With a history of vinyl siding and wood flooring, Fibonacci owner Greg Wilson has created HempWood, an American wood material generated from a swift-growing agricultural product. Hemp is known for its flexibility, but rules in the US have hindered research and development on the material. Now, hemp may be in your home.
The company’s brand name is Fibonacci, though it is now recognised as HempWood with an emphasis on its main product. No trees were hindered in the creation of HempWood, since it consists of all-natural, U.S.-grown hemp, and the applications are just starting to emerge.
HempWood’s present products include flooring, furniture, countertops and accent walls. Products consist of hardwoods, tropical woods, cork or other agricultural materials, like bamboo and eucalyptus, can be created with HempWood instead.
Wilson previously made bamboo products in China. Eventually, he joined a team that morphed bamboo into a more durable product and also worked with strand wood eucalyptus. As hemp became more available, Wilson moved back to the U.S. and opened a Kentucky shop to promote hemp development.
Both the material in question and the prospect of opening a business in 2020 was no easy feat. He said that hemp is based on a single algorithm that permits you to morph a plant fiber into a wood composite. It has to be modified to allow for the entry of a differing fiber, and now allowances also must be made for US regulations, COVID, wildfires, etc.
Wilson and his team knew the sustainability aspects of hemp, such as the fact that plants grow up swiftly and are prepared for harvest in only 120 days. Compared to conventional woods like oak, hickory and maple that grow for centuries, hemp represents a renewable product for the wood business. And as a plant, hemp generates cleaner air by stripping carbon and emitting oxygen.
Hemp’s versatility allows for each part of the plant to be utilised, with no waste involved. While HempWood depends on the bottom portion of the plant, the upper portion of the plant has commercial applications, like chicken feed.
In terms of sustainability, HempWood has the power to save forests, as it eliminates the need to cut down trees that provide food, housing and shelter for plants and animals.
And hemp biodegrades, dissolving back to its home in the soil. Even HempWood’s adhesive, a wood-composite consisting of more than 80% hemp fiber, is biodegradable. Producers claim the entire stalk and submit it to a crushing machine which opens the cell structure. Then it is dunked it into a vat of soy protein, where it is mixed with water and with the organic acid utilised by the paper towel industry.
Fibonacci selected a location within 100 miles of the product’s host hemp farms, cutting transportation costs and carbon emissions that emanate from shipping materials across the nation. And the company seeks to expand.
At the HempWood facility, the company is devoted to producing a small carbon footprint. The facility shines with low-consuming LED bulbs as well as a bio-burner that vents heat, supplies energy savings and waste reduction by burning material off-cuts on the site.
The team at HempWood is creating a whole new variety of sustainable material—one that comes complete with infinite possibilities.