Daniel Flahiff

EcoRock: Sustainable Drywall will Rock your Green World

by , 11/24/08

ecorock, serious materials, eco friendly drywall, recycled materials, green building materials, sustainable building, green design, eco friendly design, construction materials

Drywall is the number three producer of greenhouse gasses among building materials, trailing just behind cement and steel. Its production generates 200 million tons of carbon dioxide gas, a host of gypsum mines, and immense amounts of energy are required to fire the 500 degree kilns in which it is produced. But a ‘game-changer’ is on the horizon: EcoRock. This innovative material requires no gypsum, no ovens to produce, is made from 85 percent industrial by-products and is fully recyclable!


ecorock, serious materials, eco friendly drywall, recycled materials, green building materials, sustainable building, green design, eco friendly design, construction materials

For the most part, drywall has not changed much since it was invented in 1917. Serious Materials CEO Kevin Surace plans to change that with the introduction of EcoRock, a ground-breaking new interior wall covering made from a mixture of fly ash, slag, kiln dust and fillers. It is composed of 85 percent industrial by-products, is fully recyclable, and to top it all off, it is not susceptible to mold or termites like traditional drywall. Serious Materials chemists have devised a process that mixes these materials with water to form a paste which is then poured out into sheets. The process requires just 20 percent of the energy of traditional kiln firing, and does not rely upon ovens.

As with any innovative material, we’ll pay a premium at first. Serious Materials expects to sell EcoRock at around $14 – $20 per 4 X 8 ft. sheet—comparable to current high-end drywall—but expects the price to come down as production and demand increases.

+ EcoRock

Via Popular Science

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17 Comments

  1. Gang green November 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I wanted to use EcoRock in my LEED-certified house, but it’s release has been delayed over and over for years, now.

  2. jrboyle October 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Is there another website I can go to to get more information on this new ecorock? I need enough information for a 20 min. presentation and can only find websites with one paragraph articles. Thank you for the help!

  3. Digger March 21, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Inside sources say that problems with Ecorock continue. They still do not have a recipe that works and are urgently looking for alternatives. It is also confirmed that their current recipes contain fly ash. Their product is hazardous and Surace is not being truthful.

  4. gwashtracker January 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    The Ecorock patents describe the use of phosphoric acid and acidic phosphates as raw materials.

    Phosphoric acid and phosphates are manufactured by energy intensive and highly polluting industrial processes – they generate large amounts of toxic byproducts including hydrofluoric acid gas and radioactive phosphogypsum waste (http://www.fluoridealert.org/phosphate/overview.htm, and http://www.epa.gov/radiation/neshaps/subpartr/about.html)

    Also, phosphates are essential for fertilizers and phosphate ore is a limited resource the reserves of which are projected to be depleted within the century and lead to shortages, especially in developing countries (http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5053e/y5053e00.HTM)

    So, Ecorock uses phosphate – a product of a very energy-intensive and polluting industry? And Ecorock is going to compete with agriculture/food production for phosphate?

  5. Merry Christmas! at arc... December 25, 2008 at 10:16 am

    [...] wall is so easy to use and so versatile. Now there is a greener option for all your remodeling [...]

  6. kevinsurace December 3, 2008 at 12:44 am

    No toxins. No VOC’s. No outgassing. All 3rd party verified. No fly ash either.
    And fire rated without the use of toxic chemicals.
    No product is perfect, but we worked with customers for years to make sure we met as many of the needs as possible. And we have sold well over 1 million panels of our other products, so this is not the first high volume product we have brought to market.

    Kevin Surace’
    CEO
    Serious Materials

  7. rhubarb November 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Doesn’t anyone here question the wisdom of using toxic industrial waste products in our wall coverings? Fly ash has been used for some time in concrete, but at least in that situation it held in a rather durable and inert form. What happens when someone starts cuttings these drywall sheets, or demolishing a building with them. Has the mitigation of toxic dust and particals been considered. Taking the waste products out of coal fired smoke stacks and distributing into homes across the county is more green-washing than green-living.

