The world’s tallest building constructed entirely out of industrial hemp is set to open its doors in South Africa very soon. At 12 stories, it boasts a breathtaking view of Cape Town’s towering Table Mountain, all with a minimal ecological footprint. 

Supported by a concrete and cement framework, the walls of the building are made of “hempcrete” blocks made from the cannabis plant. It will offer 54 rooms and be completed in June. You can watch the video of the hotel’s announcement on YouTube.

Afrimat Hemp, a division of South African construction company Afrimat, produced the bricks for the hotel. 

In an interview with AFP, Afrimat Hemp director Boshoff Muller said that as more people discover the insulating, fireproof, and environmentally friendly qualities of hemp bricks, their use in construction is booming. He explained that the blocks are carbon negative, meaning that more greenhouse gases are removed from the atmosphere than are released during their production, making them ideal for thermally retrofitting older buildings, especially in Europe.

“The plant absorbs the carbon, it gets put into a block, and it is then stored into a building for 50 years or longer,” said Muller.

 At a brick factory on the outskirts of Cape Town, hemp hurds, water, and lime are mixed together to make the blocks.

The Hemp Hotel’s industrial hemp came all the way from Britain because its production was illegal in South Africa until just last year when the government there finally began issuing cultivation permits. More than 130,000 new jobs could be created if the country’s hemp and cannabis sector is developed, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

For the purpose of earning carbon credits, Afrimat Hemp is gearing up to manufacture its first batch of blocks using only hemp grown in South Africa.