At the Heart of Hemp
Author: Tony Budden - HemporiumHemp has been and remains a hot topic, at the cusp of a new awareness for South Africans, who are now witnessing an onset of radical changes concerning environmental challenges and management strategies. The recent accomplishments attributed to this paradigm shift now boast, among others, the tallest building in Africa constructed using hemp-based building technology, coupled with sustainable resources. The company responsible for this groundbreaking initiative has a long history in South Africa and aims to change the view of hemp by incorporating its dynamic abilities into our everyday lives.
Hemporuim was founded in 1996 and comprises a dedicated and passionate team of individuals who have set ablaze a subsidiary sector that has traditionally fallen to the wayside in the wake of strict government regulations and legislation stifling hemp use and industry. Duncan Parker, together with Tony Budden and Philippa Mohr, form the passionate team behind what many celebrate as pioneers in this sector. The idea of utilising hemp as a means to combat CO2 emissions and the multiple benefits associated with Hempcrete would make one believe it is a viable choice in comparison to cement and concrete blocks historically used in the building industry; however, the reality is far removed from this logic, primarily due to confines set about by ill-defined law and public consensus.
The project saw a partnership develop with Afrimat Hemp, who operate as a subsidiary company of Afrimat SA(Pty) Ltd and provided the opportunity for the vision set out by Hemporuim to materialise in what is set to become a hemp hotel and host a mixed-use natural building entity.
Cape Town, specifically the East city precinct, has seen a surge of young entrepreneurs and a range of established brands in the area. Wolff and Wolff provided the architectural design element, which is primarily a culmination of years pioneering the hemp construction industry. The company has envisioned a ergonomic alchemy which sees a range of natural, and sustainable resourced products utilized including hemp. Incorporating the vast expertise and experience of a dynamic, enviro-centric team has seen a number of foundation projects attain international awards and praise including The Hemp House featured in the popular television series, Top Billing. Working within the principals of design, not centered around, but rather infused with progressive conservation principals, provides a new perspective for a sector which has seen numerous attempts made with regards to effective environmental design strategies. With a new consensus that focuses on a homogenous relationship between humans and our natural world, it seems fitting to embrace the hemp building as more than just a structure, but as a statement of positive change, envisioned through the efforts of companies like Hemporuim, Wolff and Wolff and Afrimat Hemp which strive for more than greatness!
While the vast majority of South Africans are still aligned with pre-conceived ideas associated with hemp, the construction of the hemp hotel aims to change this mindset by providing the highest standard environment utilising the products related to the hemp plant in every possible way. Tony Budden, the founding partner and director, is a profound advocate of realising the full potential of hemp in the construction industry and as a sustainable measure to minimise CO2 emissions.
The building also serves as a testament to the emerging industrial cannabis and hemp sector in that we are ready to capitalise on the immense versatile benefits derived from hemp. The hemp building will not only comprise the hemp hotel but also house a Hemporuim ground-based store with a hemp product show space and an educational section designed to afford a view of the various uses and products that can be integrated into our everyday lives.

The monumental accomplishment has far-reaching consequences in the mindsets of South Africans who have been subject to pre-conceived ideas forced on the populist by the former government. 

Hemporuim has always endeavoured to facilitate an educational and natural, harmonious approach to business and must be applauded together with its affiliate partners in building what can only be described as a "hope" for hemp!
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Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


Foreword - Issue 6


Issue 6 - Cover

Issue 6 - Cultivation