Watershed Materials - Technology for New Concrete Blocks
The block with a smaller carbon footprint.
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Press - Watershed Materials - Dwell Magazine - Green Builder

Watershed Materials in Dwell Magazine, Green Builder, ArchDaily, New York Times, Architect Magazine, Inhabitat, designboom, EcoBuilding, Masonry Design

Watershed Materials Featured in The Wall Street Journal, Dwell Magazine, Sunset Magazine, AD Architectural Digest, Architects + Artisans, US News and World Report 
New Homes - The Weekend West October 2016 "A new construction material that combines the best of rammed earth with the best of traditional concrete masonry technology has hit the market. California-based Watershed Materials’ Watershed Block is designed as a sustainable, durable and good-looking material to build homes, schools and office buildings."

New Homes - The Weekend West
October 2016

"A new construction material that combines the best of rammed earth with the best of traditional concrete masonry technology has hit the market. California-based Watershed Materials’ Watershed Block is designed as a sustainable, durable and good-looking material to build homes, schools and office buildings."

ArchDaily September 2016 "Excavation is usually a bane for real estate developers. To make way for new buildings, truckloads of excavated waste are removed from site in a noisy, time-consuming and gas-guzzling process. Exploring a more sustainable solution, the California-based company Watershed Materials have developed an onsite pop-up plant which repurposes excavated material right at the job site to create concrete masonry units (CMUs) used in the development. By eliminating truck traffic, reusing waste and reducing imported materials, the result is a win for the environment."

ArchDaily
September 2016

"Excavation is usually a bane for real estate developers. To make way for new buildings, truckloads of excavated waste are removed from site in a noisy, time-consuming and gas-guzzling process. Exploring a more sustainable solution, the California-based company Watershed Materials have developed an onsite pop-up plant which repurposes excavated material right at the job site to create concrete masonry units (CMUs) used in the development. By eliminating truck traffic, reusing waste and reducing imported materials, the result is a win for the environment."

Dwell Magazine - Special Issue - Materials Sourcebook 2016 May 2016 "Thanks to the expertise of architect Joe Dahmen and materials scientist Jose Muñoz, who cofounded Watershed Materials with David Easton, the eco-friendly blocks are made of recycled and waste materials and are as inexpensive, strong, and versatile as common concrete blocks." This feature is a reissue of a larger Dwell Magazine story on Watershed Materials originally published in October, 2014.

Dwell Magazine - Special Issue - Materials Sourcebook 2016
May 2016

"Thanks to the expertise of architect Joe Dahmen and materials scientist Jose Muñoz, who cofounded Watershed Materials with David Easton, the eco-friendly blocks are made of recycled and waste materials and are as inexpensive, strong, and versatile as common concrete blocks."

This feature is a reissue of a larger Dwell Magazine story on Watershed Materials originally published in October, 2014.

SNAP Magazine - Architectural News + Products by Architectural Record April 2016 "Offering a compressive strength of 2,500 psi, these blocks can replace concrete ones in commercial and residential buildings. Made of lime, aluminosilicates, and blast-furnace slag, these blocks provide an environmentally friendly alternative to Portland cement."

SNAP Magazine - Architectural News + Products by Architectural Record
April 2016

"Offering a compressive strength of 2,500 psi, these blocks can replace concrete ones in commercial and residential buildings. Made of lime, aluminosilicates, and blast-furnace slag, these blocks provide an environmentally friendly alternative to Portland cement."

Green Builder Hot 50 Editor's Choice February 2016 Watershed Block was awarded a 2016 Hot 50 Eco-Friendly Products honor by the editors of Green Builder, selected amongst innovative green products from industry heavyweights including Tesla, Samsung, Whirlpool, Owens Corning, Enphase, Panasonic and Bosch. “This is not your average year for product innovation,” says Green Builder magazine Editor-in-Chief Matt Power. “For the first time, high-tech gadgets have begun to overlap with building products in very significant ways.”

Green Builder Hot 50 Editor's Choice
February 2016

Watershed Block was awarded a 2016 Hot 50 Eco-Friendly Products honor by the editors of Green Builder, selected amongst innovative green products from industry heavyweights including Tesla, Samsung, Whirlpool, Owens Corning, Enphase, Panasonic and Bosch. “This is not your average year for product innovation,” says Green Builder magazine Editor-in-Chief Matt Power. “For the first time, high-tech gadgets have begun to overlap with building products in very significant ways.”

Masonry Magazine January 2016 "Watershed Materials is reducing cement in structural masonry, while utilizing the natural attributes of locally sourced, minimally processed, and often-recycled aggregate to produce stunning masonry products that appeal to architects on the lookout for new aesthetics. Several product lines are in current production. The most recent is a zero cement formula that incorporates a blend of lime, blast furnace slag and naturally occurring minerals. Block made with this zero cement formula achieve 2,500 psi with a nearly porcelain white appearance. Watershed Materials also offers a low cement block formulation that incorporates a wider range of repurposed aggregates."

