Watershed Materials develops technology to produce beautiful, sustainable masonry with less cement using recycled materials.

Less Cement

Cement has a giant carbon footprint and is the most expensive component in today's concrete masonry. Watershed Materials, with the help of the National Science Foundation, has developed proprietary mix designs to produce durable, resilient, affordable, and beautiful masonry with less cement.

Our technology unlocks the strength in the minerals all around us - limestone, granite, rhyolite. Rock forms in nature over the course of millions of years as pressure fuses loose grains into solid stone. Watershed Materials has developed technology to activate this process in seconds rather than millennia.

Watershed Materials' technology can reduce cement in masonry by 50%, reducing embodied energy between 50-65% and reducing the cost of the most expensive component in concrete masonry.

Recycled Materials

Traditional concrete masonry is made from dull grey virgin mined rock that is processed with lots of energy and water. Watershed Materials has developed technology to use up to 100% locally sourced recycled material as aggregate for a new evolution of sustainable masonry.

Post-industrial recycled materials including quarry waste or recycled concrete - used raw without washing or intense processing - can be used to produce beautiful masonry that expresses the beauty, warmth, and regionalism of local materials.

Watershed Materials' technology incorporates no colorants, plasticizers, or other admixtures. Surface finishes are not required, eliminating concerns over volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful coatings.

A Better Block Machine

Watershed Materials received a $740,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create a revolutionary new machine to mass produce structural masonry. We're applying an entirely new strategy to efficiently produce low cost, low cement masonry from a wide range of materials including locally sourced minerals, quarry by-product, and even recycled concrete.

Watershed Materials offers a new machine for a new age of masonry that combines ancient technology first pioneered by the Romans with modern nanoparticle science.

Introducing Watershed Block. Beautiful. Affordable. Resilient. Sustainable.

Watershed Block is the introductory product developed by Watershed Materials - a beautiful, sustainable, and resilient alternative to conventional concrete masonry. Watershed Blocks are produced from a blend of naturally occurring and recycled aggregates, clay minerals, ordinary cement, and pozzolanic binders. Watershed Blocks express the color palette and material composition of local soils that vary region by region. Individual production express the unique geological attributes of local sites.

Watershed Block technical details:

  • Dimensions :  4 x 8 x 16”, 6 x 8 x 16”, 8 x 8 x 16” Bondbeam blocks 6” & 8” high
  • Density :  115 to 125 lbs/ft3
  • Weight per block :  Approx. 30 lbs for 8” block
  • Dry compression strength :  Greater than 1900 psi (ASTM C-90 compliant) 
  • 24 hour absorption :  Less than 0.15 by weight (ASTM C-90 compliant)
  • Linear shrinkage :  Less than 0.10%
  • Wet dry durability :  Less than 5% weight loss
  • Thermal conductivity :  0.81 – 0.93 W/m°C
  • Acoustic reduction :  40-50 dB (40 cm wall 500Hz) 
  • Specification :  Alternate Materials

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