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Builder Magazine Online features Tradical Hemcrete construction in Asheville, NC

Have proponents of the tight building envelope got it all wrong? Anthony Brenner and David Mosrie of Asheville, N.C.–based Push Design think so. Their reasoning is that while builders can specify non–off-gassing materials, they can’t control the durable goods (furniture and the like) that homeowners bring in, which may be loaded with chemicals. An air-tight house that uses less energy may do so at the expense of human health, if it has the negative side-effect of trapping harmful toxins inside. Better to build a home that breathes.

The firm’s prototypical “Push House” offers just such an example. Its stucco-like exterior walls are actually made of 12-inch-thick Hemcrete, a biocomposite masonry compound that’s mold-resistant, bug-proof, and recyclable. And get this: Hemcrete sequesters carbon and other “nasty stuff” from the atmosphere and undergoes a natural petrification process as air filters through it, becoming stronger over time.

Check out the full article here.