Only a few shorts years after the legalization of cannabis, hemp’s utilization surged. Indeed, the recent revival of hemp, post-prohibition, seems poised to save the world. Innovative companies around the world are taking advantage of this versatile plant and are creating solutions to address environmental and economic concerns. One such example is Mirreco, an Australian company committed to the application of industrial hemp as a way of shifting the current home building paradigm of high-cost, high-waste to one of sustainability. In what sounds like a sci-fi amalgamation, Mirreco combines 3D printing, industrial hemp, and energy-generating windows. The sum? Inexpensive eco-innovative, and sustainable possibilities for home building that benefit everyone. Your future home could be the house that hemp built.
Economic trouble lies ahead. It feels like the worst-kept secret at this point. The ubiquity of compounding debt makes buying a house either dangerous (with a bank loan) or difficult (without a bank loan). One reason for both the danger and difficulty lies, of course, in the exorbitant costs. Combining 3D printing with hemp offers us a more reasonable alternative.
3D printing in and of itself reduces waste and pulls down the cost of constructing a home by 30-55%. Hemp, as a renewable resource, also anchors down costs. Hemp reaches maturity and is ready for harvest in as little as 3 months! Mirreco’s team looks to take advantage of hemp’s quick turnover with the commercialization of mobile hemp-processing machines. Further, the harvest estimate sits at 20 tons per hour. Assuming they fulfill their expected projections, the cost of harvesting hemp plummets—ergo, so too does the price of consumer homes. We can leave Fannie and Freddie out of our homes and pockets.
According to the US Department of Labor, one in five worker deaths occurs as a result of one of the “Fatal Four Hazards” endemic to the construction industry. The Fatal Four consists of falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught-in/between an object. With 3D printing automation, opportunities for accidents of these sorts become a great deal less common.
More from Anarchapulco: Anarchist Groups, Explore the Possibilities
Window Glazing Energy
ClearVue Technologies adds to Mirreco’s 3D house-printing vision and provides solar energy-harvesting windows. Their glaze redirects ultraviolet and infrared radiation into the edge of the glass where it converts to electricity. As of the time of this writing, ClearVue’s windows produce a minimum of 30 watts per square meter (10.76 square feet). If you own a two-bedroom house, you might have 8 windows. Let’s average the surface area of each window to 6 square feet. In our hypothetical scenario, you have about 48 sqft worth of glass. 30 watts per 10.76 sqft ≈ 133.8 watts of power. In conjunction with solar panels, your energy bill goes way down. Further, this brings us another step closer to a world with low cost, clean energy.
Fuller’s Maxim Applied
Buckminster Fuller asserts “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” In this context, are you worried about the environment? Build something better—something so much better than any reversion to the old models will appear, well, antiquated. In our lifetime solar-powered harvesters process hemp biomass that 3D printers use to build homes energized by solar technologies, all the while costing drastically less than the run-of-the-mill house.
This revolution will not be televised.
But I believe it will be printed.
Join us at Anarchapulco to talk more about solutions like these!