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NewWood – A Revolutionary Idea

As a stark contrast to the Numi toilet I recently panned, I’m totally excited about the concept behind NewWood. Starting with a nuclear power plant in Washington that was never completed or brought online, some very resourceful entrepreneurs have come up with what just could be one of the most revolutionary ideas to come along in a very long time.

Taking a mix of 50% recycled wood and 50% recycled plastic, they have started production (just within the last few days) on a 4×8 sheet that could replace much of the way we currently make plywood and sheet goods for underlayment, etc.

We spoke with Steve Pottle, from NewWood and are getting some samples. Our primary thought is to use them in our kit homes endeavor for developing countries, World3Homes. We had been looking for a sheet good that was durable, insect and moisture resistant, flexible for earthquake resistance, lightweight and economical. So far as we can tell, NewWood fits the bill on all counts.

What excites me about NewWood is the wood comes from wood waste that would have gone into the landfills, like some construction demolition waste, so it’s appropriate to be taking that material and reusing it in buildings. The plastic comes from plastic bottles and bags that may or may not get recycled (there seems to be plenty of it to go around). And the factory is recycled, too — a nuclear power plant never finished that was going to be a manufacturing facility that never started in an area of Washington with chronic unemployment.

The other thing about NewWood that I appreciate is NewWood itself is 100% recyclable. When it has served its useful life, or someone remodels, NewWood can be broken down and recycled again and again.

That’s truly forward-thinking. Once I get my sample and we have a chance to try it in our first World3Homes prototype, I’ll revisit this and let you know how it performs. Oh, and thanks to Preston Koerner from JetsonGreen; that’s where I first heard about NewWood.

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