Hempcrete 3D Printed Buildings for Sustainability and Resilience

Default ARPA-E Project Image

College Station, Texas
Project Term:
09/30/2022 - 09/29/2024

Critical Need:

HESTIA addresses the need for implementing carbon removal strategies by converting buildings into carbon storage structures. HESTIA is also important for nullifying embodied emissions. The majority of these emissions are concentrated at the start of a building’s lifetime and locked in before the building is ever used. This upfront emissions spike equals 10 years of operational emissions in a building constructed to meet standard code, but increases to 35 years for more advanced, higher operating efficiency buildings, and more than 50 years for high-efficiency buildings operating on a lower carbon intensity grid. These time horizons go beyond 2050 climate targets, which means embodied emission reduction strategies are a high priority.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Texas A&M will develop novel resilient net-carbon-negative building designs for residential and potentially commercial applications via large-scale 3D printing using hempcrete, a lightweight material made of the hemp plant’s woody core mixed with a lime-based binder. The team will devise (1) printable, sustainable, and durable hempcrete mix designs, (2) code-compliant building designs in terms of structural and energy performance, and (3) a novel, risk-based building-level life cycle analysis that will account for environmental impacts under service conditions and from hazard-induced damages (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes). The team will further develop digital plans and building information models for selected net carbon negative building designs that can be fed directly to construction printers and provide design methodologies per existing design codes and this project’s findings.

Potential Impact:

HESTIA projects will facilitate the use of carbon storing materials in building construction to achieve net carbon negativity by optimizing material chemistries and matrices, manufacturing, and whole-building designs in a cost-effective manner.


HESTIA technologies will reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment.


Building materials and designs developed under HESTIA will draw down and store CO2 from the atmosphere.


A variety of promising carbon storing materials are being explored and commercialized for building construction. Currently these materials are generally scarcer, cost more per unit, and/or face performance challenges (e.g., flame resistance for biogenic carbon-containing materials). HESTIA seeks technologies that overcome these barriers while nullifying associated emissions and increasing the total amount of carbon stored in the finished product.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Marina Sofos
Project Contact:
Dr. Petros Sideris
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

Related Projects

Release Date: