Kiwi entrepreneurs, Doug Sturrock and Alice Hosted, were invited to speak at an international conference in Melbourne, and will present their enviro-tech construction innovation at the Global Hemp Summit, on September 27.
From their home in Kerikeri, Sturrock and Hosted are the cofounders of Rockstead Geobind, which enables new opportunities for building materials made from hemp. When mixed with hemp, Rockstead Geobind unlocks new possibilities as a construction material.
Rockstead Geobind was developed in the lab at Callaghan Innovation, where Advanced Materials Scientist, Dr. Vineet Shah brought his expertise to the team. The fast set times, and strength of Rockstead Geobind enables the insulative, moisture buffering and carbon sequestration powers of hemp to be harnessed in a way that makes it perfectly suited to prefabricated products as well as traditional ‘hempcrete’ building practices, which is unlike other bio-aggregate binders available on the market.
“Hemp is an excellent material, but until now, its use in construction materials has been limited,” Doug explains. “The testing Callaghan have done shows that with the strength and make up of our binder, hemp can be used to make panels at just 20mm thick that are carbon neutral with great acoustic dampening, and mould and fire resilience properties. The testing also indicates the potential for structural performance. We are now going through a BRANZ appraisal process to confirm these properties. The potential for our product to have a significant impact on carbon emissions from the industry and the affordability and health of homes is what drives us” says Doug.
Perhaps most exciting for those concerned about the future of our environment, is the carbon sequestration potential for Rockstead Geobind hemp products. “The hemp fibre and binder combined will continue to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere where it stays, even if the building is demolished. This translates to genuine carbon offsets for users. Not greenwashing, real, verified, carbon-reversal by an already carbon neutral product. It’s really exciting” Doug explains.
The Global Hemp Summit is a two day event, featuring speakers from Australia, Israel and France, as well as this New Zealand contingent, and is a collaboration between Australian hemp industry bodies and the University of Melbourne. This year focusing on hemp solutions for construction materials, it is thought the Kiwi team was selected to speak because they are the first to market with a product that will make hemp panelised products stronger, enabling them to be made thinner. Rockstead Geobind looks set to open the doors for hemp to break out of the niche and into the mainstream construction industry.
“Speaking at the Global Summit in Melbourne, is exciting for us because we’re getting recognised in our first off-shore market, Australia. Victoria is a bit like the Down Under Silicon Valley of hempcrete. There is a lot of innovation going on and there’s appetite for change. We’ll be right there in the thick of it, standing up saying hey! Here’s the test results, you can do a whole lot of new things now with hempcrete – who’s keen to get cracking?”
Despite Rockstead Geobind’s early stage of business, there appears to be no shortage of people wanting to “get cracking” with this Kiwi-made innovation. Since launching the website earlier this year, the team have received more than 300 enquiries and more every day. After just a few weeks on the market, building product manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand have signed contracts with the company, though marketing efforts have been limited to, as Doug describes it, “a homemade website, an interview or two and a couple of Facebook posts.” Those wondering if Rockstead Geobind hempcrete binder is for them can visit their website, geobind.co.nz.
“If you want to build a traditional ‘hempcrete’ house in New Zealand, yes it’s for you. If you want to get innovative and develop a panel or a block, you’ve got to try our binder. It’ll get your products out there faster, stronger and safer.”
https://nzentrepreneur.co.nz/geobind-to-present-their-eco-friendly-building-product-at-global-hemp-summit-melbourne/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=geobind-to-present-their-eco-friendly-building-product-at-global-hemp-summit-melbourne Geobind to present their eco-friendly building product at Global Hemp Summit, Melbourne – NZ Entrepreneur Magazine