HEMP AS A POTENTIAL MATERIAL IN ARCHITECTURE: IS IT POSSIBLE IN TURKEY?
Keywords:hemp architecture, Hempcrete, building material, sustainability.
Hemp, also known as cannabis sativa, has long been one of the most important agricultural crops—an essential food for humans and animals since the Neolithic period. It is also one of the most-durable raw materials used in both traditional crafts and many newer industries, such as the marine, clothing, automotive, and architectural industries. However, despite its beneficial health properties and use in making durable products, hemp has been banned in many developed countries largely because it has been labeled an illegal plant due to its psychoactive properties. After the 1980s, industrially cultivated hemp in the form of hempcrete, hemp brick or low or high technology cast in situ wall systems gained recognition in architecture. Since the industry 4.0 industrial revolution in the 2000s, the use of hemp has become increasingly important in medicine and nutrition and in industries such as paper, plastics, architecture and construction. Hemp has been illegal for many years in Turkey. However, in Turkish history, using cannabis, hemp and hashish for food, pleasure, socializing, clothing, rope, paper and mortar has been an accepted sociocultural phenomenon. Therefore, this article seeks to evaluate the possibility of using hemp in architecture by addressing its use in architecture, specifically in Turkey.
This research uses a literature review to explore both the history of hemp in Turkey and its construction applications.
The results showed that given enough support, the use of such materials could create beneficial effects for the architecture, construction and education sectors in Turkey.
In the future, a research with funding and permissions could be conducted to observe of the physical and chemical characteristics of hemp and hemp-based materials, which is lacking in this study.
Recognizing the benefits of hemp could have positive effects on the economy, health, agriculture and architecture of communities in Turkey. Hemp can replace petroleum-based materials while having the advantages of being cost effective, providing a variety of production possibilities, and needing less water for cultivation.
This is the first study to address the potential use of industrial hemp in Turkey from an architecture and design perspective.
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