Hempitecture is a plant-based building materials company headquartered in Ketchum, and recently announced an expansion in the Magic Valley.
Hempitecture was founded by Mattie Mead who, when studying architecture and environmental sciences in college, wondered to himself why the two could not be more closely aligned.
“You know, we impose this built world on the natural world, yet there is this correlation,” Mead said. “I was looking at different countries and what they are doing to create and manufacture the next generation of building materials, and ultimately, I learned about industrial hemp as a rapidly renewable feedstock.”
Hempitecture utilizes the husk of hemp stalks to produce building products such as Hempcrete and HempWool. Hempcrete is an insulating building material that is derived from limestone and the woody core fiber of industrial hemp stalks and HempWool is a fiber batt insulation product created using industrial hemp stalks.
Hempitecture partnered with the University of Idaho, which was awarded an Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant for $206,624 to conduct research on the development of their natural fiber insulation, HempWool. The team will conduct tests on its ability to insulate, its fire resistancy and its thermal conductivity.
The IGEM-Commerce grant program funds research initiatives, where university investigators and private sector business experts partner together to bring viable technologies to market.
The future looks bright for the company with a new 20,000 square-foot manufacturing facility set to be developed in Jerome County, with goals to domesticate their supply chain and new hires set to be onboarded in the coming months.
“We are really thrilled to have our business located in Idaho and we are feeling very appreciative of the resources that were afforded here in Idaho, especially now as we are working through the IGEM program with the University of Idaho,” Mead said. “There is a huge amount of opportunity afforded here in the state and it is really a pleasure to be located here to grow our business.”