Watershed Materials - Technology for New Concrete Blocks
The block with a smaller carbon footprint.
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Sustainability - Masonry - LEED Credits - Recycled Materials

Watershed Block is a sustainable alternative to the cinder block / concrete block. Watershed Block use less cement, are made with local recycled materials.

  

 

 

 

Meet the Better Looking Block with the Smaller Carbon Footprint

Watershed Blocks have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to ordinary concrete block while providing captivating beauty and the same structural performance. How do we accomplish this?

  • Watershed Block use up to half the cement of ordinary concrete block. Cement has a giant carbon footprint and is the most expensive component in today's concrete masonry. 
  • Watershed Block incorporate locally sourced, recycled aggregates in place of the dull grey, virgin mined aggregate that gives ordinary concrete block their dull grey color. Our recycled aggregates add to the sustainability profile and the great looks of Watershed Block.

Environmental Advantages 

According to “Life Cycle Inventory of Portland Cement Concrete,” a report published by the Portland Cement Association, “The cement content of concrete block accounts for 91% of the CO2 content embodied in the block.” Watershed Block reduces the amount of cement up to 50%, eliminating half the most energy intensive material in an ordinary concrete block.

Additional environmental advantages include reduced emissions to land and water and reduced risk to human health due to the following attributes:

  • Aggregates are sourced from recycled and postindustrial quarry byproducts
  • Reduced curing energy
  • No surface finishes are required, eliminating concerns over volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful coatings
  • No colorants or plasticizers
  • Increased density provides effective thermal mass

Masonry is a time-tested method for building beautiful, enduring, and resilient buildings. Watershed Block combines these attributes with significant improvements in environmental performance.

Watershed Block™ LEED Credits

Watershed Block can qualify for LEED 2009 in the following categories:

  • Energy and Atmosphere | EA 1 | Optimize Energy
  • Materials and Resources | MR4 | Recycled Content
  • Materials and Resources | MR5 | Local / Regional Material
  • Materials and Resources | MR8 | Durable Building

Watershed Materials is commissioning a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study of Watershed Blocks. The LCA will offer a quantitative assessment of the environmental impacts of Watershed Block as compared to conventional concrete block products.

The LCA will be used to develop a Type III Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) according to the Product Category Rules (PCR) for unitized masonry, which are currently under development by the National Concrete Masonry Association with anticipated release in August, 2014. Watershed Materials is currently in the process of securing a Health Product Declaration (HPD) for its products.

These declarations will allow Watershed Block to continue to qualify for LEED points under the new LEED 4.0 revisions.

PDFs for Sustainability Professionals + Architects :

Arkin Tilt Architects' design for this sustainable private residence incorporates locally produced, low cement Watershed Block. The weight of the Watershed Block base, in some locations serving as retaining walls, creates both a structural and visual anchor to the lighter wood components. 

Arkin Tilt Architects' design for this sustainable private residence incorporates locally produced, low cement Watershed Block. The weight of the Watershed Block base, in some locations serving as retaining walls, creates both a structural and visual anchor to the lighter wood components. 

Low cement Watershed Blocks, made with locally sourced recycled aggregate, on the factory production line.

Low cement Watershed Blocks, made with locally sourced recycled aggregate, on the factory production line.

Folded steel half-flight stairs link the upper bedrooms bedrooms with the living room in this contemporary California home built with sustainable Watershed Block.

Folded steel half-flight stairs link the upper bedrooms bedrooms with the living room in this contemporary California home built with sustainable Watershed Block.