Hidden between the walls of this one-of-a-kind residence are piles of hemp, long touted as a sustainable material with many eco-friendly uses but rarely thought of as a building material. For this home, however, something special was required: the designer created it for his daughter, who has extreme chemical sensitivities that limited what could be used in its construction. Necessity, as they say, is the mother (or father) or invention.

Mixed with other materials, the resulting ‘Hempcrete’ used by Push Design may be a bit misleading by name – it is not a structural substance, but rather an insulator and air purifier. Placed inside wall voids, it absorbs CO2, filters particulates and (like concrete) creates a barrier of thermal mass that helps regulate interior temperatures.

The outside of the walls feature a stealthy surprise as well: instead of typical wallboard or sheet rock, a composite cardboard-like, paper-based and fully-structural covering is used that is both non-toxic and fully recycled (and recyclable in the future, for that matter).

If you have ever seen a house being demolished (or participated in a renovation project) you know from experience: having a safe alternative when knocking down walls would be much nicer than breathing drywall dust, and you would feel better if you could recycle the materials as well. Best of all, though, putting this home up in the first place was not just green for the long term – it was cheap and easy right in the here and now. (via Inhabitat)