By Jean Lotus
A hempcrete residential remodel of a blighted balloon-frame house in New Castle, Penn, is providing proof-of-concept for agricultural producers that there is a realistic market for fiber industrial hemp in Pennsylvania.
DON Enterprise, Inc., a New Castle disability organization, fixes and flips blighted homes to sell for disabled residents.
But the frame home on Spruce Street is different. The new Project PA Hemp Home house was stripped to the studs over the winter to become a hemp construction showpiece.
In May, with assistance from a $109,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the home was insulated with spray-applied hempcrete by a team led by Cameron McIntosh of Allentown, PA-based Americhanvre using a French spray application machine, the ER-Easy. McIntosh is one of multiple Pennsylvania hemp entrepreneurs that have collaborated to bring the industry forward in the commonwealth.