Masonry Magazine
January 2016

"Watershed Materials is reducing cement in structural masonry, while utilizing the natural attributes of locally sourced, minimally processed, and often-recycled aggregate to produce stunning masonry products that appeal to architects on the lookout for new aesthetics. Several product lines are in current production. The most recent is a zero cement formula that incorporates a blend of lime, blast furnace slag and naturally occurring minerals. Block made with this zero cement formula achieve 2,500 psi with a nearly porcelain white appearance. Watershed Materials also offers a low cement block formulation that incorporates a wider range of repurposed aggregates."

Green Builder Magazine October 2015 "Watershed Block is durable and strong, and the blocks demonstrate many of the same virtues as rammed earth, the construction technique for which Easton is best known. They’re fireproof, durable, low maintenance and long lasting. Their thermal mass performs similarly to rammed earth. And the blocks can serve as both the structure and the finish. 'It’s efficient—you don’t need as many subcontractors, and it cuts down construction time,' says Easton. 'It also tells a story— that’s what I like most about it.'"

Green Builder Magazine
October 2015

"Watershed Block is durable and strong, and the blocks demonstrate many of the same virtues as rammed earth, the construction technique for which Easton is best known. They’re fireproof, durable, low maintenance and long lasting. Their thermal mass performs similarly to rammed earth. And the blocks can serve as both the structure and the finish.

'It’s efficient—you don’t need as many subcontractors, and it cuts down construction time,' says Easton. 'It also tells a story— that’s what I like most about it.'"

Concrete Products
October 2015

"The technology utilizes geopolymerization of clay minerals, which can be sourced from quarry and mine waste, plus construction site excavation. Geopolymers represent an alternative to portland cement; until now, such compounds have mostly relied on coal fly ash or blast furnace slag. Masonry units molded from Watershed Materials’ methods will have lower embodied energy than conventional alternatives, as they are processed without high temperature kiln cycles, and use no portland or slag cement, or fly ash binder."

Architect Magazine August 2015 "Getting the energy-intensive Portland cement out of masonry units has long been the goal of sustainable building-product manufacturers and researchers. So far, the most promising alternatives—among them fly ash and blast-furnace slag—are byproducts of other complex industrial processes. But that could soon change. New research from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with Napa, Calif.–based fabricator Watershed Materials shows promise for cement-alternative binders made of minerals derived from natural clay. In recent testing, their novel concrete material reported compressive strength of 7,000 psi—double that of typical concrete—while resisting water and chemical erosion."

Architect Magazine
August 2015


"Getting the energy-intensive Portland cement out of masonry units has long been the goal of sustainable building-product manufacturers and researchers. So far, the most promising alternatives—among them fly ash and blast-furnace slag—are byproducts of other complex industrial processes. But that could soon change. New research from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with Napa, Calif.–based fabricator Watershed Materials shows promise for cement-alternative binders made of minerals derived from natural clay. In recent testing, their novel concrete material reported compressive strength of 7,000 psi—double that of typical concrete—while resisting water and chemical erosion."

ArchDaily August 2015 "The really game-changing idea is a project that Watershed Materials is currently developing. Aided by funding from the National Science Foundation, they're developing a technology that could reduce cement use in their blocks to zero."

ArchDaily
August 2015

"The really game-changing idea is a project that Watershed Materials is currently developing. Aided by funding from the National Science Foundation, they're developing a technology that could reduce cement use in their blocks to zero."

National Science Foundation August 2015 "Using Less Cement for a Smaller Carbon Footprint"

National Science Foundation
August 2015

"Using Less Cement for a Smaller Carbon Footprint"

USGBC Magazine August 2015 "Figuring out how the pyramids were built has interesting applications beyond Egyptology. Today’s building materials do not have an expected lifespan anywhere near 4,000 years. And many of our modern construction processes consume so much energy and emit so much CO2 that we’re quickly destroying the very world we’re working to build." "If Watershed Materials is successful, we may be able to revive part of the science that allowed the Egyptians to make man-made stones so durable that they’ve not only lasted for over 4,000 years but have also fooled modern historians by appearing identical to geologically formed, quarried rock."

USGBC Magazine
August 2015

"Figuring out how the pyramids were built has interesting applications beyond Egyptology. Today’s building materials do not have an expected lifespan anywhere near 4,000 years. And many of our modern construction processes consume so much energy and emit so much CO2 that we’re quickly destroying the very world we’re working to build."

"If Watershed Materials is successful, we may be able to revive part of the science that allowed the Egyptians to make man-made stones so durable that they’ve not only lasted for over 4,000 years but have also fooled modern historians by appearing identical to geologically formed, quarried rock."

Dwell Magazine October, 2014 "David Easton, a pioneer in the field of rammed-earth construction, developed sturdy blocks made from recycled and waste material and then used them to build a house for himself and his wife, Cynthia Wright, in collaboration with designer Juliet Hsu. In many ways, this essentially prefabricated structure echoes Frank Lloyd Wright’s idealized midcentury Usonian house, which he describes in his book The Natural House as being 'integral to its site, integral to its environment, integral to the life of the inhabitants.' 'Our Watershed blocks are made from local raw material to embody the character of the region,' Easton explains."

