The first public-use building constructed from hempcrete has opened in Ketchum, Idaho, according to a KOMO News report. The Borah Basin Building was designed by Hempitecture who partnered with non-profit Idaho BaseCamp for the project.

The construction took three years to complete, financed largely by $27,000 raised through Kickstarter.

Hempitecture founder Mattie Mead said he discovered the building material his senior year in college while looking for natural building materials to “create more insulating, more efficient, and less energy-intensive homes.”

“And through that study hempcrete stood out to me as above and beyond one of the greatest options for creating a building that is not just energy efficient but is also healthy.” He said in the report. “So in essence our building and our walls are carbon sinks – they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Whereas most other building products are carbon positive – they put out more carbon dioxide than they absorb.”

Mead called the building experience “really special” because he worked with community members who were “instrumental” in the project.

“There’s something that’s remarkably inspiring about being 45 minutes from the nearest town and being able to be sheltered, warm, comfortable, have facilities to use, and to have a space to connect with themselves and the natural environment around them,”  he said.

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