Great Green Construction Products Made From Paper

Sustainable composite surfaces show great promise to green designers

We have written before about this sustainable counter product made from recycled waste paper. It is time now to revisit Hoquiam, WA-based PaperStone.

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For recycling champions, PaperStone is an architectural composite material made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The product is certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards by the Smartwood program of The Rainforest Alliance. PaperStone also plays a role in enabling a building project to acquire Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points toward certification.

LEED certification is for the entire construction project; materials and products used in buildings are not individually certified. Use of PaperStone can contribute to the accumulation of LEED points in selected credit categories of Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design.

The PaperStone website reports the following details about its sustainable product line.

  • PaperStone is one of the few architectural solid surface materials certified to FSC standards by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance. Accordingly PaperStone plays a role in enabling a project to acquire LEED points toward certification.
  • The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary standard for developing environmentally responsible, low emission, high performance, sustainable buildings. It was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • PaperStone is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper that has been saturated with our proprietary PetroFree phenolic resins and selected natural pigments on our treater lines. After trimming to length, resin-saturated sheets are stacked and moved into a press where they are fused together under heat and pressure. Paper sheet count determines the thickness of the finished panels.

For those ready to have a LEED footprint, try using paper the next time you consider taking on a project around the house, especially if it has to do with countertops or surfaces. That’s what PaperStone specializes in, stating that it manufactures “the countertop with a conscience.”

Although the products are made of paper, they’re water-resistant. Common applications for these surfaces include interior countertops, wall cladding, conference tables, signs, cutting boards, window sills, and toilet partitions. The company says the product is best used for various interior horizontal applications such as counters, window sills and door thresholds. Some of the products also can be used for structural applications, landscape components, furniture, tabletops and other manufactured products.

As the company proclaims, ‘PaperStone is committed to innovative green products that contribute to a holistic lifestyle that is smart, elegant, and responsible.” It concludes, “PaperStone isn’t just an attractive new material that is produced in a socially responsible manner, it is also strong and tough. It has steel-like strength in span. It has stone-like beauty and it can be worked like fine hardwoods. PaperStone is innovative and cost-competitive.”

Standard panel sizes are 60″ x 144″ in standard thicknesses of 3/4″, 1″ and 1-1/4″. Other panel thicknesses and sizes can be special ordered. Contact your distributor for details.  Sheets can be cut with standard woodworking materials.

PaperStone has been tested and certified as non-detectable for formaldehyde by the most demanding test available, the so-called desiccant method test. As for pricing. panels are comparable to quality granite and brand name solid surface or quartz material products. Try it out on the next project.

Photo: PaperStone Products