‘Green’ tiles make use of waste to meet environmental standards
Clearing out industrial waste and helping builders make more eco-friendly structures are the name of the game for three new lines of products at Trikeenan Tileworks.
Kristin Powers, founder and chief executive officer of Trikeenan Tileworks, said the new products premiered at Build Boston, a major design and construction trade show, from Nov. 18-20.
“In the building industry, people are thinking really carefully on what they’re spending their money on,” Powers said. “Projects that are looking to adhere to those standards, or to meet the criteria for certification, they look carefully at what they’re building with.”
The U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit consortium of manufacturers and builders, created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building grading system, which is a set of standards for environmentally-sustainable construction. Some states and municipalities offer tax incentives and other benefits to contractors building structures meeting LEED standards.
The new tiles should help, as most of the material is from waste.
The first production line, the Reclamation Collection, is colored using waste glaze.
When glaze is sprayed on tiles, there is leftover glaze that is not used, which must be stored and disposed of properly. Now, that waste glaze is mixed into unique colors and placed on tiles — saving disposal costs and offering more green building credits.
“To ensure that no waste leaves our factory we have created a closed loop system to trap our waste glaze sludge, creating a ratatouille of all of our colors,” the firm’s Web site states. “We then reformulate the sludge into a recycled glaze that is as durable as all of our glazes put together.”
The second new product line is Boneyard Brick — which uses seconds from a major brick manufacturer and clears out the company’s waste site.
Metropolitan Ceramics, based in Canton, Ohio, manufactures thin, unglazed bricks. While many come out perfectly, some do not — like in a slightly off color, size or other criteria — and are sent to the firm’s scrapyard. Trikeenan takes the seconds and glazes them with the reclaimed glaze, making unique tiles that take little more than the energy to fire the glazes.
“They’re a brand-new product, so right now, it’s a small percentage of our business,” Powers said. “We’ve had a great reception.”
Powers said the firm has submitted several bids using the new production lines and is hopeful for success.
The Evening Tribune (Hornell, N.Y.)