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On this episode of the Lancaster Farming Industrial Hemp Podcast, we talked to Mattie Mead, founder and CEO of Hempitecture, a company based in Idaho that makes bio-based building materials designed to replace conventional, toxic building materials.

The company started off building hempcrete structures, but has pivoted to become a manufacturer of HempWool, a replacement for fiberglass insulation.

We talk about how and why Mead founded Hempitecture, from the early days of cast in place hempcrete building to to developing sustainable products to replace toxic materials in the construction space.

Hempitecture

https://www.hempitecture.com/

Hempitecture on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Hempitecture/

Hempitecture on Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/hempitecture/


Read a transcript of this podcast:

Mattie Mead: And so not only are we building with things that are unsustainable, we're building with things that are unhealthy, which for me really took me by surprise and really encouraged the work that we're doing today.

Eric Hurlock: That's Mattie Mead, founder and CEO of Hempitecture maker of bio based building materials designed to replace conventional toxic building materials. This is the Lancaster Farming Industrial Hemp podcast. My name is Eric Hurlock. And so today I'm going to talk to Mattie Mead. I met him very briefly this summer out in Montana, but I didn't get to talk to him very much at all. So today I wanted to find out more about Hempitecture, where they've been, where they're going and what they're all about. So I learned a lot in this conversation with Mattie Mead, and I think you will, too.

All right, so just a couple of things before we get into my conversation with Mattie Mead from Hempitecture, first a shout out to our sponsor IND HEMP in Fort Benton, Montana. They've been our sponsor throughout the entire year of 2021, and I am just deeply grateful for their support of what we're doing here at Lancaster Farming. So thank you.

All right. The next thing is, I want to give a shout out to the folks at All Together Now Pennsylvania, Americhanvre Cast Hemp, the Hempstead PA and Wild Fox Provisions. If you remember a couple of weeks ago we had Eric and Cameron on talking about Hempcrete Week here in Pennsylvania. And so it was this past week I was intending on going up on Monday to to the hands-on workshop up at Wild Fox Provisions that's Ben and Karah's farm in Barto, Pennsylvania. But it was my birthday, and so I stayed here and celebrated with my family. But Ben sent me a video later that night, and it turns out that they had gotten a cake for me. It was decorated with a little hemp leaf. And they all gathered around and sang to me, So very special and and so I just want to give a shout out to Judy Wicks and Cameron MacIntosh, Eric Titus White, Ben and Karah Davies and the whole crew. Really a special group of people that I am very grateful that I have gotten to know through this podcast.

And so what better way to celebrate not only my birthday but hempcrete week, then with a conversation with one of the pioneers of hempcrete Matty Mead from Hempitecture in Idaho?

So here we go.

Eric Hurlock: Mattie made from Hempitecture welcome to the Lancaster Farming Industrial Hemp podcast, how are you doing today?

Mattie Mead: Hey, Eric, I'm doing great. Thanks so much for having me. It's really a pleasure to be on the show, especially as a fan of the show.

Eric Hurlock: Well, it's cool. Thank you for saying that. So let's let's have an introduction. Tell me who you are and how you got into this hemp business.

