Selected from a field of nearly 20,000 applications, Matthew Mead ’13 and Tommy Gibbons, co-founders of Hempitecture, made Forbes annual “30 Under 30” Class of 2020 for “creating the products, methods and materials of tomorrow.” Hempitecture is an eco-friendly building materials company Mead originally introduced during the HWS 2013 Pitch Contest.
Mead launched the company at HWS after completing his year-long thesis, “The contemporary relevance of earth architecture,” in which he evaluated a wide range of natural building techniques and strategies. Seeing the potential for “hempcrete” as a green building material, he developed a business plan and entered the Pitch Contest for student entrepreneurs. Under the guidance of Pitch mentor Ira Goldschmidt ’77, Mead and Tyler Mauri ’13 took Hempitecture to the finals of that year’s competition.
Since then, the company has completed construction of “the country’s first public-use building made of hempcrete, hemp-based building materials that absorb C02 emissions and improves insulation,” Forbes reports.
In 2018, Mead was joined by Gibbons, his former high school classmate, in the shared vision of scaling Hempitecture into a company capable of impacting every hempcrete project in the U.S.
Today, the company offers installation, consulting and design services, as well as building and insulation materials and equipment and training for industry professionals.
Based in Ketchum, Idaho, Hempitecture is chartered as a public benefit corporation. In its collaborations with architects, engineers and developers, the company works to create healthy, energy efficient habitats beneficial both to those who live and work in them and to the environment itself.
Mead, who majored in architectural studies and minored in environmental studies and studio art, serves as a planning and zoning commissioner in Ketchum.