The comfort of hemp-insulation

Waste Management Collaboration with the Rural Municipality
4. March 2021
Lime plaster – an eco-friendly insulation in Buddha Inn
21. April 2021
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For the Climate Trek Nepal Project in Langtang, five lodges are already constructed and two more are under construction. Among those already constructed, four lodges are being insulated with hemp-crete and one with lime plaster.

The eco-friendly measures of insulation to the lodges in Langtang is taken up by Shah Hemp Inno-Venture (SHIV); a partner company in Nepal. SHIV was established in September 2015 and is led by Mr. Dhiraj Shah and Ms. Nibedita Bansal. SHIV’s mission is “To establish an economical and sustainable model of living based on cannabis plants”. Similarly, major objectives of SHIV are, “to promote environmental friendliness, sustainability & energy-efficiency using the cannabis plant and to manufacture products of basic necessities and beyond with the cannabis plant.”

One main objective of CTN Langtang is to reduce the excessive use of carbon releasing/producing materials in the region. As a matter of fact, insulation works at the best level are reducing the amount of heating fuel needed to keep the rooms warm and comfortable and thus also are reducing carbon emissions. Among the few options of insulation available in Nepal, we decided to recommend a hemp and lime combination because of its best ability to keep the lodges’ passive heating at optimum temperature. It’s non-toxic features even add on that. Also the average cost of hemp insulation was better economically for all the lodges.

However, there are some major issues with the insulation plan to be implemented in the lodges. These issues are: transportation of the very voluminous raw materials, high cost of the eco-friendly materials of insulation and a risk of negative effects after installation, as sometimes moulds can occur. This requires storage to be very safe, big and dry to prevent moulding and to not squeeze the hemp to keep it effective. Furthermore, workers need to be carefully trained. A major challenge turns out to be the transport with mules on the narrow paths: The large size of the hemp bags compared to their weight is challenging, but at the same time definitely enables us to grow from this project.