Category Archives: building

Hemp, hemp, the wonderful plant, the uses and the South African status thereof


image via wikipedia commons

We are rather fond of this plant. The non-psychoactive Cannabis species.  Sustainable.  Food, clothing, ropes, building – the list is long. Some history and uses of industrial hemp here, and more about the nutritional value of the seeds here – vegans take note.

The South African legal situation and business model regarding growing hemp appears to be in need of clarification. See here, here (.pdf) and here is more rather useful information.


image via wikipedia commons

Fortunately the plant has a champion in Tony Budden (Nominative determinism anyone?) of Hemporium SA. The site has an on-line shop and plenty of excellent information.  Inhabitat interviewed him, and here is more. We also enjoyed  this site. Find plenty of video goodness here about  building with hemp.

Is wood the greenest building material?

wood is sustainableTreehugger has a rather interesting article that takes another look at using wood as a building material.

With links in the article to Discovery News, Future Science, and a press release from the University of Washington  and self-explanatory graphs, it seems that there is not much  information that Mrs Green needs to add here.

A quote to take away: The authors propose ” growing wood as fast as possible, harvesting before tree growth begins to taper off and using the wood in place of products that are most fossil-fuel intensive.”

Building with plasic bottles

exterior plastic bottles schoolVolunteers built a school in San Pablo in the Philippines  out of thousands of recycled plastic bottles.

The bottles were filled with liquefied adobe and steel bars and then cemented into place. interior plastic bottle schoolThe result is claimed to be three times stronger than concrete.

Read more about it at GreenMuze . Hugitforward has more information here about the how, why and where of bottle schools, and more  useful information here.

Solar-power from windows?

solar-power-from-windowsThe U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a transparent film that could potentially generate power by transforming windows into solar panels.

Imagine every window of your house generating power. Now – imagine every window of every office building and skyscraper doing the same.

The Green Tech Gazette has an article about it here, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory website has more information here.

Plastic bricks from trash

New Zealand businessman Peter Lewis designed the Byfusion, a machine that turns raw plastic into compacted bricks.plastic-bricks It takes just 45 seconds to wash, dry and compact the plastic to convert it into a brick.

Each brick contains about 10kg of plastic – anything from drink bottles and packaging boxes to meat wrappings.  They can be used in many innovative ways – see more at  GreenMuze. Even Mrs Green could lift these…