Mattie Mead: Oh gosh. Well, first off, yeah, my name is Mattie Mead. I'm the founder and CEO of Hempitecture. And I said, Oh gosh, because how did I get into this industry and this space? And it's a bit of a story. And if you'll let me indulge me and sharing that story. And it really goes back to gosh, at this point, many years ago, it was 2012. I was an undergraduate student studying architecture and environmental sciences, went to a pretty small liberal arts college in upstate New York called Hobart College. And it's in this really beautiful kind of picturesque setting overlooking one of the Finger Lakes in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York. Well, this region has a lot going for it, but historically it's been a little bit economically depressed. And so in my four years of time at Hobart College, I saw a mountain grow in the distance, and that mountain was far from a natural mountain. It was a mountain of waste. One of the largest super landfills in the northeast was in Seneca Falls, New York, so about a 15 20 minute drive from where my school's campus was. And it really just kind of intrigued me. I wonder what was going into this landfill and what is the effect of this landfill has on us and on our environment? I mean, you could certainly smell it some days of the week when the wind was blowing just right. And I was pretty blown away to find out that the landfill was actually, you know, of course, municipal waste, food waste, things like that. But a good portion of the waste that was going into the landfill was construction and demolition waste. And it awoke me or woke me to the idea that buildings at their end of life don't have a solution. They just go to a landfill. They create these mountains all over the United States and those mountains being landfills. And so I became really interested in the idea of building, building materials and circularity. How can a building material be returned to the Earth and not contribute to this problem? And so towards my senior year of college, while I was finishing out my architecture degree and also my environmental sciences minor, I decided to do a thesis study that combined really this interest in the built environment, the natural world and architecture, and the title of this research project that I did was the contemporary relevance of Earth architecture. I was kind of already operating under the assumption that Earth architecture, meaning building materials made from the Earth are more sustainable than building materials that are not from the Earth and building materials that don't biodegrade. And so in this study, I began looking at different regions of the world and really wanted to know what were people doing before the industrial revolution. How did indigenous people build their homes? How did people build their homes on various in various locations and in various materials? And it was in this research that I found out about hemp and limestone being used as a building material in France. Now, at the time, I didn't really know a whole lot about industrial hemp. Yet the reading that I came across and the information that I came across really struck me right off the bat, and I think I read something about some homes or buildings in France, and I think I rushed to my architecture advisor's office and I said, OK, time out, I am going to totally redo this study and I'm going to focus it all on industrial hemp as a building material. I was excited about it and they were like, You know, perhaps you should rethink that. I don't. Maybe you should just continue with what you're already doing and figure out a way to channel your interest in this material. But their perspective was maybe it's so new and maybe there's not enough information out there to fully do a piece of study on it. So I kind of continued with the path of doing this sort of all encompassing study that looked at straw, Bale, Waddle and and of course, hempcrete and a variety of other natural building methods and to channel that excitement and then. Energy that I had for industrial hemp as a building material, I decided to dabble in some of the entrepreneurship programs at my school, and it was very early on that before I even knew what hempitecture was or would be. I actually came up with the name Hempitecture. I was with a I was doing internship and I was with this entrepreneurial mentor of mine working for his company. That was basically a green roof company in New York City. So it's pretty cool. We got to go see some really neat buildings and kind of bring nature to the urban landscape. And so he had this sustainability ethos, and he was someone that I kind of trusted. And, you know, I don't want to say I was laughed at right off the bat when I said my professors that I want to research and build with industrial hemp. But I told this trusted mentor of mine said, Hey, you know, so I've got this idea and I learned about this from my studies and I saw that in France, they're doing this. And what do you think about the name? It's like hemp and architecture combined together, Hempitecture. And he looked at me and he said, you should trademark that. And so not long after one of the first things I did was I trademarked Hemptitecture. Well, it's kind of move forward in the story. I trademarked Hempitecture. I was working with the entrepreneurial department of my school, and I started to create a startup concept around hemp building hemp building materials, which that startup concept, as it existed in 2012, is very, very different than the business exists today. But it really began in 2012, 2013, five or six years before the Federal Farm Bill. So it's it goes away, is back. And I like to think that since that moment of really continually been learning, I've never stopped learning. And Eric, that's how we met when we were in Montana. Not that long ago, right? I was seeing fields and learning about how industrial hemp is grown and processed because in this space, there's so much new and so many things that are evolving that learning needs to continue to happen.

Eric Hurlock: Absolutely. Yeah. And that's a great origin story. Thank you for sharing that. And you're right about the construction industry. It's just so wasteful. You know, you go to a job site and there's the roll off dumpster of just all kinds of stuff in there, mostly plastic. And they throw all that stuff in, like the new building stuff. But you're also talking about, you know, end of life of existing buildings. Just so much waste.

Mattie Mead: Exactly. Not only is it wasteful, Eric, it's also toxic. And that is the other thing that really struck me as I dug into this issue further. Sure, you know, we have building materials that are natural course. Wood is one of the most widely used building materials, but things like insulation, things like carpet underlayment, things like paint these materials, especially when they're new, they're off gas and they release toxins into our environment. And so not only are we building with things that are unsustainable, we're building with things that are unhealthy, which for me really took me by surprise and really encouraged the work that we're doing today.

Eric Hurlock: OK, well, let's talk about that work. What is Hempitecture today? What? What are you doing?

