LEARN TO BUILD WITH
September 7th through 11th, 2022
ROCKY POINT, BREMERTON, WA
Learn how to make modern healthy sustainable living structures with ancient technology, using materials that can be easy to source locally.
What Is Hempcrete?
Hempcrete is principally a mixture of hurd or shiv–a waste product of hemp fiber production–and lime. It is earthquake, sound, mold and pest-resistant, fireproof, and creates a breathable vapor barrier that regulates the interior temperature of a home. Due to the thickness of the walls, hempcrete is naturally electrosmog-resistant. Hempcrete also has the ability to sequester carbon, pulling in carbon from the atmosphere over the life of a building, potentially lasting hundreds of years. The hempcrete mass replaces the inner sheathing, outer sheathing, siding, moisture barrier and insulation layers of a typical American residence. The walls will later be coated with a breathable, tinted, lime-based stucco mixture on the exterior and interior to provide weather protection and finished look.
Learn more about Hempcrete through these LINKS:
- Introduction to Hempcrete: Notes from my approved plansets. Clicking on link will download file: https://www.svarajasthan.net/FLZ/Intro2Hempcrete_(Planset).pdf
- Japanese house from 1600’s still occupied today and a fantastic brief history of hemp as a building material: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK75Ev807oc
- A slightly more technical explanation: http://www.americanlimetechnology.com/what-is-hempcrete
- Bellingham Hemp House: http://highlandhemphouse.com or https://lightonconspiracies.com/1970s-home-retrofitted-with-hempcrete-in-groundbreaking-sustainable-building-project
- First Public Building made of Hemp (France, of course): https://interestingengineering.com/france-built-the-worlds-first-carbon-negative-public-building-and-its-made-of-hemp
- Florida’s first Hempcrete House. ‘Website’ on page links to their Blog. Pioneers, very generous with sharing their experience, as I had many questions when initiating this endeavor! https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-hempcrete-house
- Serbia Full DIY: https://hemptoday.net/first-hempcrete-home-in-serbia-was-grow-your-own-and-do-it-yourself
- Healthy Homes aficionado? This chemical-sensitive couple figured hempcrete prominently in their new home in Nevada City, CA. These two are smart cookies; I was impressed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koBXu-GTTks
What is this Hempcrete Workshop?
In this workshop, you will receive some classroom instruction; but principally the learning process will be hands-on. Come prepared to get dirty! (Protective equipment, where needed, will be provided) The goal is to successfully install formwork, mix and pour hempcrete with the goal of completing a portion of the outer membrane of a genuine, permitted, residence. You will receive guidance and feedback by the instructor on your technique throughout the process so that you are certain to return home in possession of not just the theoretical knowledge, but also the practical experience with effective action of working with these fabulous natural building materials.
The Deets (so far)
We’re still finalizing the schedule. Begins afternoon on the 7th and ends early evening of the 11th. Open check-in will start at 3pm on the 7th, with the Introduction to Hempcrete presentation starting at 5:30pm.
Rocky Point, WA, USA
Electricity, fresh water, clean portapotty, private hot shower, cooking and dishwashing areas, fridge (all outdoor)
Shaded campsites available on-site free with reservation until all spaces are filled. Affordable hotels within 1 mile of site; organizer can pair you with other participants if you prefer to save money and share a room.
What meals are included with my registration?
Breakfast and lunch daily from Sept 8th through 11th is included, along with a Saturday night community BBQ. Some healthy snack food or leftovers may be available daily but not guaranteed. Dinner will be your responsibility, with abundant nearby options, and cooking and dishwashing areas available to you in order to prepare your own. Safeway, Winco and Organic grocery all within 2.5 miles of site.
NOTE: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT (until August 15th)
You will have the option to attend for just the weekend (and watch a recording of the Introduction to Hempcrete presentation) or the full 4.5 days (and attend the Introduction to Hempcrete presentation in-person.
