Recently emerging “from stealth mode,” a drywall company out of San Francisco, Calif., is making a splash on the green building materials scene. CleanBoard has developed gypsum drywall made from 100 percent recycled materials and is looking to build a new, solar-powered factory in the Mohave Desert.
According to CleanBoard, “buildings are responsible for more than half of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions in the USA so it is imperative that we develop technologies that allow us to construct and inhabit buildings in a more sustainable way.”
The company uses gypsum from coal-fired power plants, where scrubbers convert toxic sulfur dioxide emissions into calcium sulfate, or gypsum. The company will also utilize scrap wall board from construction jobs, where some estimates suggest that 15 percent of drywall is wasted on construction sites. Both recycling concepts are new, since gypsum for drywall is typically open-pit mined.
CleanBoard states that drywall manufacture accounts for 1 percent of all primary industrial energy used in the U.S., emitting more greenhouse gasses than 6.2 million cars. Additionally, the common practice of transporting drywall large distances from its point of manufacture to the job site adds more emissions.
CleanBoard can contribute up to eight LEED points to a project, making it an asset to LEED building projects. Because CleanBoard is made of 94 percent post-industrial and 5 percent post-consumer recycled material by weight, 99 percent of the purchase price counts towards achieving LEED Credits.
The expected factory will use heat from the sun in the manufacturing process, rather than for electricity production. While the factory is being built, CleanBoard is offsetting its emissions to create a zero carbon footprint.