In The Wake of Groundswell
PressBy Lulie Anderson
At the end of June, Hemspan was delighted to exhibit at the largest regenerative agriculture festival in the UK, Groundswell.
Here arable, pastoral, mixed farmers, and more converged to showcase and explore the latest technologies, innovations and techniques in farming. Groundswell highlights the scope of agriculture, as it permeates many other industries, a significant draw for Hemspan. We spoke to an array of people with diverse backgrounds in different fields.
Many agriculturalists had experience in engineering and construction. Some had experimented with hemp materials, so they thoroughly investigated Hemspan’s design and products, which appeared to fare well.
Agriculturalists were keen to see hemp implemented as a break crop to diversify crop rotations, improve soil health and reduce reliance on pesticides and herbicides. A key concern was how to harness excess hemp produced from these cycles. Hemp holds the potential to add significant value to the UK economy. Developing the hemp supply chain involves cross-sectoral cooperation, making it valuable in distributing benefits across human and environmental processes. Attendees were excited by such prospects but also expressed doubts about hemp’s viability in the near future.
Another common concern was hemp’s current markup compared to conventional building materials. Our answer: If you choose hemp now, you will pay a premium. 100 mm of Hemspan insulation costs 10-20% more than conventional insulation. However, disparity of this kind is the case for any burgeoning industry. The only difference is many sectors do not have the same fruitful and exciting history that hemp does, demonstrating it to be a highly prospective resource in the future of agriculture and construction.
Hemspan, alongside the other forerunners developing our hemp supply chain, will quell any doubts. Our projects highlight a quantum leap in construction and design. With development partners and projects secured, 550 Hemspan-designed homes are projected by 2027, using the innovative BIOHAUS® system we presented at Groundswell. BIOHAUS® will reveal the reduction hemp materials and design can achieve economically, environmentally and healthwise. The 550 project homes will offset 330,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared to the same number of traditionally constructed houses. Our exhibition also included a cross-section of the BIOHAUS® modular design, offering visitors to our stand a physical idea of what we have to offer. So far, we are delighted with the feedback and eager for more.