SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Twelve-and-a-half-million Americans are out of work right now. In a time where pink slips are being used more than post-its, one company is going green Ö to make some green. Changing how we make things could help change our economy.
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Five months ago Robin Scott was laid off. Now, heís headed back to the factory. Scott is one of hundreds of people hired by Serious Materials. In these tough economic times, this company just opened a window factory outside of Pittsburgh. Another one is set to open in Chicago. Why are they expanding while other companies are downsizing?
"Energy efficiency is the least expensive way to drive energy independence and reduce CO2 and reduce energy usage," Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Materials in Sunnyvale, Calif., told Ivanhoe.
His company is a winner in President Obamaís energy-efficient stimulus plan.
The company's insulating windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 50 percent. One newly designed window is 400 times more energy efficient than traditional ones.
"There's actually plastic film in the middle, and what this does is it reduces the amount of convection inside the window," Surace said. "By reducing the amount of convection, you transfer less heat."
Surace says in a typical house in the Northeast, the homeowner will save $100,000 over 30 years in energy costs.
Serious Materials is also turning drywall green. The companyís chemists tested 5,000 recipes before coming up with EcoRock. Recycled materials from steel and cement processing react chemically when mixed with water to bind together without any added heat.
"It's about 80 percent recycled content," Surace said. "During its manufacturing, it generates 80 percent less overall CO2."
It generates less CO2 because there's no cooking in the process like traditional drywall. The drywall is also mold-resistant and termite-resistant.
Five percent of all energy lost in the United States escapes through inefficient windows. Their construction hasnít changed since the window's invention in the late 1800s. As far as costs, both the windows and the drywall are comparable to other high quality building materials.
The Materials Research Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report. This report has also been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.