Sources: CalStar Products Inc., Newark, Calif.; CP staff
San Francisco venture capital fund Nth Power has led an equity financing round for CalStar Products, which opened 2010 dedicating an inaugural Fly Ash Brick/Paver plant in Caledonia, Wis. (above) "This oversubscribed round confirms that investors see the same attractive opportunity in green building materials that we do, says CalStar CEO Tom Pounds. The company's unique approach to the brick and hardscape business, he adds, is perfectly aligned with what Nth Power officials contend is a ÎPerfect StormÌ for transforming the construction and building sector.
An energy and clean technology fund manager, Nth Power was joined in the $15 million round by new CalStar investors Westly Group, Menlo Park, Calif., and Clearpoint Capital, New York; continuing investors Foundation Capital, Silicon Valley, Calif., and EnerTech Capital, Philadelphia, participated as well. "We're entering an era when carbon- and energy-efficient products that are competitively priced and deliver excellent performance are being specified by all of the leading architectural firms. CalStar is well-positioned to take market share immediately, but it also has the potential to permanently replace supply from many of the nation's shuttered brick plants," says Nth Power Managing Director Bryant Tong.
Between low curing requirements and fly ash-rich, portland cement-free mix designs, CalStar's facing brick and hardscape pavers equate to a potential 85 percent reduction in energy consumption and carbon dioxide compared to comparable clay masonry unit production. Targeting LEED rating point- and sustainable hardscape-minded architects and builders, CalStar has enlisted 29 masonry dealers in 24 states serving upwards of 50 key markets. The company is eyeing by mid-decade five additional plants, each strategic to sources like Wisconsin Energy's Oak Creek station, which supplies the Fly Ash Brick/Paver flagship its Class C ash.