Undergraduate Honors Thesis


A Revolution in Sustainable Development: An Analysis on Carbon Footprint and Total Cost of a Residential Home Built Using Conventional Materials, in Comparison to Hemp Biocomposite Materials Public Deposited

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  • The way we are currently developing our building structures is unsustainable, with a large amount of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions being a direct result of the production and implementation of the materials used in our buildings. 

    The purpose of this honors thesis is to better understand the potential and feasibility of hemp biocomposite materials in construction. A case study will be examined, where a house plan will be taken, and utilized in two homes, one being constructed with conventional materials such as lumber, while the other with hemp biocomposites. Because the same house plan is used in both homes, we can objectively quantify the carbon footprint and monetary cost of both dwellings, and directly compare them. This side by side analysis can allow developers, architects, and hemp-based construction material companies to see the difference in cost and carbon footprint associated with switching to hemp biobased materials. 

    Using professional journals, peer reviewed literature, and interviews with hemp companies, a building product analysis was conducted. This section shows the advantages and potential drawbacks of current building materials, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of transitioning towards hemp biocomposites. Through the building analysis and case study, this thesis is an extensive tool that shows the potential of hemp in future residential home construction. 


    The carbon sequestered through hemp biocomposites is nearly double its conventional counterparts, and its higher cost can be justified as its benefits could be argued to outweigh the difference in total cost when it comes to the price of the home.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-18
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-04-21
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