$900 for 4.5 days — ONLY $675 if you register before August 15th
$575 for 2 days (including Intro Video) — ONLY $450 if you register before August 15th
One-third of total fee minimum as deposit when you register in order to secure your spot, one-third more by August 29th at the latest, with the balance due before arrival (unless other arrangements are made).
NEW: Teens Welcomed Teens aged 12-18 welcome to participate at 33% of Adult Fee at time of registration. CONDITIONS: Teen Participant MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also registered to participate. 100% of Teen fee must be paid upon registration (i.e. 100% paid as deposit). (#Child #Minor #Children)
Above your budget? Volunteer with us!
We need a little bit of help here and there to keep the whole experience tip top for everyone involved. Volunteer opportunities during the workshop period are available for partial fee credit.
Option to stay after and get paid!
Those who attend may be invited ––at the Organizer’s discretion and as needed–– to stay on the project after the 11th. At this point you would get paid a day labor rate for your experience which could partially or fully offset the cost of your training.
To JOIN US for this extraordinary experience,
Class Size limited!
Hi, my name is Segue Fischlin. I’m passionate about ecobuilding. I also have over 15 years’ experience with plans drafting and navigating building and land use codes in order to obtain all sorts of building permits for commercial and residential projects in the Seattle and San Francisco areas. This is my first home, from the ground up! How could i miss the opportunity to cast it in hemp?
Cameron McIntosh is the former director-at-large for the US Hemp Building Association, an organization dedicated to the development of the industry and establishing hempcrete as an approved building material in building codes. He served as part of a small team that wrote the IRC Bulding Code Index for Hempcrete Construction, which is currently in the open Comments period and on track to be approved this Fall. He is currently the Sustainable Building Coalition Lead for All Together Now (alltogethernowpa.org) founded by Judy Wicks.
He is also owner and founder of Americhanvre, with his partner Melissa. The hemp hurd Americhanvre uses is imported from Europe where the industry is more established and hempcrete has wider acceptance as a building material. He hopes to be sourcing domestic hemp hurd within a year or two as more domestic processors come online and the quality and consistency of their product improves.
Cameron has 4 years of experience and assistance with over 14,000 ft3 of hempcrete installations, both cast-in-place and spray install. He has taught a number of workshops and guided several installs during this period. What brought him to this profession? Attending a hempcrete workshop similar to this offering, presented by Limeworks(.us) out of Telford the same year the Farm Bill passed.
Full refund up to 3 weeks before workshop begins; 70% refund at greater than 2 weeks; no refund under 2 weeks (unless COVID positive test or other clear evidence of serious health-related issue/life emergency prevents your attendance).
We honor freedom of choice and unique individual medical needs and do not require individuals to be vaccinated to participate in the workshop. The workshop will be entirely outdoors so time spent indoors with others should be very minimal. Masks and gloves will be provided in order to keep you safe from breathing and handling lime dust.
Please take your health and the health of your fellow participants seriously. If you have any symptoms at all of ANY viral infection (ache-y throat, low energy, headaches even mild), please don’t hesitate to contact the Organizer immediately.
If symptoms occur before the workshop starts, you have the option for a full refund as described above. If they begin during the workshop, don’t automatically assume I’m going to send you away. If we catch it early enough, I have many tricks up my sleeve for how you can wipe it out within a day and without significant risk to others. If we don’t catch it early enough, we will discuss what to do from there on a case-by-case basis.
This is really cool. How do I share news of this Workshop with my community?
Visit Flyer Page . You can view the image file (jpg) and download a printable PDF version to share. Thank you for helping to get the word out!
Is Hempcrete load bearing like concrete?
No, it is called ‘hempcrete’ because it uses lime (as concrete does) and is poured into temporary forms the same way that concrete is. Hempcrete crystallizes into a mass that is not load bearing but does resist racking in the frame, and replaces many layers of a conventional wall system.
Why hempcrete and not strawbale or cob or rammed earth or…?
