Discover how you can green your life by building a knowledge base of current sustainable and eco savvy trends. This is Build Green Live Green.
This episode will introduce you to elementAl surfaces new collection, called the LIGHT collection. We are here today with Jessica McNaughton and Alyssa Holland of CaraGreen.
JESSICA: Hi this is Jessica.
ALYSSA: And this is Alyssa.
JESSICA: We are here with Build Green Live Green, the CaraGreen podcast, and you can find earlier episodes on our website at www.caragreen.com/podcast. Alright, today we are here to talk about a new product that we are partnered with and promoting called elementAl LIGHT, and Alyssa, do you want to talk a little bit about where elementAl LIGHT kind of came from and why we're so excited about it?
ALYSSA: Sure. So let's start off with a little recap of elementAl itself. So this brand kind of launched as a response to the recycling crisis, which we just gave an update about in our previous podcast episode. But elementAl took a look at this crisis and our waste and tried to see how they could translate that into a new building material. So they first came out with their product elementAl heavy which included up to 85% recycled material and that was in the form of recycled acrylic and recycled metals. So the name “heavy” comes from those heavy metals, aluminum, copper and brass. And then recently they worked to kind of push that a little bit further and they just released a new collection called elementAl LIGHT, which is made with up to 93% recycled plastic. So that's incredibly high.
JESSICA: And so the source of this plastic is post-industrial or preconsumer? And what kind of plastic is it? Kind of describe it so they get a visual.
ALYSSA: Yeah. This really high-grade clear plastic acrylic resin that is left over from injection molding. So these drops from injection molding that are used to make a lot of medical equipment. So really sterile, really high quality. And so you end up with this product with a high recycled content but it doesn't really have a lot of these quality control issues because it is so high-grade to start out with.
JESSICA: So we have these, you know, we have a series of colors. They're all bright colors and they're all translucent. So this is a very unique product and it's very hard, very durable but it's got these back-lighting capabilities and it's got this incredibly high recycled content.
ALYSSA: And like you mentioned with this backlighting, it can be used to kind of shine light through. So if you use it as like a doorway, this bright blue light is going to shine through, or bright yellow. So you get a little bit of this kind of color play and you can still kind of see what's behind it, but not quite. So it fits into biophilic design which we talk about a lot.
JESSICA: To kind of elaborate more on the product a little bit- so there are other translucent kind of plastic panels out there. None of them have as high a recycled content as this. What sizes does it come in?
ALYSSA: It comes in quite a few standard sizes. So starting with thicknesses, they range anywhere from 3/8” up to 1” and then panel sizes have a standard width of 36” or 48” and lengths of 72” or 96”.
JESSICA: Great. So there's a lot of different kind of thicknesses and sizes that you can play with here. So applications for elementAl LIGHT. So if I’m a designer and I hear that there's this acrylic panel out there, and we all know that there's some big brand names in these translucent panels, what sort of applications am I looking at for elementAl?
ALYSSA: Pretty much anything you can think of with surfacing. So it can be thermoformed so anything from column wraps to kind of overhead lighting structures to wall servicing, desk fronts, shelving, pretty much anything you can imagine, even some furniture.
JESSICA: And the color palette. You know, I’m looking at it here and it looks- there's a lot of these primary colors that you get, that yellow and an orange and these really kind of vibrant colors, which you don't see a lot of in sort of residential design as much. So would you consider this more a commercial application?
ALYSSA: I would say commercial definitely. Its price point kind of positions it so it's accessible to anyone. And what I really like about it is you do have this color match capability. So similar to another product we carry called Durat, you can match this elementAl light to almost anything.
JESSICA: So when you say match it, you mean customize the color?
JESSICA: So that's a really great service that not a lot of solid surface materials like that offer, because they tend to be these huge brands. But you mentioned Durat- Durat is a solid panel that can be custom color matched and that's made out of recycled polyester-acrylic blend and that also has a high recycled content and elementAl is the translucent panel, also customizable. And that's the 93% and the LIGHT collection was really launched, you know, while the metal content can be attractive to people, some people don't like it at all. elementAl LIGHT is a little more versatile in terms of, you know, the application the way you can visualize it. So I can see it as tabletops. I can see it as light cubes, I can see it as a feature wall. I can see it as a desk front. A lot of different ways that you could kind of play with that, that color and translucency.
ALYSSA: Partitions even. I stopped by a museum a couple days ago up in DC, the Natural History Museum and there are all of these sections that had a kind of translucent panel and it would be a perfect application for elementAl where you can see what's behind it. You can see there's an exhibit. You can see people milling about, but you don't know exactly what's behind there. So it encourages you to kind of walk around. I think that's a great feature to have in offices, retail areas, anything really.
JESSICA: So if I want samples of elementAl LIGHT, how do I get them?
ALYSSA: You can contact us at CaraGreen at www.caragreen.com/contact/request-samples or you can visit the elementAl website themselves. They have a way to order samples and will kind of push that out to their respective distributor.
JESSICA: And is there an e-mail address for elementAl if we wanted to reach out to them?
ALYSSA: There is. It's firstname.lastname@example.org.
JESSICA: Great. So you know when I think about, you know, the recycling problem and we elaborated in that in our last podcast, you know our responsibility is to try to use or create buildings and materials that, you know, are better that kind of help mitigate that problem. So elementAl was launched to give architects and designers this tool to really help them convey the story and convey their commitment to doing better. So I think it's really nice that that tool is out there rather than a lot of brands, which are already out there, they're trying to twist their story in some way to make it appealing to architects and designers. Whereas elementAl came out of the gate and said, hey I’m not trying to be anything else but a tool to help you solve a problem and to be able to point to this and say, I am solving this problem, and this is how I’m doing it. This isn't 4% recycled content in a Corian sheet. This is 93% recycled plastic in a product designed to address a problem that's a crisis in the industry right now.
ALYSSA: So another factor that I love about it is that it's made in the USA. So it's made here. It's local. Just another kind of aspect of that sustainability. You don't really need to worry about if it really holds up to that 93% claim. You don't need to worry about all these kind of emissions and worries of it coming from overseas or even the tariffs that are being tacked onto things, right?
JESSICA: So we've seen a lot more push towards domestic manufacturing. There's a lot of talk about, you know, plants opening up here and you know I think elementAl did a really nice job of marrying up a recycling facility which was adjacent to or nearby a production facility that could make these elementAl sheets. So we're really excited to partner with them. We're really excited to get these samples out. If anyone's interested in getting a test piece of elementAl LIGHT to play around with just to see what you can do with it, let us know, we are here to promote the brand, promote the issue, and solve this problem one sheet at a time.
JESSICA: This is Jessica.
ALYSSA: And this is Alyssa.
JESSICA: This is Build Green Live Green. You can hear more episodes on our podcast page at www.caragreen.com/podcast.