A unique home that generates more energy than it uses, is rising above the trees on a hillside property in Sooke, just outside of Victoria.
“We tried to create the most sustainable, safest, most energy-efficient and least toxic home possible,” owner Arno Keinonen said.
The walls are being built using Lego-like building blocks made essentially of hemp, lime and water.
Coverage of going green in the home on Globalnews.ca:
“It’s Lego-inspired actually,” site construction manager Chris Aldinger said.
“It’s a marks and tendon joint that forms a structure for the load of the building.”
The blocks are a new product manufactured in Calgary; Keinonen’s Vancouver Island home will mark their first test run.
Builder Mark Faber said the blocks are not only green, they’re also fireproof.
“Fort McMurray is showing a lot of interest and in B.C. here as well with the forest fires, we’ve done testing with this and held a torch up to it for a quite a long time, up to an hour, and it barely has any impact on it,” Faber said.
The blocks are also insulating — they become stronger over time and don’t mould, according to Faber.
“The carbon dioxide is constantly being absorbed into the walls and hardening the walls so that… these walls are going to be lasting hundreds and hundreds of years,” Faber said.
“This is the first full home being made out of the hemp block itself… so from here we want to do some testing on the home to make sure it’s operating properly and then continue to improve the product.”
The home will have a greenhouse to grow food in when construction is finished.
There will also be a solar panel roof and a cistern to collect rainwater for domestic use, which will come equipped with a Tesla battery pack, according to Keinonen.
“Energy-wise, we will be self-sufficient,” he said.
The hemp blocks allow for faster-than-usual construction and the home is set to be ready to live in by the spring.
Keinonen and his wife welcome guests who want to check it out, in hopes they too will consider going green on their next build.
“There’s so much talk and writing about things, we said let’s put our money where our mouth is,” Keinonen said.
They call the under-construction property, the Harmless Home; to learn more you can visit the website.