Mattie Mead: Yeah. So I think to kind of frame what we're doing today, it's it's helpful to understand and capture where we came from. The early 2012, 2013 me was really fascinated and I still am today. Don't get me wrong. Well, the early 2012 2013 meet was really fascinated with hemp or hemp and lime. To this day, I still believe that hemp and lime are quite possibly the most sustainable way of building a home bar. None. I mean, I have not found a system or strategy or material that quite compares to hemp. It really is remarkable. And the earliest concept of Hempitecture in 2012 and 2013 was actually an interlocking, insulating building block system. So really, it was a product concept. Well, I learned pretty early on that to have a product concept and to be pitching this idea of a new building material, it really does require a few things. It requires capital first and foremost, which as a college student on scholarship, I had. None of it requires manufacturing space and prototyping, which of course goes back to number one, requires money, which I had none of. And then it also requires really an addressable market. Who out there is going to buy these products and why would you create a product for a market that isn't requesting it or doesn't want it? Well, it occurred to me early on that. Asian was really key, and then also creating examples of hemp houses was really key to get people aware of the benefits of this material. So in that 2012 2013 undergraduate architecture world of really promoting and pitching this concept of building blocks? I didn't get very far. I presented a business plan competitions. I ultimately stood up on stage in front of one hundred one time in front of about 300 people pitching in venture capital judges. And it was laughed at. People said, This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. You're trying to build houses out of a Schedule one substance. And my belief was, well, you know, I want to be on the ground floor of this industry that is evolving. I want to be here and working on this before it's legal because it will become legal. We can look to almost every other nation in the world to understand that. But it brought me and subsequently us as as the team evolves and new people came into the team brought us to on site construction. You know, really early on, we were more or less a traveling hemp construction company. I had the good fortune of being connected with some folks here in Idaho, which is currently my home, who called me out of the blue one day and said, Hey, do you want to come build? Some of these have great buildings you're talking about. I don't think I even had a website at the time, so I was pretty surprised by this. But through the power of social media, they actually found out about this pitch contest. I was in and said, Hey, we want you to prototype and experiment with hempcrete on our property. So I moved out to Idaho and built first hempcrete building that had crepe building turned into another turn into another. And today we've had a hands on role in about 10 hemp projects, and we've supplied probably 25 to 35 hemp projects across the United States, which when I started in 2012, there was fewer than five. So we're really excited about how we've become entrenched in the industry. But it has brought us to today and we had sort of a pivot point almost an aha moment a few years ago

Eric Hurlock: right before we get to that. Tell me about some of those early, early buildings that was all cast in place.

Mattie Mead: Yeah, correct. So actually, the first building project we worked on was really unique in that it was a prefabricated, prepanelized hempcrete Building and as far as we're aware, was the first of that kind in North America and was the first commercial Hempcrete building in the United States. Prior to that, all the other hemp great buildings were residences. And really, the idea of building a commercial public use building was that people could come to this space, this building, this land that the building was on and learn about sustainability, learn about natural building materials. That idea of panels Asian ultimately came from at the time my obsession with this idea of making hempcrete easy and scalable. You know, of course, if you can't make building blocks, what's the next best way to make a hempcrete building efficient and easy to build? From our point of view, that was panels. And so we kind of actually skipped the step and initially passed in place. Although cast in place where it's just for the listeners who aren't super familiar with cast in place just refers to mixing and bashing the hemp crate on site and installing it into form boards, generally around a wooden frame. So we did kind of skip that first step of cast in place, although the panels themselves were essentially cast in place, but they were cast horizontally. So we do not have like gravity in the conventional sense of of other casts in place. But after that Idaho based camp project, which is a Bible, once see three nonprofit organization really dedicated to promoting sustainability and living in balance with the environment. We worked on a number of projects from Washington to upstate New York to Texas, and those have all been cast in place, which is a great strategy, but definitely labor intensive. Sure.

Eric Hurlock: So before we get to the pivot you mentioned, just let's go over some of the benefits of building with hemp. Yes. Like what? What drew you in what was besides? It's sort of sustainable and, you know, environmentally friendly aspect. What else about it?