Dwell Magazine
October, 2014

"David Easton, a pioneer in the field of rammed-earth construction, developed sturdy blocks made from recycled and waste material and then used them to build a house for himself and his wife, Cynthia Wright, in collaboration with designer Juliet Hsu.

In many ways, this essentially prefabricated structure echoes Frank Lloyd Wright’s idealized midcentury Usonian house, which he describes in his book The Natural House as being 'integral to its site, integral to its environment, integral to the life of the inhabitants.'

'Our Watershed blocks are made from local raw material to embody the character of the region,' Easton explains."

Masonry Design Magazine May, 2014 "Watershed's goal is to make a durable building block from natural materials. Watershed Blocks are made from locally sourced earth and recycled aggregates. They have the visual complexity of sedimentary rock with a shape and design criteria that fit seamlessly into current masonry design typologies."

Masonry Design Magazine
May, 2014

"Watershed's goal is to make a durable building block from natural materials. Watershed Blocks are made from locally sourced earth and recycled aggregates. They have the visual complexity of sedimentary rock with a shape and design criteria that fit seamlessly into current masonry design typologies."

Architect Magazine April, 2014 "Alternatives to building materials that contain Portland cement are few. But the modular Watershed Block from Watershed Materials in Napa, Calif., aims to fill the gap. Made of fused soil and rock fragments including quartz and other minerals, it contains half the cement of typical concrete units but weighs up to 30 percent more. Backed by a National Science Foundation grant, the manufacturer is working on a structural block that contains no cement. Offered in standard CMU dimensions."

Architect Magazine
April, 2014

"Alternatives to building materials that contain Portland cement are few. But the modular Watershed Block from Watershed Materials in Napa, Calif., aims to fill the gap. Made of fused soil and rock fragments including quartz and other minerals, it contains half the cement of typical concrete units but weighs up to 30 percent more. Backed by a National Science Foundation grant, the manufacturer is working on a structural block that contains no cement. Offered in standard CMU dimensions."

TreeHugger February, 2014 "Watershed Block takes the best of both worlds. Developed by rammed earth builder David Easton, it is essentially pretty close to a rammed earth block that can be laid by any mason and treated like a normal concrete block. Under high pressure, the locally sourced minerals go under a process of "lithification" where the grains of sediment are converted into rock. The cement helps bind it together, making a lovely to look at block with half the CO2 footprint of conventional cement blocks. It comes in various colors and tones, depending on the source of the sediments used."

TreeHugger
February, 2014

"Watershed Block takes the best of both worlds. Developed by rammed earth builder David Easton, it is essentially pretty close to a rammed earth block that can be laid by any mason and treated like a normal concrete block. Under high pressure, the locally sourced minerals go under a process of "lithification" where the grains of sediment are converted into rock. The cement helps bind it together, making a lovely to look at block with half the CO2 footprint of conventional cement blocks. It comes in various colors and tones, depending on the source of the sediments used."

EcoBuilding Pulse March, 2014 "Portland cement is a material that architects and designers who deal in sustainable construction love to hate. But until recently, the market has seen few sustainable alternatives, particularly for structural applications. That’s changing. " Download a PDF of the interview here.

EcoBuilding Pulse
March, 2014

"Portland cement is a material that architects and designers who deal in sustainable construction love to hate. But until recently, the market has seen few sustainable alternatives, particularly for structural applications. That’s changing. "

Download a PDF of the interview here.

Inhabitat January, 2014 "Concrete has a giant carbon footprint yet concrete blocks are a ubiquitous building material used around the world. Watershed Materials has produced a new, beautiful and sustainable masonry block that uses half the cement of a traditional concrete block. And now, with support from the National Science Foundation, the company is researching the production of a durable, resilient block made with zero cement."

Inhabitat
January, 2014

"Concrete has a giant carbon footprint yet concrete blocks are a ubiquitous building material used around the world. Watershed Materials has produced a new, beautiful and sustainable masonry block that uses half the cement of a traditional concrete block. And now, with support from the National Science Foundation, the company is researching the production of a durable, resilient block made with zero cement."

designboom January, 2014 "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."

designboom
January, 2014

"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."

New York Times October, 2013 "The homes can be costly because much of the labor must be done on-site. Mr. Easton, who has built about 300 rammed earth homes, is working on developing smaller blocks of earth that can be transported, which would reduce labor costs considerably, he said."

New York Times
October, 2013

"The homes can be costly because much of the labor must be done on-site. Mr. Easton, who has built about 300 rammed earth homes, is working on developing smaller blocks of earth that can be transported, which would reduce labor costs considerably, he said."

Architects + Artisans April, 2012 "It’s a watershed moment in the practice of building materials … it’s a return to earth as a globally significant building material – it’s the sustainable thing to do."

Architects + Artisans
April, 2012

"It’s a watershed moment in the practice of building materials … it’s a return to earth as a globally significant building material – it’s the sustainable thing to do."