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Tiny Homes in Europe Created With Corrugated Hemp Sheets

Common Knowledge is a non-profit social enterprise based in Ireland. Margent Farm, an England-based Hemp Farm, also collaborate to make tiny homes from hemp.

Referred to as Tigín Tiny Homes, each building was crafted with three goals in mind: “sustainable, affordable, and consciously designed.” A single home covers 20 square meters (about 215 square feet if you’re using U.S. measurements) and offers high ceilings to give the home a “lofty, bright feel.” The bedroom is large enough for a king size bed, located on a mezzanine level, but the living space includes a pull-out guest bed. The modest houses can also accommodate other necessities such as an oven and gas hobs. A sink, shower and a toilet are all possible. Underneath the home, insulation is made from “breathable cork across a framework of pine.”

As part of the exterior, the hemp will be used by Margent Farm’s corrugated hemp sheets. “The fibres sequester carbon, locking it in and stopping it releasing back into the atmosphere, resulting in a very low-carbon product. The high cellulose content (60 – 70%) of the plant makes it a very strong and durable material. A sugar-based resin is used to bond the sheet. It’s entirely made from agricultural waste. Our hemp sheets are a natural alternative to corrugated steel, PVC, bitumen and cement,” Margent Farm says on its website. “The sheets can be used externally to form a rain screen or internally as ceiling or wall linings or other acoustic treatments. The product is natural and like timber exposed to UV the colour will lighten over time,” Margent Farm continues.

Shantaru Starick, photo

Margent Farm shared that the process of making these sheets requires 5.7 times as much energy as it does to make aluminum. It takes 2.5 times more energy than to make bitumen plastic and 1.5 less than for galvanized metal.

Best of all, Common Knowledge will offer training classes to teach people how to make these homes for themselves, or to repair their homes, in order to “empower people to take action on the housing and climate crisis.”

“Ultimately, the plan of our Tigín project is not just to build these Tiny Homes, but to teach more than 200 people with the skills to build these or any other project themselves, whilst creating and releasing a free-to-use blueprint at the end of this year,” said Common Knowledge founder Fionn Kidney.

According to Åvontuura, the tiny homes are currently available for sale, and will cost between €55,000-€60,000 (nearly the same in USD). Fifty percent of people who have inquired about the homes have shared that they’re looking into a tiny home as a main residence, while about 10% say they want to buy one “for their children to help them escape the rent trap.”

“With many people currently impacted by a severe housing crisis, we believe a tiny home can provide an affordable solution, which is both highly adaptable and completely mobile,” said Common Knowledge. “We wanted to create something that would be useful, both in terms of offering a housing solution to people without the time to create one themselves, whilst enabling others to do it themselves.”

Hemp is becoming a preferred material for eco-building as the world explores more sustainable options. Hemp paper is a promising alternative to printing. It can even be used for food production. Hemp paper has been used in airplane and car construction.