watershed materials produces recycled aggregate blocks watershed materials produces recycled aggregate blocks
jan 15, 2014

watershed materials produces recycled aggregate blocks

watershed materials produces recycled aggregate blocks
all images courtesy of watershed materials




northern californian-based watershed materials co-founder david easton is applying strategies learned from constructing natural and sustainable buildings into making unitized blocks. made from regionally sourced, recycled aggregate, the pieces can be mass produced and display the richness of local mineralogy. they replace carbon intensive concrete versions, which are typically very energy intensive to make due to the binding ingredient of cement – a giant emitter of co2. limestone, another key element is heated to 1,500 degrees celsius, also consuming a tremendous amount of fuel. watershed’s masonry blocks focus on several levels of sustainability – post-industrial recycled material is included instead of crushed virgin aggregate and half the cement is added while retaining structural integrity. developed with the support from the national science foundation, the manufacturing process aims to achieve a zero cement structural building block with recycled, post-industrial content.


the blocks can be used as both structure and finish – no exterior cladding is needed for the wall


exterior wall facing garden at home in northern california made from locally sourced low cement watershed blocks (left)
oil samples made from varying mineral mix designs (right)


interior wall with alternating rows of blocks to create a variable pattern


a kitchen in northern california made from low cement watershed blocks


watershed blocks coming off the production line at the watershed materials factory


production of watershed blocks (left)
interior wall of home constructed with low cement watershed blocks (right)


watershed materials custom block press (left) 
interior wall built of varying sizes of watershed blocks (right)


geographically specific samples of local mineralogy from which low-carbon, low-cement building materials can be made


watershed materials factory in northern california adjacent to an industrial quarry that supplies the byproducts


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

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