The InNOVAte 2019 Challenge is a six-month accelerator run by Greentown Labs and the world’s leading construction and building materials company, Saint-Gobain. The program is focused on innovations that could disrupt the built environment. Keep an eye on our website for profiles on all four program participants!
People want the same set of things from their buildings, Techstyle Materials founder Derek Stein suggests.
“At the heart of it, what we’re trying to do is make a better way of building buildings,” Stein says. “Everybody wants a building to be comfortable, they all want it to be energy efficient, they all want it to last a long time, and nobody wants to pay a lot to have it. The problem is that all those demands are in tension with one another. What you need are materials that do more than one thing at a time.”
Techstyle’s solution is to embed multifunctional materials into the construction layers that already exist when building a new building—think drywall, roofing, and the like. Those materials will be made to store and release heat and humidity. The multifunctional material takes its inspiration from biology, mimicking the way the leaves of a tree regulate their temperature and moisture content by a process called transpiration.
Fewer layers means less labor, which helps ease the tension between green building and construction costs.
Stein says he got exactly what he thought he would out of the InNOVAte 2019 Challenge. He gives the example of discussions with CertainTeed product managers that illuminated detailed materials markets.
Techstyle and its InNOVAte mentors intend to continue their mentorship beyond the program’s end, according to Stein, who says the challenge helped Techstyle advance “from a technical idea to a more detailed product idea.”
Want to learn more about Techstyle Materials? Keep an eye on our website for updates about our members!
Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating solutions for today’s biggest climate and environmental challenges. Located in Somerville, Mass., the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is the largest cleantech incubator in North America, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus comprised of prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, electronics lab, and a curated suite of programs and resources. Greentown Labs is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 230 since its inception.