Watershed Materials produces low carbon, green, resilient building materials including the Watershed Block - a low cement structural masonry unit.
Billions of concrete blocks are used worldwide, yet the primary ingredient - cement - is a tremendous contributor to global CO2 emissions. Watershed Materials presents a solution - a beautiful, durable, and resilient masonry unit made of locally-sourced earth, recycled aggregates, and lowered cement content.
Watershed Blocks are manufactured using a proprietary process and activator that fuse soil grains and fragments of rock together into a type of sedimentary rock. The result is a rectangular, hollow-celled “industrial stone”, as strong as a concrete block yet with a character, tone, and resonance that expresses local site attributes and adds beauty and depth to architectural designs.
The Watershed Block is currently produced and distributed in Northern California. The company is scaling production via explorations with sources of suitable recycled materials across the United States.
Watershed Materials, with grant support from the National Science Foundation, is developing a prototype masonry block with zero cement in pursuit of a truly sustainable new building material.
Masonry is a resilient material based on its long service life, thermal insulation, and low embodied energy. However, the current concrete block presents a number of disadvantages that Watershed Materials seeks to overcome.