BELGIAN firm IsoHemp has opened a new $5.9m factory capable of producing five million construction blocks a year – making it one of the largest in Europe.
The two hectare factory – just a stone’s throw away from IsoHemp’s original one – is set to be the first of many as it looks to expand its global footprint.
IsoHemp was founded in 2012 by Olivier Beghin, Jean-Baptiste de Mahieu and Anthony De Mot. The Fernelmont-based company manufactures hemp blocks for the construction and renovation sectors.
It is now exporting these blocks around the world including; the United States, Australia, South Africa, Russia, Europe and Israel.
Cutting Carbon Footprint
IsoHemp says the new factory will help it become a global leader in hemp construction.
“This development is not specific to Europe, as we are receiving requests from all over the world, from the United States to Australia, and from South Africa to Russia.
“We now have a factory that is unique in the world, and we have every reason to believe that this demand will continue to grow in the years to come,” said Mr Beghin in a press release.
In the long term IsoHemp plans to set up new factories in these overseas markets and help to further reduce its carbon footprint. “If we really want to work sustainably, transporting the hemp blocks over distances longer than 500 to 800km doesn’t make sense,” he added.
Hemp insulated homes save on heating costs and have highly rated acoustic properties. IsoHemp works with local lime and hemp suppliers and produces products focusing on environmental performance, and efficiency.
Mr Beghin added:”Building a house with hemp blocks is an affordable, healthy and sustainable alternative to the conventional way of building, with a much lower CO2 impact.
“With our new factory, we increase our quality standard and production capacity of hemp blocks by 400%, which in turn will allow us to build five houses per day and eventually up to 1,800 houses per year.
“In this way, we will make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the construction sector and the achievement of the ambitious European climate targets.
“As everyone realises the urgency to act and live differently, we clearly see a growing demand for the hemp block.
“The new factory must also be understood in the logic of a more sustainable world.”