Stronger. Lighter. Cleaner. These adjectives could easily top the hypothetical list of words that green professionals long to describe their building materials. Throw in “greater freedom in design” and “competitive pricing,” and the term no-brainer really couldn’t be more applicable.
Robert Noble, founder of Noble Environment Technologies, uses all of these descriptors when discussing his product, ECOR—a building material crafted from cardboard waste and 100% recycled material that’s durable, 100% recyclable, and completely free of toxins. His words can be quantified by the fact that early adopters of ECOR include Google, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Whole Foods, Starbucks, 20th Century Fox, Gensler, TOMS, and the list goes on.
“These industry leaders recognize the enhanced performance and disruptive nature of the material and the unique design elements not possible or economic with other materials,” Noble says. “Each partnership represents the potential of millions of dollars in recurring annual revenues.”
HOW ARE THESE MAJOR COMPANIES USING ECOR?
20th Century Fox:
TV set design
interior design and building material in two workplace environments
architectural ceilings in stores
decorative wall panels and wainscoting
Proctor & Gamble:
point of purchase displays
a large conference set
ECOR, created in partnership with the USDA, is manufactured via a unique “waste-to-product” conversion technology, which “produces environmentally superior, design-friendly, high-performance composite materials that outperform traditional materials including wood, particleboard, fiberboard, aluminum, plastic, cardboard and other composites.” It can be made from virtually any cellulose fiber or combination of fibers, depending on the product, which speaks to the lucidity of this product, as such fibers are often found in recycled cardboard and paper, wood fibers, agricultural fibers, synthetic fibers, and textiles (i.e., in many products and materials that we often cast aside and simply dispose of upon completion of use).
So how widely will this material be used in the near future? Well, Noble currently manufactures it at the USDA’s Forest Products Lab and at its ECOR licensed plant in Europe. “But based on growing sales and additional sales operations in Turkey, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, and Croatia, we’ve secured the capital from Envisage Equity and have commenced construction on our much needed expansion,” Noble says, noting that these developments will result in a 400% increase in capacity to more than 25,000,000 square-feet per year and in production by July of this year.
Up to ten additional facilities could pop up in the US, and strategic partnerships will also result in product design collaborations with major manufacturers, technology license agreements to build manufacturing facilities, and joint-venture product development companies.