After staying in contact Michael and following the development of Just BioFiber Structural Solutions through the summer, as well as meeting with a few architects to judge the interest in the product (it was really good!), I decided it was time to go out and meet the President, Terry Radford, and get a better understanding of what they are working on.
Terry was a fantastic host! He picked me up at the airport, drove me out to meet Mac and the team, showed me what was going on there, and got me back to airport for my flight in the evening. At this point, they are set up with a nice-sized garage workshop with drying room to make test blocks on the bench in preparation for lab testing and understanding future production processes. Their engineering is being done by Read Jones Christofferson Consulting Engineers and the structural figures for the block are looking very good. With a special shear sleeve that is designed to tie the blocks together, it is calculated that buildings may go as high as 800′ using these blocks. They are doing everything to make sure the buildings last for hundred of years, and the blocks can be used in all types of buildings. They passed their 1-hour fire test with flying colours, as the stuff really doesn’t burn (they showed me using a blow torch while holding a piece in their hand!) It is really an impressive development and will change the way we design and look at sustainable buildings in the very near future. They are hoping to have a plant designed and being set up in 2016 and be at full production in 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing their first demonstration buildings in 2016!