Building Product Chemistry

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

The list of building product materials grows longer every day as new uses are found for familiar substances.

May 01, 2003

The list of building product materials grows longer every day as new uses are found for familiar substances. Three of the most interesting to cross our desks of late:


A soybean oil-based polyurethane foam insulation product that emits no VOCs or CFCs during production or application. Made by Bio-Based Systems, BioBase 500 behaves much like petroleum-based plastic foam but comes from the annually renewable resource of soybeans. The insulation is pest-resistant because it has no food value, and it eliminates mold and mildew. More information is at


Countertops made of hemp. Richlite Hemp counters, made by Rainier Richlite Co., are made of paper with fibers from fast-growing abaca - a palmlike plant grown in the Philippines and Ecuador - commonly called hemp. Similar fibers have been used in textiles for more than 6,000 years. The solid countertops are made with paper that's finely integrated and cured during the manufacturing process. The surface washes easily, won't hold on to bacteria, resists heat and stains and is durable. Offered in six colors and in multiple sizes and widths. More information is at


Honeycomb fiberboard made from recycled paper. SONOBoard3D is marketed as an environmentally friendly alternative for everything from concrete forms to subflooring. Made using a patented process by Sonoco, a slurry of fiber and water is compressed in a silicone mold with three-dimensional geometries. During forming and drying there is tremendous densification of the honeycomb shape. The result is a stiff board with crush strength four times greater than that of corrugated linerboard. It is also flexible enough to be used for shaped, formed or curved panels, including archways, partitions and vanity panels. SONOBoard3D is completely recyclable. More information is at

Comments on: "Building Product Chemistry"

February 2017

This Month in Professional Builder


Builders and architects report on what's been happening with expenses, square footage, and buyer demographics.

Overlay Init