flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

D.R. Horton Buys 250,000 Grass-Made, Structural Panels from Plantd

billboard - default

D.R. Horton Buys 250,000 Grass-Made, Structural Panels from Plantd

The startup’s collaboration with D.R. Horton signifies a major industry shift in favor of climate change solutions

Quinn Purcell, Managing Editor
July 13, 2023
Rendering of startup Plantd's all-electric Factory of the Future
Plantd's stock of perennial grass will be grown through partnerships with local farmers. Rendering courtesy Plantd

The nation’s largest homebuilder, D.R. Horton, is collaborating with innovative startup Plantd to install 250,000 alternative structural panels in over 1,000 homes. What makes the panels alternative? They’re made from grass—fast-growing, carbon-capturing perennial grass that Plantd touts as a solution to climate change.

As a manufacturer of structural carbon-negative building materials, Plantd provides a seamless switch for homebuilders currently using Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The company’s collaboration with D.R. Horton signifies a major shift in today’s sustainability-driven homebuilding landscape.

D.R. Horton’s purchase of 250,000 Plantd panels will be used for wall sheathing and roof decking. The partners will first erect a model home—breaking ground in mid-July—in Durham, N.C., before full-scale production and delivery is expected to begin in 2024.

Plantd’s Grassroots Panel Production

Plantd’s structural panels are composed of just two ingredients: the perennial grass and a small amount of resin (with the formaldehyde reacted out before it reaches Plantd’s factory). This creates a low-VOC product with less chemical additives compared to other products, according to the company.

Alternative structural panel made with grass
The Plantd panels, a starting-point product for the company, will have the advantage of being competitively priced in the market. Photos courtesy Plantd

The resulting panel is manufactured to the exact dimensions of traditional OSB, while being sustainable, stronger, and more moisture-resistant as well. Plantd estimates that its panels installed in every D.R. Horton home will sequester five tons of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere.

"This relationship enhances our capabilities to offer new buyers homes that are affordable, durable, and sustainable,” said Mike Murray, Co-COO of D.R. Horton.

In fact, D.R. Horton was instrumental in Plantd’s path to testing and certifying its panels. The builder has acted as a thought partner for the startup, providing valuable market feedback, and even assisted in finding a third party lab for the certification process. What makes Plantd so valuable in the long run—aside from its resonating climate change story—is the switch away from trees. With material shortages still affecting the market, builders are looking for ways to diversify their supply chain with a reliable and consistent product.

Linkedin screenshot
Plantd, D.R. Horton collaboration begins with the installation of Plantd’s carbon negative panels as the roof decking on a new home. Image courtesy Plantd on LinkedIn

RELATED: Sustainable, Structural Panels Made From Grass

Aside from D.R. Horton, Plantd has received interest in half of the top 10 builders in the country, according to Josh Dorfman, co-founder and CEO of Plantd. The startup has also been in talks with other industries, like furniture manufacturing, as its product may have many other applications to be explored in the future.

Finishing the Factory of the Future

What’s in store for Plantd as the year enters its last half?

Part of the company’s mission is to develop an all-electric, automated, and inventive “factory of the future.” The startup estimates that with its system, it can produce the same amount of material as wood OSB while using nine times less land—due to the fast-growth rates of grass-farming coupled with its near-zero waste production process.

Plantd Factory of the Future rendering

Rendering of start Plantd's all-electric factory of the future
The 100% electric factory is envisioned to be multi-product capable with machines as long as 140 feet. Rendering courtesy Plantd

By this Fall, Plantd hopes to get its first automated machine up and running, before inviting builders to see the technology in action at Plantd’s Oxford, N.C., factory. The factory is being repurposed from an old tobacco factory, granting plenty of space for the company to build its commercial production line. With modular machines as long as 140 feet, Plantd aims to expand into other product categories like sub-flooring and two-by-fours.

leaderboard2 - default
boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Home builders can maximize efficiencies gained through simplification and standardization by automating both on-site and back-office operations 

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.