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Building Performance
Sustainable Building

Hempcrete 101: Back to the Future for Natural, Carbon-Beneficial Buildings - Self Study

Tom Rossmassler and 3 others • Last updated 08/2021

4.7/5 (view ratings)
188 students
1 module
1:28 hours
8 assignments

Course description

This course was originally presented at BuildingEnergy Boston 2020, a conference presented by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)

Ready to put your specification where your aspiration is? Take a deep dive into the rich world of carbon-beneficial materials and help lead our industry in responsible design and construction solutions. Hempcrete is a bio-composite material created from the woody core of the hemp plant combined with a lime-based binder. Trusted around the world as a robust, high-performance sustainable building system, HempLime entered the US market a decade ago and is poised to take the industry by storm. Learn the technical and performance characteristics, demystify how to specify and construct with this proven material, and join a growing community of radically responsible industry stewards.

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Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will upon completion of this course, be able to:

  • Summarize the history of hemp and hempcrete, the regulatory barriers in the US that are slowly easing, and describe examples from pioneers in hemp building from Europe and the first projects in New England
  • Identify sources for hemp and lime, and explain methods for installation of this alternative material, the state of research internationally versus in the US, and what considerations are necessary from a code standpoint to build
  • Use Hempcrete as a monolithic solid-wall construction material for building carbon-beneficial envelopes as an alternative to current assemblies used in high performance buildings that are entangled multi-layered assemblies more heavily laden with embodie
  • List low-cost material solutions to reduce toxins in the building and improve the healthfulness of a building

Full course outline

Module 1 - Hempcrete 101: Back to the Future for Natural, Carbon-Beneficial Buildings

  • Hempcrete 101: Back to the Future for Natural, Carbon-Beneficial Buildings (01:28:39 hours)
  • Presentation Materials (.pdf)
  • Q&A Transcript with the Presenters (.pdf)
  • OPTIONAL: Take quiz for CEU credits
  • OPTIONAL: Request CEUs from NESEA
  • OPTIONAL: Subscribe to NESEA Communications


Tom Rossmassler

Chief Embodied Officer, HempStone, LLC

Tom is on a quest to create radically responsible architecture. He began HempStone in 2018 after earning a Sustainable MBA. Tom’s research focused on the creation of a regional industrial hemp processing facility in New England. Tom concurrently serves as CEO of Energia, a worker-owned cooperative specializing in building performance services that he started in 2009.... Learn more

Alex Sparrow

Director, UK Hempcrete

Alex Sparrow is recognized globally as an expert on hempcrete construction. A director at UK Hempcrete, he co-authored The Hempcrete Book, published in 2014 and still the definitive guide to this remarkable building material. Alex speaks at events and provides training and consultancy world-wide for others wanting to use hempcrete. Learn more

Bruce Friedman

Thompson Johnson Woodworks, Construction Project Manager

Licensed construction supervisor and manager with extensive experience in providing on-time/on-budget project delivery, site supervision, and construction management. Track record of building and managing diverse construction teams. PHIUS Certified Passive House Builder and Consultant Certified by Passive House Institute of US as a Certified Builder with the... Learn more

Jennifer Martin

Catalyst, HempStone, LLC

Advancing the intersection of design, construction, connection and ecology to catalyze sustainable architecture through natural building, ecological design, and creative engagement. We need to radically revision the way that we design, build, and engage before we get past the point of no return environmentally. By collaborating and cooperating, we can learn how to be... Learn more


21 reviews

188 students have taken this course

by Alicia Spears 06/05/2022

Very theat it broke down components and made it easier to understand.

by Nancy Picard 03/09/2022

Well thought out, felt like a 360° tour of hempcrete by knowledgeable people.

by Starr Jefferson 05/10/2021

This is perfect for a perfectionist like myself --I want to be ahead of the curve and learn as much about an emerging market as possible. Hempcrete is still practically unheard of, I couldn't believe I found a free resource that can teach me so much on the topic by experts --what an amazing platform and opportunity.

by Peter Dushop 12/08/2020

Great introductory material to get a sense of what hempcrete is and does! A great place to start to expand your knowledge base.

by Haley H 12/02/2023

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

This is a free course. Enroll today and get access to all of the materials instantly. The lecture video and other materials are available any time.

How long do I have access to the materials?

For free courses there is no guarantee for how long the course materials will be available.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Certificates of completion are only provided to HeatSpring Membership subscribers. This course has not been approved by any credentialing organizations (NABCEP, AIA, USGBC etc) for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). This course is for self education purposes only and completion does not indicate a level of professional expertise or credential.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes, this is a free course so you can share this page with other people from your group.

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