Republic Rocks the Cradle

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Chicago-based Republic Windows & Doors has committed to working with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry to overhaul its window manufacturing processes.

January 01, 2004

Chicago-based Republic Windows & Doors has committed to working with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry to overhaul its window manufacturing processes.

Most products in all industries are cradle-to-grave — thrown away at the end of their useful life. MBDC says its cradle-to-cradle design “models human industry on nature’s processes, in which materials are viewed as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms.” All components of the manufacturing process — including tools, machines and oils, as well as parts — and the end product are reusable, valuable and do little or no environmental harm.

Les Teichner, Republic’s chief operating officer, gives no time line for instituting the process but calls the collaboration a “long-term alliance in which the things we learn will be incorporated into our products.” He also intends to make what Republic learns available to the rest of the fenestration industry through licensing.

Architect William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart, a chemist and process engineering professor, lead Charlottesville, Va.-based MBDC, a product and process design firm focused on building “economic, social and environmental prosperity.”

A grant from the city of Chicago will help fund the firm’s work with Republic.

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