Mattie Mead: One of the things that really appealed to me early on about hemp was the fact that hempcrete is a replacement for multiple other materials. It is your insulation. It's essentially your drywall. There's no vapor barrier required. So from that point of view, to me, it seemed like a simpler, more pure approach to building. What appealed to me after I kind of dug in even further was the health benefits nontoxic. No bosses, no off gassing and then presenting from those health benefits are really the performance benefits. You know, one thing that is amazing about hemp is it is 100 percent fireproof, which we actually conclusively proved with an ASTM 84 test a couple of years ago. So that's a really amazing benefit. And some of the other benefits are it's vapor permeability, essentially, which means the ability for the wall to hold moisture or vapor and release it, which for you translates to more comfortable indoor air environment. When I can build a house one day, I give. I'm ever so blessed out. There will be a cast in place and greenhouses.

Eric Hurlock: So you mentioned the pivot. Where are you now with hempitecture?

Mattie Mead: Yeah. So a few years ago, we kind of had a light bulb moment really almost akin to the early light bulb moment of wow, what an incredible opportunity. Industrial hemp building materials are for the United States. And we were really focused on hempcrete and scaling hempcrete. We invested a lot of money into how can we scale hempcrete by buying equipment, using technology to augment the labor intensive ness? Yet what we found was that hempcrete projects were expensive, and they tend to come in over budget because of that labor intensity. And at this point in time, my co-founder Tommy Gibbons and I were really trying to envision the future of Hempitecture and where we were going, and we were putting in two acts the effort and really doubling down on hempcrete yet not really getting to X out. And so what that made us realize is that maybe there is a different pathway forward that is maybe just a slight deviation off the original plan, which was to really bring to scale and commercialize hempcrete building materials in the United States. Maybe there's alternative methods or ways. And so, you know, almost full circle, like going back to that idea of like taking in what's happening elsewhere in the world. We were looking at some companies that were based in Germany and France and Scotland that were manufacturing sustainable insulation products using natural fibers. As well as animal fibers, wool in particular. And so what we realized was that in looking at insulation products that are really a one to one substitution, there is a much greater potential for market adoption. And the reason that there is more potential for market adoption of a hemp insulation product over a hemplime or hempcrete system is that hempcrete or hemplime is a system. It's not just a one to one replacement. It requires working with the architects, the clients, the contractors early on before the house is even built or a shovel touches the soil to ensure that the design and the functionality of the building is ready to be suited to and accommodate hemp. We had some, some heartbreakers, Eric. We had projects that we had have months of our calendar blocked out. For that, we were going to go build and in the certain locations, and maybe it got to the seventh inning. And then the building inspector said, Sorry, you can't do this because this isn't a recognized building material or we had a client or two who had gotten really far in the planning stages, design their house around hempcrete and realized that when the numbers came together, this wasn't financially feasible. And so it really left us in a difficult place and in fact, in 2019 left us in a place where we weren't sure if Hempitecture would continue to be a business any longer. We had been burned. We had had some setbacks. We really had some growing pains and challenges in trying our best in earnest to pioneer an industry that was very much so nascent. And so in reflecting on those experiences, we said we need to focus on a one to one product substitution, not a system. Now again, I do want to reiterate the fact that we really do still earnestly and wholeheartedly believe in hempcrete. If you go to hemp potential, recom you'll still see information about hemp. We still supply hempcrete. We recently developed a US manufactured lime binder to bind together hempcrete. It's actually manufactured here in Idaho. We're still very much working in this space. Yet we have pivoted and shifted our focus to manufacturing insulation using hemp fiber. That is where our focus lies today.

Eric Hurlock: OK, well, tell me about that. It's like a one to one replacement for fiberglass like batts insulation, that sort of thing.

Mattie Mead: Yeah, that's that's exactly correct. Eric, the product name that we trademarked for this concept is called HempWool, which is 90 percent hemp fiber, 10 percent binder and is made through a non-woven process non-woven are really largely encompassing industry. Or I should say field, I suppose, and a lot of things are non-woven, so we interact with them on a daily basis. The manufacturing facility that we are currently building in southern Idaho is designed to manufacture lofty insulation. So when I say lofty, just think of thick with that thickness, it traps air in it, which makes it a good insulator. It is used in lieu of fiberglass spray from mineral wool, really the conventional insulation products that are out there, and we are continuing to target and focus on the residential and commercial housing sectors for our products. Yet we're also looking at some other industries and ways that we can incorporate more sustainable alternatives into those industries. You know, the equipment that we're we've actually already purchased from Italy is really versatile. It can create lots of products, and we're really excited about this next step in this next chapter, which is a big step forward for Hempitecture and to be completely honest, a step a bit out of our comfort zone. Now we have grown the market for HempWool here in the United States by selling an imported product that we've branded and sold as HempWool, and now we're transitioning to U.S. manufacturing. And there's there's some ramifications of that. There's some exciting elements of that. Yet there's also some things that are it's a big deal and we're definitely we realize we're biting off a lot here, but we're excited about these next steps

Eric Hurlock: because you have to build a supply chain essentially out of nothing. Right.

