Green building products have gotten a lot of press in recent times, but there are a few companies that have been touting green philosophy for decades. Homasote is one of America’s first green companies, with an interesting history that dates back to 1909 as the last offshoot of the original Bermuda Trading Company. In 1956 Homasote received an award from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the precursor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) for its water processing system, which uses hundred of thousands of gallons per day in a completely closed-loop system.
Homasote. Designed by Homasote Company.
For anyone who wants a quick history lesson, the Homasote company website retells the story of US manufacturing history as seen through the experiences of one company. The development of the product was highly influenced by politics and building technology, transforming the insulating panels used for railroad carriages into acoustically sound, structural, resilient sheet material that is 98% recycled material. Each production day up to 250 tons of post-consumer paper is recycled by the factory, including all the curbside recycled newspaper from New Jersey’s capital county. Every production year nearly 1.4 million trees are saved, and more than 65 million pounds of solid waste are recovered, waste which would otherwise would go into landfills. When compared to virgin wood pulp manufacturing, the Homasote factory decreases air pollution up to 73%, uses 40% - 70% less water, and uses up to 70% less energy.
Products made by Homasote range from roofing, to structural board, to interior tackable board. The burlap board is one of my favorites due to its textured surface that feels more like fabric or wall covering than recycled material. The more technical products are interesting for their ability to take yesterday’s news and turn it into a product that keeps your home warm and dry.