Masonry’s strength and ability to withstand severe weather and fire are helping to meet new demands for climate-resistant building materials. Moreover, concrete masonry’s (CMU) thermal mass benefits can reduce energy bills and improve thermal comfort in buildings.
Watershed Materials is teaming up with Westlake Urban and Alpha Group to explore a solution to a problem that real estate developers often face—excavation that has to be moved off a construction site to make way for new buildings. Rather than haul off the excavation spoils and then import thousands of concrete masonry units (CMUs) for use at the project, the developers and Watershed Materials are working together to repurpose native excavation material right at the job site to create the structural masonry blocks used in the development. Truckloads of offhaul and truckloads of imported building materials could be eliminated by using the excavation to make the structural block, adaptively reusing waste to produce onsite building materials.
Watershed Materials, a sustainable masonry products manufacturer, has been awarded a $740,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and commercialize structural masonry blocks with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.