Mattie Mead: Well, fortunately for us, there's other folks who really are working on the supply chain, and I don't think that we be having this conversation today, Eric, and talking about our non-woven manufacturing facility. If it were not for other folks out there that are really putting these supply chain pieces together. Andy Hanson for Benton Montana, of course, comes to mind. And yet there's other companies across the United States and Colorado and Nebraska that are working on developing a supply chain that are working with the farmers. They're getting seeds in the ground. They're buying that material from the farmers and then they're processing it. Well, all that is essential and super important to our business, and we need those folks and that section of the supply chain to exist. Yet at the same time, those folks also will become not so reliant on haberdasher, but will benefit from hemp Dexter as a buyer. Sure. The volume that we're projecting and purchasing is significant. And so we help can help ensure that a company like AT&T or the other processors that are emerging out there have customers. It really does require this circular supply chain. And I would not go so far as to say that we're responsible for developing all, but we're maybe responsible for developing a part of it and being a part of that value chain. But much gratitude and thanks has to go to those folks that are out there really getting those seeds in the ground and working with the farmers, right?

Eric Hurlock: Yeah, because this is great news for farmers because ever since I've started this podcast, they're like, Well, who's going to buy it if I grow it? Why would I grow it if there's no market? And so what you're talking about is the establishment of a big market, which is good news.

Mattie Mead: That's exactly right or spot on.

Eric Hurlock: If I am, you know, building a house and comparing prices between fiberglass insulation and the hemp insulation, where is it like price point wise? Is it competitive?

Mattie Mead: Eric, that's kind of the elephant in the room right now, and it's something that we're actively working on addressing. If our product that we were selling by importing was at comparable price to fiberglass or the other conventional insulation products out there, we would not be building a manufacturing facility here in the United States. We are incurring really huge, huge investment costs, huge for us, at least in basement costs and building out this facility. And there's quite some time until we break even and see a payback on that facility. And we are doing this really to drive down the cost, support the U.S. supply chain and and create a product that is closer to parity. Now, fiberglass is really it's extremely inexpensive. We view the next closest analogous product to our product as Rockwool, and we are seeking to be within 10 or 15 percent price parity of Rockwooll so that when you're comparing a to B, maybe A as Rockwool and B as HempWool, you're seeing a similar price. Yet then you go to the value added benefits and HempWool meets or exceeds the benefits of option. A price parity is very important for us and is how we ultimately will drive scale at this point in time. We're looking at 2x the cost of conventional insulation products, which is really limiting to the market, and a lot of folks come to us and they say we're really, really motivated to use this product. You get to the checkout step, you find out the shipping costs and that motivation dissipates quickly. And so our manufacturing facility here in the United States is an earnest effort at lowering that cost, while also strengthening the supply chain here and particularly the American West.

Eric Hurlock: And I imagine you're also shrinking your carbon footprint, right? Because if you're shipping stuff from France or wherever, there's a lot of energy costs in moving this stuff.

Mattie Mead: That's exactly correct. And we are often asked why Idaho Idaho was the 50th state to legalize industrial hemp? I believe so, quite literally the last to the party, if you will. Yet Idaho is really strategically located for us among really what's going to be considered the breadbasket of industrial hemp cultivation in the West. So big players in Montana, Alberta is. Really, they're cultivating a lot of acreage, the industry there is growing, there's new processors emerging in Alberta. Idaho is just south of Alberta, just west of Montana. And then, of course, states like Oregon, Washington, Colorado are all within this radius of where our manufacturing facility is located. If you are in Colorado and spare perhaps a mountain pass or two, if you're trying to get west of the Rocky Mountains and had to the West Coast, you need to go north and then west through Idaho on Interstate 84, Iran's east west through Idaho. And that is where our facility is possession. So, you know, we looked at a lot of locations we looked at being right by the one of the largest processors in Montana. We looked at Nevada, we looked at California. We looked even into Oregon and more western Oregon closer to the coast, and we settled on Idaho because of that strategic location and allows us to, as you had said before, lower the carbon footprint of the transportation costs. If we're sourcing from a 10 hour radius and within that 10 hour radius, there are a plethora of processors. That's a huge win for the processors and us. And then, of course, Idaho is further south than where some of these processors are and are material which is bulky, voluminous and therefore expensive to ship. And believe it or not, we're closer to the markets in which we intend to serve. So there's environmental benefits, there's economic benefits and then supply chain benefits as well.

