Hemp named the ‘star material’ in ‘the best-designed DIY tiny home’

Hemp named the ‘star material’ in ‘the best-designed DIY tiny home’

Architectural Digest calls the Traveler “the Best-Designed DIY Tiny Home” on the market. Why is this tiny home kit such a big deal? One of the most noteworthy reasons is its use of hemp.

What does the Traveler tiny home offer?

The Traveler is a do-it-yourself prefab cabin kit sold by Coexist Build. This kit, which was designed by Pennsylvania couple Drew Oberholtzer and Anastasiya Konopatskaya, offers 140 square feet and can be constructed by two or more people with basic power tools in about one week. Once constructed, the Traveler sleeps six people.

This eco-friendly cabin kit was debuted on Earth Day, which seems appropriate. However, the concept for the kit actually came from the COVID-19 pandemic. Oberholtzer and Konopatskaya had been building with hempcrete for three years, and when the pandemic hit, they discovered their need for a quiet, kid-free and healthy sanctuary, Dwell reported.

“We were struggling to get our work done with two small children at home,” Oberholtzer reportedly said. “We kept thinking — if only we could have a tiny office in the backyard.”

The basic concept for the Traveler may seem pretty impressive on its own, but Coexist Build took their design a step further.

Coexist Build positions their product as a solution to the “[p]rocessed air and off-gassing furniture in office buildings.” Now that more people are working from home, Coexist Build is asserting that these unhealthy norms can go in favor of their “backyard home office” that was designed with a holistic approach to mind and body wellness.

Hemp helps make a house healthy

Two of the most important materials that help make this goal a reality are the hemp batt and hemp block that are used throughout the building.

“Though the structure makes occasional use of timber joinery, interior plywood, and cedar or corrugated metal as potential exterior finishes, hemp is the Traveler’s star material,” reports Architectural Digest.

Either or both of these hemp-based products can be used as insulation for the structure’s floor, walls and ceiling. The hemp block can also be used on the exterior of the building with a plaster finish.

Coexist build also sells their hemp materials by itself for consumers to use on their own construction projects.

A closer look at hemp batt and block

“[E]asy to install, hemp walls will bring an earthy feel, excellent properties and a comfort of knowing that these walls promote wellness,” the company website states.

According to company materials, the hemp batt has “[e]xcellent thermal and acoustic properties.” In addition to that, it is easy to install and safe to install without a HAZMAT suit. It reportedly does not off-gas and is free of allergens. It is also reportedly pest resistant.

The hemp block is made out of hempcrete, which is a combination of the woody core of the hemp stem plus hydraulic lime and water. The company website reports that their Coexist Hemp Block is the first and only block factory to make hemp blocks in the Unites States.

Like the hemp batt, the hemp block does not off-gas and is free of allergens. According to company materials, these hemp blocks are environmentally friendly because they sequester carbon dioxide, they replace petroleum-based products, they have zero carbon footprint, and they are made with very little waste.

Hemp blocks are also fireproof, mold resistant and pest resistant, and they can self-regulate temperature and humidity. Oberholtzer and Konopatskaya reportedly estimate that hempcrete’s ability to naturally regulate temperature can save owners roughly 40% compared to traditional heating and cooling costs.

“It’s perfect for climates like outs in the Northeast, but also for humid places like Florida and dry ones like California,” Oberholtzer and Konopatskaya told Dwell.

“The plaster finish on the exterior and interior requires minimum maintenance in the long run, and in addition, hemp is a regenerative plant with a short growing cycle,” they added.

Architectural Digest calls it a “no-brainer” to include materials like these in a DIY build kit like the Traveler.

Although the Traveler is marketed as a tiny house and a home office, it can also be used as a mother-in-law cottage, man cave, she shed, guest cabin or another space. The basic kit includes the structure, doors, windows, hemp batt insulation, roofing, wood framed loft and electric wires. The Traveler kit costs between $26,900 and $31,900 depending on the chosen customizations.


[1] https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/best-designed-diy-tiny-home-uses-hemp

[2] https://www.coexist.build/the-kit

[3] https://www.dwell.com/article/the-traveler-cabin-kit-coexist-build-5c3769c4

[4] https://wixlabs-pdf-dev.appspot.com/assets/pdfjs/web/viewer.html?file=%2Fpdfproxy%3Finstance%3DUnYAo3oHhG6-2glxzWLkJxEUOmaX0TDMeaTDJ7_nmFU.eyJpbnN0YW5jZUlkIjoiMGRjZTQ3OTctYjNmNi00NTIyLTlkOGQtMDk5Y2Y3MjUwZjY3IiwiYXBwRGVmSWQiOiIxM2VlMTBhMy1lY2I5LTdlZmYtNDI5OC1kMmY5ZjM0YWNmMGQiLCJtZXRhU2l0ZUlkIjoiMjA2NTNiZTktM2UwNi00NWZlLTg0MGUtMDdlNDJlNjA2Y2RmIiwic2lnbkRhdGUiOiIyMDIxLTA2LTA5VDIzOjUwOjIxLjA4NVoiLCJkZW1vTW9kZSI6ZmFsc2UsImFpZCI6Ijc3ZmViYjUyLWNhZmYtNGFkNS1iZTMzLTk5MmNjY2I0NmRkMSIsImJpVG9rZW4iOiIyZGFiN2M3ZS04ZGYwLTAwZGMtMTk4My0wZTc4ZDk0NTYzYjgiLCJzaXRlT3duZXJJZCI6IjM3ZDlkMTJlLTFiOTktNGZlMi05ZWQ5LTg4MjZlZmU5NjYwNiJ9%26compId%3Dcomp-kpko2q31%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fdocs.wixstatic.com%2Fugd%2F37d9d1_01967b1d16654109ad80c7c3ebc60ac6.pdf#page=1&links=true&originalFileName=Coexist%20Kit%20The%20Traveler&locale=en&allowDownload=true&allowPrinting=true