I’ve been studying ecobuilding technologies for over 35 years. While each building technology has its advantages and drawbacks, I feel that hempcrete has the greatest and broadest potential in the coming years. The silica in the hurd creates a uniquely strong chemical bond with lime. Also, the finished wall creates a natural ‘key’ to which a plaster can be directly applied without the need for chicken wire or other mesh. Another up-and-coming technology would be the mixture of hemp hurd and flax with lime. Each site, building design and owner has unique needs and resources and so it is always wise to consider all potential natural building technologies before deciding upon the best one for your project. Regardless of what you use for your own project, you will learn skills and garner certain information in this workshop that can apply to any natural building technology.
Why do I need to take a class on this? Can’t i just buy a book on it?
While book learning is a great place to start, home building is a huge and costly endeavor in both time and money and few people have the luxury of getting it wrong the first time.
Working with natural materials is an artform. While combining a short list of ingredients and then installing them isn’t rocket science, if you get the proportions or the timing wrong, you may find yourself fixing a problem that is resource-intensive to fix. The list of simple mistakes with big consequences is quite long. For example, how do you frame and pack around a window opening so that the window is easy to later install? Learning from one of the few in America with an abundance of experience is a great way to save yourself time and money down the road. Plus, if you are willing and able to stick around the following week to help complete the project, you could end with a net zero balance, essentially learning these essential skills for free.
Why are you flying a guy from the East Coast (specifically Pennsylvania) to teach this class? Why not someone more local?
The East Coast is about 15 years ahead of the West Coast when it comes to hempcrete. They have more experience working with lime and with hempcrete in particular than anyone on West Coast. This is in part due to the easier access to the material (originally coming from central/eastern Canada or Europe until the U.S. legalized hemp cultivation in 2018) and in part due to a greater abundance of skilled artisans who maintain heritage structures. They possess knowledge of how to work with lime. In case you’re wondering, I don’t think Matt of Hempitecture is doing on-site training anymore (last i heard).
Why are you sourcing your hemp hurd from France? Can’t you get it closer to home?
Europe is about 25 yrs ahead of us in terms of acceptance of hempcrete as a legitimate building technology and France is the first country in the world to offer a certification program for construction-grade hemp hurd. When it’s your house, you don’t want to use subpar material that is too wet or dusty.
The time is coming soon when the growing hemp industry of America will be able to offer construction grade hemp more locally.
We will be sourcing our binders from American Lime Techology, a fantastic resource and fount of knowledge when it comes to lime where it intersects with natural building systems.
I am glad that you are feeding us, but what if I have special dietary needs?
Let us know when you register and we’ll do our best to accomodate you. The Organizer herself is pescetarian and the Cook has experience as a macrobiotic chef.
I’m worried that I won’t be strong enough to participate. What are the physical demands of this hands-on learning experience?
You are paying to learn, so we’re not going to put you into any situation where you are hazardous to yourself or others. That said, this is mainly a learning-by-doing workshop, so expect to be tired every day, but we will respect your need to pace yourself in order to avoid overuse or injury. Bales, bags and buckets all weigh between 40-50lbs. Light effort tasks are sprinkled into the rhythm of lifting and moving. Everyone will have the opportunity to do a little bit of everything and there are different roles to play; so there will always be a way to remain involved no matter your fitness. That said, if you are significantly out-of-shape, you will not get maximum benefit or enjoyment from this offering.
What do I need to bring?
In summary, camping equipment (if you’re staying on-site), along with work clothing AND leisure clothing. Anticipate temps between 60 and 95 degrees F. While rain is uncommon at this time of year, make certain to bring a light rain jacket and suitable footwear for working (ankle support, good tread, sturdy construction, comfortable fit all highly recommended). Even though PE will be provided, it may not always fit as well as what you’ve got already; bring favorite gloves or other protective working gear as you prefer.
A detailed list will be forthcoming for registrees.
If I decide to stick around to help out after the training is completed, do I have to stay for a fixed amount of time?
No. Assuming that the organizer has approved you to stay, you have the option for working as many full days as you are able, and will be credited back to your payment method at the established day labor rate.
Still have questions or concerns? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to jump on board?
(Class Size limited)