Eric Hurlock: Good. So you mentioned Fort Benton, Montana, that's where we met each other out there this summer. That's right. What has changed for you since that historic day in Montana?

Mattie Mead: That was such a great day. And that day that Eric's alluding to was Indigenous Field Day, where we got to go see really the the good, the bad, the ugly. I mean, it's been tough in the American West with severe drought grasshoppers and IND HEMP is really learning and working through these challenges to help build the supply chain that will be reliable at that point in time. We are not closing our facility at our fundraising was still in progress. There are still a lot of unknowns. We hadn't finalized a purchase contract with our global OEM that is original equipment manufacturer. And now all of those pieces have really been set in place. We've surpassed our fundraising goal and are actually seeking to raise some more funding. We closed on our facility contract in Jerome, Idaho, which is where a facility is located. We finalize our equipment purchase order with the global manufacturer of the non-woven equipment we are purchasing. A lot of things have gone into place since then. Yet with all those things that fall into place, I like to think that another thing emerges or another thing that you didn't realize that's right around the corner pops up. And so there's always more work to be done. And that's one thing that really, I think motivates myself and protects your team is that we wake up, we go to work and we know there's a lot to do. You know, we're working in a space that at least in the United States, there's not a game plan for. We're not the first people to create and installation, certainly not yet where some of the first to really take a run at commercializing this in the United States and develop this and we're being supported on on high levels to do that. We're being supported by the Department of Energy and my business partner received a fellowship to represent habitat here at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Department of Energy and Building Technologies office funded research and development program where we've received funding from Idaho. Believe it or not. Not long after Idaho legalized industrial hemp, they granted $260000 to Hempitecture and our research team at the University of Idaho to research and develop hemp insulation here in Idaho. So a lot of, yeah, a lot of things are falling into place. There's always more to be done. Eric, you know, we're we're not claiming to be the first, but we really hope that our establishment, our business helps strengthen the supply chain. And ultimately, at the end of the day, for us, it all goes back to the farmers. If we're successful, we're buying product, if we're buying products, the processors successful, the processors, successful farmers have a place to sell their material.

Eric Hurlock: So what's your plan? For reaching, you know, like the non hemp people, just like the the everyday customer who's looking for insulation.

