Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy-efficient Building Products from Waste(ST6161-1)

City Green, Inc.


NYSERDA and Century Board USA (CBUSA) have developed a plastic structural beam for applications where stiffness is required. This product is made with coal combustion fly ash that is essential, since it allows the plastic to be foamed. It also offsets some material costs, improving the product's economics. CBUSA has discovered that crushed mixed-color recycled glass can be used in place of fly ash in its process, and believes that adding crushed glass will create a structural product suitable for applications where strength is required. CBUSA has begun working with City Green, Inc. of New York, NY, to develop this product.

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Project Description

City Green and CBUSA will produce and test prototype lumber products filled with glass to evaluate properties and handling issues of the material, as well as field-test prototypes in New York City parks, gardens and playgrounds. Subsequently, they will establish new target performance values for the product, and develop 20 to 30 chemical-formulation continuous-extrusion trials. Further, they will evaluate basic mechanical properties of prototypes made with the new chemical formulations, conduct a second extrusion trial with the five most promising chemical formulations, and evaluate mechanical properties of prototype produced during second extrusion trial. Finally, they will determine final manufacturing costs and product performance data.


Century Board's manufacturing process yields a product with a low-embodied energy content. Commercialization of this technology could lead to manufacturing jobs in New York State. Moreover, on full-scale production, the proposed product could divert 21,000 tons per year of mixed-color glass from landfills.

Project Results

City Green (CG) and CBUSA developed a prototype plastic-lumber product filled with crushed mixed-color glass, and established its potential markets and technical feasibility. The prototype was fabricated with molds and tested in laboratories. The partners also conducted manufacturing trials with vendors of continuous-extrusion equipment to establish the feasibility of producing the product using different methods. An unexpected result of these trials was improved mechanical properties for the product. CG and CBUSA initiated work to optimize the performance of the lumber product when manufactured with a continuous-extrusion process. The partners were not able to produce further prototypes because they were unable to secure the cooperation of a manufacturing host site with the continuous-extrusion equipment envisioned for use in their full-scale production facility.


City Green, Inc.
151 1St Avenue, #3
New York, NY 10003

Principle Investigator

Thomas Outerbridge

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Building Systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6161-1

Last Updated: 8/29/2014