HEMPSTATIC - Next generation building material

27/06/2017

Studierenden Start-Up / Sommersemester 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Hempcrete is bio-degradable building material consisting of hemp hurds (the woody core of industrial hemp), lime based binder and water. Our HEMCRETE block is a construction material that can be used to assemble walls, roofs and floors as well as it can be adjusted to all types of buildings.

The Problem

50 % of all global carbon emissions stem from heating, cooling and construction of buildings. The production of conventional building materials is a major driver of climate change. For example, cement production alone is responsible for 5 to 7 % of global CO2 emissions. These materials require additional insulation to be effective. We found that currently there is only little awareness concerning the environmental impact of such materials. Just a limited choice of eco-friendly building materials is available on the market (e.g. wood, clay, reed). However, these materials are often very expensive, take a long time to be produced, are complex to build and are not carbon negative. 

The Solution

Our product HEMPCRETE building block tackles the problems along several dimensions.

First, the block clearly overcomes all concerns regarding the climate impact because it is carbon negative. Hemp transforms CO2 to oxygen during its growth and helps to lock up carbon during manufacture. Hence, more CO2 is sequestered in a hempcrete wall than is used to build it. Thus, our HEMPCRETE blocks outperform zero-carbon materials and allow building carbon-negative structures.

Second, the block is durable, toxin free, recyclable, hygroscopic and lightweight since hempcrete it is a low-density material which is resistant to crack under movement.  These characteristics make the material very healthy and even highly suitable for the use in earthquake-prone areas. 

Third, our HEMPCRETE block offers a unique combination of insulation and thermal inertia, which helps to create buildings with very stable internal environments that need very little heating or cooling.

Lastly, our product comes at prices that are much cheaper than comparable building materials. Our estimations, verified by industry experts, indicate that the material costs for a 130 sqm house amount to approximately 10,000 €. With the low purchase costs and the easy instalment of our product as well as the long-term cost savings through better insulation our product is well suited to compete in the building industry. Our HEMPCRETE blocks will be built together with a production partner and sold directly to the customer with a 20 % margin. Architects and builders should promote the usage of our material and assist the customer in the construction process.

The listed competitive advantages paired with a strong and fast market entry should allow us to be a first mover in the DACH region and effectively compete with established players in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France and Romania.

Target Customers

Our target customers are private homebuilders that are between 30 and 50 years old and live in the DACH region. Our typical customer has a "green" and sustainable lifestyle. In addition, he is not price sensitive and belongs to an upper-class segment.  

Market Analysis, Competition & Financials

The estimated total addressable market (TAM) in DACH is estimated to have a size of 3080 passive houses. Given the current trend to rely more on sustainable buildings we estimate that the TAM doubles every three years. We cautiously plan to target 0.5 % of the TAM in the first year. This estimation is rather risk averse because currently there is no direct competitor that produces hempcrete in Austria and the market size was estimated rather conservatively. Based on our estimated number of customers in the first year our financial forecast suggests 150.000 € in revenues in Y1 and would allow for breaking even after Y3.

Contact Person

  • Christian Friedrich; Philipp Hlavac; Florian Wundsam

  • hempstatic@gmx.at

Student team

  • Friedrich Christian (WU)

  • Wundsam Florian (WU)

  • Hlavac Philipp (WU)

  • Yaneva Elena (TU)

  • Poletanovic Bojan (TU)

  • Mirwald Esther (WU, FH Wiener Neustadt)

  • Schulze Lisa (FH Wiener Neustadt)

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