Roxul Inc., the North American subsidiary of European insulation manufacturer Rockwool International, is expanding into the Unites States with a state-of-the-art plant in Mississippi.
“Roxul’s two current North American facilities—located in Milton, Ontario, and Grand Forks, British Columbia—will be at capacity in two to three years, and another facility is needed to meet the growing demand for our products in the North American market,” says Leslie McLaren, the North American manager of government affairs and corporation communications for Roxul.
The new 600,0000-square-foot Roxul plant, which represents an investment of approximately $160 million, is located approximately 30 miles south of Memphis in Byhalia, Mississippi, and will itself be a testament to the company’s commitment to sustainability. Beyond being built to exceed current building codes, it was designed to take advantage of as much natural light as possible, and all lighting fixtures are energy-efficient and attached to motion sensors. Materials—including plastic, cardboard, and pallets—are recycled.
The southern United States represents a large population cluster of approximately 100 million people and is a significant market for Roxul insulation, which appeals to sustainable builders for its superior thermal and acoustical protection that reduces energy costs and mitigates noise pollution.
A combination of natural basalt rock and recycled slag—up to 40 percent recycled material—is melted using Roxul’s proprietary technology, then spun into a fiber before being cured to produce high-quality insulation. “In addition to being water-repellant, non-corrosive, and resistant to mold growth, our product resists fire, can withstand temperatures up to 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit, and has been proven in testing to add to the fire resistance of a floor or wall assembly, providing valuable time for occupants to exit a building and firefighters to minimize damage,” McLaren says, also noting that Roxul has been used in prestigious buildings including the Empire State Building.
Used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications, Roxul insulation is also sustainably manufactured. Roxul recycles its own waste, ensuring none of it goes to landfill, and uses storm water and recycled process water in its production facility. Heat generated from manufacturing is recycled to heat the facility, and Roxul controls emissions within the stringent guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The product is popular in North America and abroad, with parent company Rockwool operating 28 factories in 18 countries and employing 9,700 people.
The new US plant, which will employ 150 people when fully operational, has been a big success in the community. In 2013, the Trade & Industry Development honored Roxul and the Mississippi Development Authority with a 2013 Corporate Investment and Community Impact (CiCi) Award in the Community Investment category. Roxul was one of 15 companies recognized and joined globally respected businesses such as Apple, Caterpillar, Amazon, and Polaris.