Cape Town has the world’s tallest building using hemp building materials

Bruce Whitfield interviews Wolf Wolf, founder of Wolf & Wolf Architects, about the hotel being built in Harrington Street.

The Mother City now has another accolade to its name – it includes the tallest building in the world to be constructed using hempcrete blocks and other hemp materials.

The 12-story hotel rises at 84 Harrington Street in the city center.

The project is a partnership between two Cape Town-based companies, Hemporium and Afrimat Hemp, reports Engineering News.

Bruce Whitfield interviews project architect Wolf Wolf, founder of Wolf & Wolf Architects.

It is currently the tallest building in the world that uses hemp as one of the building materials.

Wolf Wolf, Founder – Wolf & Wolf Architects

Wolf points out that hemp is not the main structural element, explaining that the structure is still mostly concrete.

It’s basically a filler material and acts as an insulator, but it’s still the bulk of the wall itself… It’s also vapor permeable or breathable. [but not porous].

Wolf Wolf, Founder – Wolf & Wolf Architects

Hemp in the building dramatically reduces the carbon footprint, as well as the fillers… It has a lot of amazing benefits… It’s ultimately good for the environment.

Wolf Wolf, Founder – Wolf & Wolf Architects

These benefits include hemp’s insulation, light weight, and flame retardant properties.

But why choose hemp specifically, as opposed to building materials using other natural products, Whitfield wants to know.

It’s the multitude of uses that hemp has, as well as the speed of growth…in terms of its ability to sequester carbon and then with you building with it, locking that carbon in a building is what which really gives it the amazing benefits.

Wolf Wolf, Founder – Wolf & Wolf Architects

You basically grow hemp for seeds or fiber and then the waste from that process is used for construction…which can be made into hemp blocks or hemp concrete or hemp board or insulation.

Wolf Wolf, Founder – Wolf & Wolf Architects

As the world moves towards a carbon neutral reality, I believe the building industry is catching up very quickly.

Wolf Wolf, Founder – Wolf & Wolf Architects

For more details, listen to the interview on The Money Show (skip to 00:44)

This article first appeared on CapeTalk: Cape Town has the world’s tallest building using hemp building materials