrete.
- Using hemp blocks reduces the CO₂ footprint of a building as well as its operational CO₂ footprint.
Hemporium’s long-term goal is to continue to promote legislative change so that the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Africa becomes a mainstream reality. The hemp industry could provide solutions to many of the challenges that South Africa faces by way of sustainable housing, nutrition, and job creation.
Afrimat Hemp also expands its upstream hemp processing capabilities through its built technology. This will help enable the hemp value chain to be unlocked cost-effectively in South Africa for all.
Afrimat Hemp is also committed to creating jobs in South Africa and contributing to a sustainable, carbon-neutral, future.