By Chandi Chapman, WTAE
Workers at Disability Options Network, better known as DON, said a house in New Castle, Lawrence County is now part of Pennsylvania history. It’s the first in the state to be built of hempcrete and hempwood.
Lori Daytner, who is the VP of Program Development for DON and said, “It’s the first complete renovation of a residential construction using hempcrete in Pennsylvania.”
The unfinished home is built with hemp hurd, which is the inner woody core of the hemp stalk.
She said “When it’s processed, it looks a lot like mulch. So that is what’s mixed into hempcrete. Hempwood is created with a layer of hemp veneer.”
Through DON corporation, the home on Spruce Street will be available for people who need affordable housing, those who are getting out of violent domestic situations or people with disabilities. Chris Lloyd is a military veteran and president of DON.
“Society doesn’t know what to do with people with disabilities so we put them in nursing homes because it’s easier for us,” Lloyd said.
“My goal was to create accessible housing because nobody else would and there wasn’t enough housing. We wanted to get people out of nursing homes. They had no place to go,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said seven homes on the east side of New Castle are complete and 16 are in the works. He said the history-making home, that is made of hemp has unique qualities.
“It’s environmentally friendly, it’s breathable, it’s a healthier environment for people to live in,” Lloyd said.
“The utility costs are typically 30 percent lower and in some cases have been 60% lower. So that is a very big impact for someone who is living in a hempcrete house,” Daytner said.
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