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HBI Community Engagement - May 2023

Updated: May 29, 2023

Hemp Building Institute Community Engagement: USHBA Member's Only Event, Mind Body Magic Festival, and Nashville Earth Day 2023

By Jacob Waddell

Since last month's newsletter, the HBI has spent sometime in the community building essential connections. HBI President, Jacob Waddell, presented at the US Hemp Building Associations Members Only Event on May 13th. In Nashville, the HBI team contributed art installations for two events, the Mind Body Magic Festival and Nashville Earth Day 2023. The excitement around hemp building materials is clearly growing and we are proud to highlight the progress.

USHBA Member Only Event

I had the pleasure of participating in the USHBA Members Only Event. This is the first event since I left the leadership of the USHBA and it meant a lot to me to be included.

The event kicked off with the New Structures Contest. The competition was tight with representatives from around the country whom presented structures of different complexities, from tiny homes on wheels to beautiful ranch style homes in scenic environments, and the use of different hemp building technologies including hempcrete panel systems, hemp batt insulation, and cast-in-place hempcrete. Tim White with Texas Healthy Homes pulled off the victory with a beautiful home that incorporated a number of healthy design features beyond just the use of hempcrete for the wall system. Not to play favorites, but I voted for his impressive project on a beautiful plot of land that asked the dweller to experience the natural beauty around them.

Two focused panels followed on Engineering and Design with Hemp, and Building with Hemp. Both panels had some of the strongest voices in the current hemp building industry. The discussion level has definitely changed over the three years I have been involved in the hemp building industry. Gone were discussions of the basics. Now the discussions were firmly placed in the practical applications and execution, demonstrating the growth of understanding across the industry.

These discussions were broken up with the randomized networking activities that have become a hallmark of recent USHBA events. It is always fun to see who you will be randomly assigned. We thank the USHBA for all that it is doing.

Mind Body Magic Festival

The HBI were proud to sponsor Community Corner at the 4th annual Mind Body Magic Festival that took place at oneC1TY in Nashville, TN. We provided an art installation made up of three large hempcrete pots and smaller hempcrete tiles that participants could paint. The activity proved to be a hit especially with the younger attendees. While the painters added their touches to the canvases, they were told about the potential of hemp building materials.

The HBI also joined forces with the Hemp Alliance of Tennessee (HAT) at a booth where hemp building materials were displayed. HAT President, Frederick Cawthon, provided his expertise on hemp in Tennessee as he joined the HBI's Gwenifer Cooper, Joe Clemons, and Jacob Waddell, at the booth. It was a windy day in Nashville which caused most vendors to go tent-less, finding it the safer option over the potential of flying tents crashing across the event. It was amazing to engage with the wellness community in Nashville and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The HBI looks forward to further engaging our local Nashville community as we move forward with our mission.

Nashville Earth Day 2023

The HBI worked with Nashville masters of the photo booth world HiFi Media Co. to create an art installation for the Nashville Earth Day 2023 in Centennial Park. Hundreds of hemp cords were draped from a tree with bells attached to the ends. The kids enjoyed them a great deal, but in case anyone is considering repeating this art installation, we would warn against it. The cords quickly formed bundles and after spending some time trying to keep them separated, we succumbed to the chaos of the situation.

The spot where we were setup with the photo booth was very close to the bandshell. We were lucky enough to enjoy some amazing local artists including the headliner, Lera Lynn. The event was an overall success and we were happy to add a splash of color and sound to the celebration of the planet we call home.

HBI Goes to DC for HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

HBI President, Jacob Waddell, will be attending the Innovative Housing Showcase on the National Mall in Washington, DC on June 9th-11th. This three day event is funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). His goal is to create connections with HUD and the NAHB, as well as to support the USHBA's efforts to promote hemp building materials at their booth on the mall.

To further this mission, on Friday morning of the 9th, Jacob will be joining Founding USHBA President Bob Escher AIA at the NAHB's Leadership Meeting, to present Hemp: The Economic Driver for a New Sector of the US Housing Industry.

Overall it has been a fun month of engaging stakeholders and the general public on the uses of hemp building materials. Thank you to everyone we interacted with at these events. Together we can make the world a better place!!!

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