The concept and methodology for producing our unique blend of concrete started twelve years ago in the state of Montana as part of a larger research project to develop a structural grade concrete mixture with all of the major ingredients being recycled or reclaimed. The end of the first sponsored research project was the beginning of an ongoing eleven year research and development effort by Jon Cross that has been sponsored by both public and private funding. Results from the public funded portions of the research have been disseminated in numerous conference proceedings, trade publications, and peer reviewed journals over the last seven years. The fundamental research, namely the structural and durability testing that has been completed over the last twelve years has been a collaborative endeavor that has been supported by state and federal agencies, private companies (both profit and non-profit) and private individual contributions from professors and students at Montana State University.
To prove the viability of the material and process, seven unique pilot projects were completed in the state of Montana over a period of eight years from 2001 through 2009. Each of these projects validated a specific element of the batching, mixing, delivering and placing process associated with concrete construction. The projects ranged in complexity from placing and finishing a topping slab over radiant heating tubes to the construction of a commercial banking facility in Missoula Montana which included both site cast and precast elements. All of the concrete used in the bank project was comprised of only fly ash and pulverized glass; no Portland cement was used in the mix design.
Since 2000, Jon Cross has maintained a private company that specializes in producing alternative concrete products and consulting; primarily focusing on architectural panels and counter top production in addition to large scale alternative concrete construction. Jon left WTI in 2011 with the intent of creating local manufacturing jobs, solving a local recycling issue, and increasing the safe usage of industrial by-product resources.
In 2011, Alexa Calio, owner of Refuge Sustainable Building Center in Bozeman Montana, began marketing and distributing countertops, cast in place floors and shower surrounds made from this innovative concrete material. The products were extremely well received by the architectural and design communities. Sales began skyrocketing and a new company was formed.