Shah Hemp Inno-Ventures (SHIV), based in Nepal, has completed a concrete hemp structure that serves as a specialized non-profit craniofacial surgery and recovery center, the only medical facility of its kind in the country.
A free vital hospital for the Nepalese people
“This facility gives hope to those in Nepal who need the help of specialists to treat their serious health problems,” said SHIV‘s co-founder and CEO, Dhiraj K. Shah, about the facility, which provides free medical services to its patients.
The clinic is an international project supported by the UK’s InTouch Charitable Foundation and Future Faces. Future Faces, which focuses on helping underprivileged children, sends specialist teams to Nepal every three months to help local doctors in the treatment of the most severe cases. Shah said the clinic treats an average of 10 patients a day and performs five to six operations a week. Patients from all over Nepal come to the treatment center, Shah said. Located in Janakpur, where SHIV headquartered, the new clinic includes a dental unit with three patient stations, an X-ray room, a surgery room, recovery rooms, and offices.
A total of 1475 cubic feet of hemp concrete fixed in the walls and false roof of the 900 square foot (80 square meters) construction. While the substructure is metal, SHIV still framed the interior and exterior walls with bamboo, which grows abundantly in Nepal. The hemp mixture applied on a bamboo lattice installed between the frame. The false roof and the ceiling, made of preformed panels, complete the concrete hemp envelope of the building, which has a sheet metal roof. Construction took about a month, Shah said.
Using affordable materials
SHIV’s construction division processes cannabis that grows wild in Nepal. The pickers collect the stems (up to 4 m long and 8 cm in diameter) and deliver them to the company’s factory where they are passed through a hulling machine to obtain a quality product.
The company employs local masons and workers, training them in hemp concrete construction as they erect new structures. Shah estimates SHIV has trained about 20 masons and more than 50 construction workers in Hemp concrete construction since 2016.
400 kilometers of hemp wall
Shah estimates that his company’s construction division has completed 11,000 cubic feet (~312 cubic meters) of hemp concrete construction or 400 kilometers (~240 miles) of the wall on projects it completed since 2016. It includes many single-family homes and hostels, hospitals, schools, and other social projects. SHIV started as a hemp construction company with a mission to rebuild houses after the earthquake that hit the country in 2015.
Since then, it has rapidly developed other vertically integrated business units based on the hemp factory. In addition to manufacturing building and construction materials, SHIV manufactures health and beauty products such as oils and soaps, handmade paper and paper products, textiles, and accessories. The company is also an international hemp consulting firm specializing in community-supported agriculture, small and medium enterprises, and local economic development.