Rice Hull Building at Heartland
One HeartLand Project that has been on hold for a few years is the plan for expansion, particularly for people moving here. In order to house people green and sustainably, we have designed buildings built with rice hulls, an agricultural waste product that is abundant in Missouri and Arkansas.
We will be forming a new nonprofit organization with a mission to help people, globally, to provide themselves with sustainable housing using rice hulls.
Rice Hulls Have Wonderful Properties
Rice hulls are designed by nature to protect tiny grains of rice. They do their job extremely well; after being buried for thousands of years, rice found in the Egyptian pyramids was still able to be sprouted.
Rice hulls keep many of their wonderful properties even after the rice is removed from them. They hold only a small amount of moisture, even in humid climates. They do not rot if kept dry. They do not support mold, mildew, or fungus growth. Bugs and rodents do not like them. They are very hard to burn.
Rice hulls are great thermal insulators. Because they are an agricultural waste product, rice hulls are quite inexpensive.
Rice Hulls in Earthbag Building
Nader Khalili pioneered building with earthbags. The concept is wonderful, but it has two major drawbacks. Earth is a poor thermal insulator. Buildings made of earth also tend to support mildew in damp climates like we have at Heartland.
We are utilizing information obtained from Kelly Hart who used crushed volcanic stone in bags. (Note: This process distinction goes to Gernot Minke a German professor who is a pioneer of earth building.)
Filling the earthbags with rice hulls, instead of earth, solves both problems. Rice hulls absorb the excess moisture in the air that would cause mildew, then give it back to the air quickly as the building warms up. Rice hulls also provide excellent thermal insulation.
Other Green Buildings
We are blessed here at Heartland with no restrictive building codes. We can build whatever we want, and we plan to build green and sustainable buildings. Creating a Living Eco System.
Build Sustainably with Us at HeartLand
Are you interested in sustainable green building? Are you interested in living in a community of people who are committed to spiritual and emotional healing for themselves and the planet?
Find out about our internship, volunteer, and live-in programs.
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