In the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, a towering building made of industrial hemp concrete will soon be built, boasting twelve floors and a stunning view of Table Mountain while also leaving a minimal ecological footprint. It will be the tallest building in the world made from this material.
The upcoming “Hemp Hotel” in Cape Town, South Africa, with 54 rooms and a focus on sustainability, is set to open its doors to the public in June 2023.
According to Boshoff Muller, the managing director of Afrimat Hemp, using hempcrete in construction is not a novel idea, as there are European structures and buildings that have been constructed from hemp for centuries and are still standing strong. It is more like going back to traditional construction methods, while also leveraging modern technology and advancements in botany.
The use of hemp concrete was previously prohibited in South Africa, but this material has the ability to absorb more carbon dioxide than it emits for over 50 years, making it an environmentally responsible alternative for a continent facing climate challenges.
“The carbon emission reduction is significant and I believe hemp has become a mainstream alternative building material. It’s a tool that can have a tangible impact on climate change,” shares Wolf Wolf, the architect of the “Hemp Hotel”.
The “Hemp hotel” in South Africa uses industrial hemp imported from the United Kingdom since the local production was banned until 2022. The South African government viewed the hemp and cannabis sector as a potential catalyst for the economy.
In 2022, the South African government began issuing permits for hemp cultivation, recognizing the potential of the hemp and cannabis industry as a catalyst for the economy. As a result, local company Afrimat Hemp is set to produce the first 100% South African hemp concrete blocks.