PORTO, Portugal, June 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Porto-based real estate developer Qualive has developed Portugal’s first residential project using locally manufactured Hempcrete blocks, a sustainable building material made out of hemp.
Hempcrete blocks, highly regarded for their carbon sequestering capabilities and superior thermal mass, were used extensively throughout Qualive’s coveted Paraiso project, 18th-century residential building restoration, and volume addition in the up-and-coming Porto neighborhood of Lapa.
The 5,000 Hempcrete blocks used in Paraiso were manufactured at a warehouse in Porto by architecture studio SKREI and its collaborators – a process that involves mixing hemp shiv and lime to make Hempcrete before pouring into block molds to dry.
With its excellent insulative qualities, low carbon manufacturing process, and ability to absorb and emit moisture, Hempcrete masonry is ideal for use in historic building restoration projects like Paraiso. In addition, unlike standard concrete blocks, Hempcrete blocks are breathable, which leads to healthier buildings, particularly in wet climates like Porto’s. While not a new material, Hempcrete construction is uncommon in commercial projects, mainly owing to its higher manufacturing cost when compared to standard concrete. But with the construction industry accounting for 38% of global CO2 emissions, Hempcrete is an emerging viable alternative to carbon-intensive concrete for sustainability-conscious developers.
Ziyou Tian, Founder, and CEO of Qualive, said: “Not only is hempcrete a lightweight, sustainable material that works well structurally with historic building extensions like Paraiso, but our commitment to using sustainable building materials and techniques have brought us, like-minded investors and clients. A truly unique project like Paraiso is generating a higher-than-average yield. The rental yield is 50% above market since its operation.”
“Buildings have lasting impacts on their environment and contexts, so we make sure we leave a positive mark where we build. As a result, more and more real estate investors and homeowners are looking for products that fit their ambitions; in our case, many of our investors and clients are drawn to our commitment to unique, sustainable, design-driven projects.”
Founded in 2016, Portuguese real-estate developer Qualive has built a reputation for its design-driven, context-specific, sustainable urban development projects that create long-term value for investors, customers, and surrounding communities. To date, Qualive’s women-led, multi-disciplinary team has successfully delivered five major residential projects across Lisbon, Porto, and Evora to a total volume of €30 million.