HempWood as a Wood Alternative
Until recently, the wood industry has been a staple of the construction and design world. Hard wood trees have been used to create attractive and long-lasting furniture, while tropical wood trees have provided unique and beautiful designs. Unfortunately, the history of logging forests comes with an environmental cost, as trees take centuries to grow and create habitats for countless species. To reduce this damage and provide a more sustainable alternative, a new material called HempWood is emerging for interior designers.
An American company called Fibonacci is leading the industry with what’s called HempWood. Looking and acting like wood, the material instead comes from the hemp plant, a relative of the plant cannabis. Despite its relation, hemp contains less than .3% of THC, the compound that creates a high, compared to cannabis’ up to 30%. This difference has started a revolution as technology and understanding of the agricultural material allows for numerous options for use.
Current products include furniture such as tables and countertops, as well as flooring and accent walls. The versatility and sustainability of HempWood allows for it to supplant a wide array of materials, like bamboo and eucalyptus. Hemp grows quickly, readying for harvest in 120 days, and helps to create cleaner air by removing carbon and releasing oxygen.
Fibonacci’s founder, Greg Wilson, has worked with a similar process to create products out of bamboo and strand wood eucalyptus. To create HempWood, the team had to modify the algorithm to fit the plant. Moreover, they had to navigate the regulations and other logistical difficulties of 2020. To make the process more efficient, the company chose a location within 100 miles of the hemp farms and are looking into adding more hubs across the United States.
Due to the sustainability aspect, HempWood avoids creating a lasting damage for the ecosystem. People can now enjoy the beauty of real wood without forcing animals and plants out of their natural habitats. Furthermore, the material is also biodegradable. A process of crushing and dunking hemp stalk into soy-protein mixed with water and an organic acid is used to create HempWood, with high-grade non-toxic adhesive to bind the materials.
From its multiple uses, ability to grow quickly, and biodegradable nature, HempWood is a revolutionary resource that can save forests while still providing a luxurious material. The advances within the industry have been sparked by the fight to find new and better ways to provide materials to citizens, while also taking care of the environment.