Yiza Hemp House

Yiza Ekhaya is the first township Hemp House in South Africa and only the 3rd hemp house in South Africa

Why Hemp as a Building Material?

Hemp is a natural, sustainable and carbon-neutral building material.

It’s fast growing and needs little water and pesticides.

It can be used as the raw material for bricks, chipboard and insulation.

It’s non-toxic, it breaths and regulates moisture.

It also has excellent insulation (not too hot or cold as current RDP housing solutions tend to be).

How did Yiza and Hemp come together?

GREEN HOME is a South African compostable food packaging supplier that has an ongoing relationship with Mama Mickey and Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen. When Mama Mickey was asked to move from the temporary structure she was using to run her soup kitchen, GREEN HOME wanted to help but wanted to do so in an ethical and environmentally friendly way.

Catherine Morris, GREEN HOME Founder and MD and a true believer in the superiority of natural raw materials, did some research into good materials to use and discovered the world of building with Hemp. Hemp is a renewable plant material and great building material. Building with hemp is labour intensive and low skill. This meant it would be easy for lots of volunteers to help with the build. Having so many volunteers on the building project also gave the social opportunity for many people from different backgrounds to work together on a fun project.

Catherine Morris joined forces with Oliver Wolf, the architect behind South Africa’s first two Hemp houses and Tony Budden from Hemporium. The idea was presented to Mama Mickey who loved it. Together a volunteer team came together. Funds were raised, building materials were donated, plans were submitted and passed, and loads of people came together to sing songs and build the Yiza Hemp House.

The building was completed in May 2016.

Now that the building has been completed, not only does Yiza Ekhaya benefit from having a building made from this natural material but it will also, hopefully, serve to showcase the potential for industrial Hemp to create opportunities, jobs and sustainable, natural materials for building homes in South Africa. Grow your own home.

If you’re interested in the possibility of growing your own home – come visit the Hemp House!