North Dakota officials to review hemp house sustainability in Downtown Fargo

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — An experiment near downtown Fargo centers around two homes sitting next to each other.

The purpose of these homes is for research material. One of them is made out of hemp. The other is made out of conventional wood frames covered by that classic white house wrap material.

Many across the Red River Valley wonder how could a hemp house hold up through the brutal North Dakota winters? The President of Grassroots Development says there are hemp houses under similar climates in Manitoba, Canada and in Europe.

While any moisture, especially snow, is not ideal for the hemp material, he’s confident the home can hold up through a few snowstorms due to its exterior layer.

“I think you’re gonna see a strong performance because it has that type of envelope and it slows down the temperature changes. You’re going to have less energy requirements, the only question is, ‘how much? What’s that variance?’, I think it’s gonna perform well but we will have to get the data to prove that for our climate and area,” President of Grassroots Development Justin Berg said.

The “hurd,” which Berg says looks like a chicken salad, is the inner woody part of the hemp plant sealed with plaster and within it a mix of lime and water.

Inside the home are sensors inside the walls which monitor air quality, moisture levels and how much energy is being used.

“We need to prove out to the quote officials and the parties involved that there isn’t going to be any moisture issues with this structure. If we’re gonna put something out there, you’re gonna have somebody living in it that it’s going to be safe and be a benefit,” Berg said.

Berg adds hemp’s potential is a gamechanger for local economies to sustain their production. Not to mention, after making their outline of the hemp house, creating the hurd and building the layers only took four days.

“That’s the beauty of the fiber setup. you’re gonna be within 100 miles of where things are growing, likely to sustain. So, it has it built into its nature because it’s not gonna work on the economics to have one large manufacturing facility. You’re going to need things to develop regionally and support that regional economy. That’s the only way to make it work. To me, that’s a beautiful thing in this day of everything becoming one converged entity,” Berg said.

Berg says he’s already heard from the general public and tribes across the state about its resources and when it could be up for sale.

Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Business, Local News, North Dakota News