we design, grow and build plant-based homes
We operate our design-build facility on a 9 acre experimental farm in Pennsylvania, where we grow 5 fiber hemp varieties
Environmental cataclysms, global warming, depleting natural resources and our dependency on diminishing oil reserves beg for changes in the built environment. Toxic substances are often used in the production of conventional construction materials, and at the end of their life cycle they are dumped into landfills in massive quantities.
95% of our lives are spent inside buildings, many of which are made of off-gassing petroleum-based non-breathing toxic products. We are sold on an idea that if only we seal the gaps, and if only we install a mechanical air circulation, then we will buy ourselves the best option available. We are not warned that we still breathe processed air mixed in with the toxic off-gassing from our new flooring, furniture, clothes. And we are rarely advised that there are other options, where walls breathe, regulate the temperature and humidity, resist rotting and pests, a system, proven through centuries, long before plastics even existed.
Here at COEXIST we offer this alternative, and our designers and architects work to bring construction and industrial products to market. In collaboration with our hemp farm we’re exploring the possibilities that hemp can have on materials in the built environment.
We develop systems that create an ecosystem where the natural world can coexist with humans in a clean and healthy way because our systems give back. We believe there is a lot to be explored and that is why we operate a research and development facility to innovate and create new materials and systems that work.
We built this hempcrete prototype on wheels to test for durability
After 3000 miles, rain, shine and hail, it still looks brand new
ARCHITECTURE AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Our team at COEXIST has teamed up with Americhanvre to build this Hemp House On Wheels (Hemp HOW) to showcase the applications of hemp and its adaptability to modern design and pressing sustainability issues; it was designed and built without petroleum- based products.
The walls of Hemp HOW are constructed of hempcrete, or hemplime, - a non-structural bio-composite insulation material that is cast in place around traditional wood framing. It is comprised of hemp hurds (the woody inner core of the hemp stalk), lime-based binder, and water. These simple materials come together to form a product that is mold, mildew, rot, pest and fire resistant. Hempcrete is typically finished, as it has been here, with a three coat, traditional lime based plaster system on the inside and out. This finish allows the hempcrete to “breathe”, passing water vapor freely through the wall system as the lime interacts with varying humidity levels. It is due to this action that hempcrete is able to regulate humidity in a built environment, and why it is touted as a dynamic thermal and acoustic insulation. This system replaces the siding, house wrap, plywood sheathing, insulation and drywall in traditional American home construction. It is hempcrete’s compatibility with other materials and its versatility and performance that set it apart from other well known sustainable building methods.
Our floor has been sealed with Hempsheild, a hemp-oil based natural sealer for wood floors and decking.
The acoustical ceiling tile is made of hemp hurds and mushroom mycelium.
We hold workshops to teach others on how to build with hemp
Please contact us for dates and availability
hemp and plaster planter is exclusively by Americhanvre