Watershed Materials’ high compression masonry block machine imparts 500,000 pounds of compressive force to produce low cement alternatives to traditional concrete masonry units (CMUs).

Watershed Materials’ high compression masonry block machine imparts 500,000 pounds of compressive force to produce low cement alternatives to traditional concrete masonry units (CMUs).


“Hello Owen, We’re excited to announce a new venture to produce structural masonry from diverted excavation right at the building site. Rather than haul off the excavation then import building materials, we think it makes sense to repurpose the waste material into building materials used right at the construction site.

Sample structural masonry block produced by Watershed Materials

Sample structural masonry block produced by Watershed Materials


We’ve teamed up with Westlake Urban and The Alpha Group to explore on-site block production using diverted excavation material at an urban infill project in San Francisco. It’s a new way to turn waste into building materials.

Rather than haul off the excavation spoils then import thousands of concrete masonry units (CMUs) for use at the project, the developers and Watershed Materials are working together to repurpose native excavation material right at the job site to create the structural masonry blocks used in the development. Truckloads of offhaul and truckloads of imported building materials could be eliminated by using the excavation to make the structural block, adaptively reusing waste to produce on-site building materials.

Watershed Materials, a sustainable building materials startup funded by the National Science Foundation, develops technology for the production of structural masonry using high compression, low cement technology and using locally sourced, unwashed aggregates. The company has a pilot factory in Napa where it produces masonry blocks using aggregate sourced from local quarries. Watershed Materials has created a small, portable block production machine, a sort of pop-up facility, that can be located on the construction site at real estate developments to produce masonry block from the excavation spoils, much in the same way it produces block from unwashed quarry aggregate.

The breakthrough in Watershed Materials technology is the discovery that applying very high pressure to a mixture of sand and gravel can turn those mineral grains back into a sort of sedimentary rock, mimicking the natural geological process known as lithification that creates stone from loose sedimentary material. What takes nature many millennia to accomplish is duplicated in seconds in Watershed Materials’ high compression masonry production equipment.”
– David Easton + the Watershed team

More at the source: Watershed Materials.com
This is another great idea by David Easton and his team. Search our blog for previous related stories.


Comments

On-Site Earth Block Production — 5 Comments

  1. They’re doing a large, high profile project in San Francisco. It will be exciting to see the progress.

    My question is how many days do you have to wait before using the blocks in a wall? Do they have to be stored in the shade under cover? How much is the machine (if for sale).

    • I don’t know what the machine costs, but I’ll bet it costs a lot more than a shovel, used poly bags, and some barbed wire.

      Want to take my bet?

      Anyone?

      ;p

      • For sure. In this case though it’s a multi million $ project in San Francisco. They need something that’s production oriented in order to build such a large project. But yeah, I knew you were just having fun.

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