These LEGO-like building blocks are made of hemp

Originally published at: These LEGO-like building blocks are made of hemp | Boing Boing


“He felt dimensional lumber inhibited creativity and led to a decline in architecture”

I experience a bit of what he is saying with my woodworking. My designs are limited to what is available, calculating cost and waste is a big part of it all. I often feel like I’m modifying materials made for box homes into the materials that I need.

Of course the sizes and dimensions I need are obviously not going to apply to a larger market much like, I am assuming, the Legos needed for a star destroyer.


It is always possible to buy large pieces of lumber, even logs, and cut them as you see fit. Dimensional lumber suits standardization and keeps costs down for the vast majority of use cases.

Those bricks look like a gimmick, mostly glue. OK I guess.


"He felt dimensional lumber inhibited creativity and led to a decline in architecture”
This suits ewoks and hamsters just fine, with their living trees and wood shavings, respectively.
Engineered wood products are pretty great, but they still come in standardized dimensions.
I’m honestly asking: what am I missing here about this statement? I don’t get it.

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Not a re-Boing but

Doesn’t seem to me like the one-part-in-six lime binder counts as “mostly glue”. Perhaps the brick system is a gimmick; you can see people building with hempcrete directly here (minutes 6-14)

which I thought was pretty interesting. There’s a bunch more 2021 YouTube stuff about hempcrete.


It’d be interesting to hear an analysis from someone not selling the stuff, but…


I see there are holes in the blocks to run electrical conduit, but they didn’t make any allowances for plumbing drain or supply pipes. Perhaps there are special blocks with voids to allow this, but they didn’t cover that in the video.

Modern houses have a lot of utilities buried in walls, and these blocks are almost entirely solid. You could make a small stud wall in front of plumbing walls, to hide pipes in. I have been on many jobs where this had to be done, if piping in a structural or exterior wall was not possible.

Also, a stud wall or concrete block wall will support a lot of weight on the face of the wall if you use the proper anchors. I don’t know if traditional methods of anchoring would work in this hemp material, for hanging shelving or wall mounting a big tv, for example. Maybe some sort of expanding anchor, that would spread into the hemp fibers?

Masons use mortar, not just to fasten the cement blocks together, but to adjust each course to level. With this hemp block system, not only would the perimeter base of the wall have to be perfectly level to start, each hemp block would have to be perfectly symmetrical to maintain a level height. I have been on a lot of job sites, perfect is not something I have come to expect. Small adjustment usually have to be made to accommodate conditions on site, or “errors” if you will.


The video mentions the internal molded “epoxy like” structure of the block is what does the stacking and should be uniform, then mortar fills in gaps between the molded hemp. I’m guessing it would be simple enough to add shims to the inside of the female coupler


If Geoffrey Pyke were still alive in the 21st century, he would definitely try to build an aircraft carrier out of weed.

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seems pretty cool, at least for some applications. I’m most interested in how they are carbon-negative and use a renewable crop rather than the 20 year grow time on timber.

but still, I ask you: how come this exists, and all manner of hemp oil and CBD and pot varieties, but I still can’t go to the grocery store and buy hemp paper towels, toilet paper, cardboard, printer paper etc?

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