  8. LEMAK November 28, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Boys, if it will burn, take it out of the market at once, thank´s.
    Jahn Makender

  9. matt2beer November 27, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Maybe it can be combined with this:

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s2423228.htm

    I believe on the show they said something about improving the fire rating of a wall as well as almost sound proofing it. Entirely organic too.

    p.s. there are heaps of other cool sustainably minded inventions on the new inventors website as well (hint hint inhabitat writers).

  10. theokobox November 26, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    does it still contain the same old fire retardent chemicals though? Cause all those chems on regular drywall are toxic, and outgas for years, causing indoor air pollution that is especially bad for children & those with chronic illness. I didn’t see any info on this really being eco in that way.
    Building materials not only need to be safe structurally, but also for our health – this is a problem that is being way too ignored, in order for industry to make money wihtout making a product that’s truely safe in every regard.

  11. R2D2 November 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Looks like a winner. I can’t wait for the day I can spec it.

  12. Daniel Flahiff Daniel Flahiff November 25, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks Kevin!

  13. kevinsurace November 25, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Daniel,

    Thank you for the article and everyone’s interest in EcoRock. EcoRock will be available in 2 thicknesses. 1/2″ non-fire rated and 5/8″ fire rated, just like the gypsum drywall it is replacing. Drywall used in homes is not fire rated typically, except for a few areas like garage isolation, and thus is 1/2″ non-fire rated, same as other drywall for homes.
    Our 5/8″ EcoRock will meet ASTM E119 (that is what the code requires) for 1 hour when used on both sides of a wall. Unlike single family residential, most commercial projects require fire rated drywall, and it must meet ASTM E119. In addition, all of our other interior products (such as QuietRock soundproof drywall) have met ASTMN E119 for many years and also are UL certified and inspected. UL is a trusted name in fire protection that adds another level of security for our customers. It is our intent to offer EcoRock with the UL mark as well, when the 5/8″ product becomes available in 2009.
    All of our interior products are distributed throughout North America through over 1000 wholesale drywall dealers. And EcoRock will be available through those same dealers…the same ones contractors buy from daily. EcoRock will first be available on the west coast, starting in early 2009 as the first plant is just coming online now.
    We at Serious Materials are very excited…after years of hard work and real material science…we believe we will make a real dent in CO2 with this and our other products (ThermaProof super-insulating windows for instance).
    Thank you all for your interest.

    Kevin Surace
    CEO
    Serious Materials, Inc.
    http://www.seriousmaterials.com

  14. Daniel Flahiff Daniel Flahiff November 24, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Good questions! Here is what EcoRock has to say re. fire ratings:
    Physical Specifications, 1/2 & 5/8 Meets or exceeds ASTM C1396
    Surface burning characteristics (per ASTM E 84) 1/2 & 5/8 Class A
    Humidified deflection, inches, 1/2 & 5/8 < 1⁄8”
    Fire Rating 1/2″ None, 5/8″ ASTM E119, 1 Hour (Type X)
    {NOTE: Specified minimum values are as in applicable sections of
    ASTM C 630, ASTM C 1177, ASTM C 1396 and ASTM C 1658 standards.}

    more info. Google “EcoRock fire rating”

  15. RobK November 24, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    @ bpg131313 According to their product information it meets the ATSM standards for the regular wall board, and presumably the fire rating as well, if that is part of the ATSM standards for this sort of material.

  16. thegreenhouseeffect November 24, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Amazing! Where can we buy it!

  17. bpg131313 bpg131313 November 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Yet one MAJOR lack of information exists. What is it’s Fire Rating? The whole purpose of drywall in the first place is to create a temporary fire barrier between rooms. It’s great that it requires less energy to produce, but if it doesn’t have a great fire rating, it’s dangerous and will end up getting people killed.

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