Tibetan Buddhist Monastery Chooses Faswall


We’re honored that the nuns at Sravasti Abbey, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Newport, Washington, chose to construct their newest building with Faswall green building blocks. Chenrezig Hall provides a dining hall, commercial kitchen, administrative offices, and temporary residences for visiting nuns and monks. (Watch the video below to learn more about the project.)

Project contractors Alpha & Omega Construction from Oldtown, Idaho recommended Faswall green building blocks because they offers several beneficial characteristics that were important to Sravasti Abbey’s residents. Faswall blocks create incredibly strong, durable structures that will last for generations. They are made with a blend of wood and concrete, which means they resist damage from pests – a plus since the abbey is surrounded by forestland.

Abbey entry Chenrezig HallFaswall is a made from 60 percent recycled materials, which is only one of the things that makes it an outstanding green building material. The blocks have unrivaled thermal mass, which means they create warm, comfortable buildings. No cold air seeping through cracks in this building! Structures built with Faswall green building blocks are also extremely energy efficient, which helps keep utility bills low.

The word “Chenrezig” means “The Buddha of Compassion,” and we have no doubt that all who enter this sacred center will feel compassion and love from its residents.

Chenrezig Hall is a great example of how Faswall green building blocks can be used for commercial buildings. Can we help you build an office, medical or dental center, shopping plaza, industrial building, or your own place of compassion? Please contact us today for more information.


ShelterWorks Receives Commercialization Grant from Oregon BEST


Bennett Hall, a reporter for the Corvallis Gazette-Times, recently published an article about us entitled “ShelterWorks Has Something to Prove.”

The article announces that we were recently awarded a commercialization grant from Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center, known as Oregon BEST.

We’ve been pursuing a grant for a couple years, as it will open doors that have been inhibiting our growth.

We’ll use the money for testing to establish the structural properties of our Faswall® building blocks.

As Hall’s article explains, we’ve “won a following among do-it-yourselfers but have been slow to catch on with commercial contractors.”

As Tom Van Denend says,

“At that level, people want more of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. The takeaway of the testing will be what we’re calling an engineering bulletin that we can hand to project engineers.”

The article continues,

The company recently landed its first big commercial project, a two-story business technology center in Bismarck, N.D. Van Denend is hoping the test results will persuade other contractors to follow suit.

The testing will be carried out early next year at Portland State University’s Infrastructure Testing & Applied Research Lab, a research facility for Oregon BEST. Experiments will provide third-party data on the strength of a wall built with Faswall.

Based on preliminary testing, Van Denend believes his company’s wood-based product will prove substantially more shock-resistant than other insulated concrete forms, known as ICFs in the construction trade.

“The vast majority of ICFs are made of foam,” he said. “There’s no (structural) value for the foam — it’s weak. Our blocks have value structurally.”

Hall explains that about 90 percent of our building projects are residential, as we’ve had a difficult time making inroads into commercial construction.

If the PSU lab validates our claims, however, it could open doors for commercial construction.

Getting into the commercial market should actually double our sales within a few years.

We’re thrilled for the prospects afforded by the grant, and we appreciate David Kenney’s kind words announced in a press release about the grant:

“We’re pleased that another of our commercialization program grants will help an Oregon company advance a unique green building product that will ultimately create green jobs and advance Oregon’s reputation as a cleantech innovator.”

Read the full article for more details here.

Look to Faswall® for future commercial projects!



ShelterWorks Featured at Fredericksburg, Texas Fair


Austin YNN reports:

For the 12th year in a row, the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair will take over downtown Fredericksburg.

This weekend, Austin Community College student Adrian Lopez showed kids how the sun can be used to provide energy. He’s also learning a few things himself.

“Hopefully a new perspective of where things are going, where things need to go, and how I can contribute,” he said.

The fair is a place to get hands-on experience with the latest green and sustainable technology.

“It’s a great ‘do it yourself’ material,” Paul Wood with ShelterWorks said of his product on display. “There’s no other wall system to build a home or a commercial building for the do-it-yourselfers as easy as this. It’s like big LEGO blocks.”

Those blocks are an example of alternative construction materials that are good for the earth and cut energy consumption.

“It provides a great insulation value to the home, it captures thermal mass and homes are able to save money on heating and cooling expenses,” Wood said.

For Lopez, this weekend’s fair is a chance to be inspired.

“I’m studying environmental science and eventually I want to be an inventor in energy production,” he said.

The renewable Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair is this Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, in Fredericksburg.

Faswall Custom Home Receives LEED for Homes Platinum Certification


A Faswall Custom Home just received its LEED for Homes Platinum Certification, which is the highest level of sustainability in the program.

The house, called the “Chocolate Home”, received its name in honor of the homeowner’s love of dark chocolate and passion for sustainable living.

The New-century custom home designed by Paolo Design Group takes on a clean-line Tuscan style adapted to Northwest living –- endless pool included!

See the home here.

Faswall Award-Winning Home Featured in Fine Homebuilding Magazine


Jonathan Orpin and Maxine Bromfield operate New Energy Works, a design-build company, and Pioneer Millworks, dealing in reclaimed and sustainable flooring.

In 2011 Fine Homebuilding Magazine awarded them the “new home of the year” award.

Reports Orpin,

“We approached the design and construction of our project with the principle that a well-built home stands on four legs. They are:

  1. A long-lasting, thermally efficient structure.
  2. Advanced and efficient mechanical systems.
  3. Sustainable structural and finish materials.
  4. 4. A plan tailored to our family’s needs and to carefully crafted, coherent detailing.

They achieved these goals in part by using Faswall blocks. As Orpin says,

“I don’t like the vast majority of the insulated concrete forms (ICFs) available, which are made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) filled with concrete. While I admit they make a warm basement, I think they’ve got drawbacks.

“EPS blocks are vulnerable to ant infestations, and they require some fussy work to protect them from weather on the outside and general living conditions on the inside.

“I used Faswall instead. It’s a post-World War II European invention now being produced in the tiny town of Philomath, Ore. Faswall form blocks are made from 85% recycled wood-pallet stock that has been crushed, rolled
in Portland cement, and molded into stackable form blocks. Plaster or stucco finishes stick tenaciously to the textured blocks.”

Read the complete article here.

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