This edition of Green Building Bites brings you a green building product spotlight on hemp. In an interview with Lori Daytner, Vice President of Program Development at the DON group of companies (DON stands for Disability Options Network, the name of the group’s first non-profit) in New Castle, Pennsylvania, we learned more about regional innovations in hemp growth and building material production. DON is working to support local jobs and healthy buildings by partnering with a variety of experts and stakeholders to grow, produce, test, and research hemp building products – specifically hempcrete – a nonstructural, biocomposite insulation material made from three natural, non-toxic ingredients: industrial hemp hurd (the inner woody core of the hemp stalk), lime binder and water. A PA Department of Agriculture grant catalyzed the work as a way to build the regional hemp market and create new opportunities for farmers, and DON is facilitating the work through its Hemp Test Acres Program and Project PA Hemp Home, a demonstration home using hemp building materials.

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