Mattie Mead: Yeah, that's a really great question, Eric. And actually to date, we have never spent anything on marketing except for just our time. You know, we've got a pretty fun. I like to think it's fun social media presence and lots of great photos and videos and information and share what other people are doing. Our website, of course, but we have never spent a dollar on outbound marketing, which I think is a testament to the interest that's growing in this space of sustainable, natural, plant based materials, not just building materials, but plant based things as a whole. Who would have thought, you know, Burger King would sell an Impossible Burger, a meat free burger? And so I do think that this is a trend that is coming into vogue. And I also think it's a trend that, unlike other trends, is not going to go away. It's going to become entrenched as the norm. But we do need to reach larger audiences, beginning to reach some market builders and architects and developers, folks that industrial hemp perhaps is not part of their vocabulary yet their decision makers in the building materials space. And so to do that, we have a few kind of strategies in hand. You know, we'll probably increase our presence at trade shows and networking with sort of just building industry and building material professionals this year and over the coming years. And we intend to utilize some unique distribution channels that I don't think have really been utilized within the space that that we're working with. You know, we're really interested in partnering with folks in the modular space. Modular building is a hugely growing segment that I believe and as someone who's worked on site and framed houses with my hands using mailers and all the tools that you have to use to build a house, it's inefficient. There's a lot of money wasted in on site construction. So I think we're going to see more of the prefabricated world coming into play, and we want to partner with companies that are in that space and supply them large volumes of insulation so that our biggest customers are repeat customers that are buying on a pre-specified contract basis. But outside of that, we developed a new platform to serve people like you and me, Eric, who maybe are working on a at home project or maybe are just, you know, interested in buying small amounts of insulation. And this solution that we created for the sort of business to consumer route or B to C route is called our Buy Direct platform, where you can log on our website. Erick's, you know, renovating his garage, and he's calculated he needs 600 square feet of insulation. You enter in 600 square feet, your stud spacing and the depth of your stud, and it'll kick back an estimate for you that says, Hey Eric, you need two pallets of this product. What's your shipping address? Global shipping quote for you kind of like when you go on vacation and you're looking for the best deal and you use Kayak or Google flights or something like that. Yeah. And it gives you this airline or that airline. Well, this does the same exact thing, but it does it with less than truckload shipping, LTL shipping and so you can actually get it delivered to quote to your door for HempWool insulation. And so in that vein, we're really making it easier than ever before to buy a commodity or a material that you would have had to go to Home Depot or Lowe's or something like that. And so maybe it's the millennials that's in us to upend a conventional model of distribution and sales were in favor of technology. But we view this as a technology in its own right that to make people's lives easier. So and that's how we intend to reach more folks on that end.

Eric Hurlock: Speaking as a Generation Xer, we are really counting on you millennials. But yeah, I saw those calculators on your website at Hempitecture.com and look really easy to use and very helpful.

Mattie Mead: Great. Yeah, thanks and welcome to feedback. It is kind of in a beta phase. You know, if you go to buy Hempitecture dot com, you can access the BDP, the bi direct platform directly. But of course, you can always go to haplotypes recom and get an estimate for your project, at least see what it costs. And maybe you can see that now and then see the later, because right now as we discuss or prices are higher, but we are working on solving that right on.

Eric Hurlock: So 10. Years ago, I worked as a residential electrician, so I spent a lot of time in attics and crawl spaces and just covered in in fiberglass insulation. So just from like like the electrician in me, it's super exciting to have hemp insulation. That's a game changer.

Mattie Mead: What we found, Eric, is that everyone who comes in contact with HempWool, it is better for them. And the reason for that is because it's not actually not abrasive, nontoxic. So as a tradesperson is working in the house or working, opening up the walls or climbing through the attic. You don't have to worry about being itchy with HempWool, that's a huge benefit to breathe

Eric Hurlock: in fiberglass in. Yeah, no thanks. So cool. That's exciting. MattieMead, it's really great to talk to you today.

Mattie Mead: Eric, thanks so much for having me. Really nice to meet you in Montana a few months back, and it's a pleasure to be here on your show and just, you know, for all the listeners out there, feel free to friend me or connect with me on LinkedIn, and I would love to learn more about what you're working on and always feel free to visit our website, Hempitecture.com, where you can find more information on what we're doing and where we're going.

Eric Hurlock: Awesome. Sounds great, Matty. Thank you so much for your time today, and maybe I'll see you next year in Montana.

Mattie Mead: Excellent. Thanks so much, Eric, and really great to chat with you today.

Eric Hurlock: All right. And just like that, it's over. Thank you for listening. Be sure to check out Lancaster Farming dot com for the show page for this episode for all the relevant links to hempitecture. And also, don't forget about the Pennsylvania Hemp Summit. It's coming up in a couple of weeks. I will be moderating a panel on the opening day, so yeah, I hope to see you there. My name is Eric Hurlock. I am the digital editor at Lancaster Farming newspaper, the greatest agricultural newspaper in the world. But again, don't take my word for it. Check it out yourself. Get yourself a subscription. Check us out online Lancaster Farming dot com. You can always get in touch with me by email. Send it to podcast at Lancaster Farming dot com or give me a call. Just call me up. Seven one seven seven two one four four six two. All right. Until next time, I will see you in the newspaper. Industrial hemp. Episode 163 of the Lancaster Farming Industrial Podcast is Copyright 2021 by Lancaster Farming newspaper. Part of the Steinman Communications Family. The Show was written and recorded, edited and produced by Eric Hurlock, and any music you hear throughout the show is courtesy of Tin Bird Shadow.

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