Sustainable Practices in Construction

Filtrexx

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

With their Compost Filter Sock Innovation, Filtrexx can reliably trap sediment and soluble pollutants being washed away during construction, therefore preventing them from entering waterways. It can also slow, interrupt, and filter stormwater runoff and protect drain inlets.

Authors

Camille Lartaud-Balosso

Camille Lartaud-Balosso

Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

School

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Professor

Scot Lowry

Scot Lowry

Innovation

Construction can be a very polluting industry. Through a project oils, fuels, paints, and solvents can fall onto the ground and get washed into local waterways during a storm or washing of equipment. Additionally, as the land is cleared, soil and silt erode and wash into waterways, muddy the waters, and kill aquatic life. As restoration of the environment can be very expensive and difficult, prevention is the key to ensuring safety and cleanliness.

The innovation that Filtrexx has created is just this, a tool that can be used to reduce soil erosion and the amount of pollutants that enter the environment during construction or similar projects. Their original product, the SiltSoxx, is a temporary dam that can be placed around entrances to waterways or sewers to filter the runoff before it enters the environment. Although the SiltSoxx is not the first product on the market to solve this problem, it does perform the best. Through testing Filtrexx has found that the SiltSoxx removes an average of nearly 90% of sediment from filtered water. This is a big improvement over the competition, which only removes an average of 68% of sediment.

Filtrexx takes its mission to provide sustainable products and services further than just providing a product that performs better. Because Filtrexx uses organic and recycled materials in the manufacture of their products, they have reduced more than three quarters of a million tons of waste from entering landfills.

Sustainable Practices in Construction

Inspiration

The inspiration for Filtrexx and the SiltSoxx came years before the founding of the company in 2001. In the 1990’s Filtrexx founder and certified agronomist, Rod Tyler, found that compost materials filtered runoff and prevented soil erosion much better than the industry solution at the time, the silt fence. Years of refinement improvements finally led to the invention of the SiltSoxx and founding of Filtrexx.

The desire to do good and innovate can be seen in the company’s mission statement. “To be the world's leading provider of innovative and sustainable products and services for use in erosion and sediment control, stormwater management and low impact development to protect our soil, water and environment; To continually engage, develop and inspire our employees to reach their fullest potential; To provide the highest level of customer service through reliability, quality and value.” This inspiration has led Filtrexx to continue to create new innovations such as their living walls and green rooftops.

In 2016, Filtrexx celebrated 15 years developing innovative and sustainable technologies for diverse stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, pollutant removal and living walls applications.

Overall impact

Dr. Britt Faucette, Filtrexx Director of Research, Technical, and Environmental Services explained that: “The key sustainability component of what we do is that we are diverting organic waste from landfills so we are minimizing the impact of waste.”

Filtrexx publishes a Sustainability Analysis Report on its website, and in December 2017, it received the U.S. Green Building Council Orange County ‘Eco Award’ for Most Sustainable Landscape. Filtrexx has a positive impact on society, mainly through its environmental impact: in 2017, the use of Filtrexx products diverted from a landfill 775,730 tons of organic wastes such as wood chips. It is equivalent to 63,954 dump trucks of organic matter saved from our landfills. In terms of water pollution, they prevented as much as 150,106 tons of sediment from entering waterways.

The benefits were determined through collaboration with EcoPractices. EcoPractices provides Filtrexx clients with third party verification of practices with environmental impact value quantification in quarterly update reports and annual Sustainability Analysis Reports that can be tailored for their operation.

According to the US Compost Council, Filtrexx products improve the soil structure, porosity, and density, creating a better plant root environment. In the short-term, it supplies a variety of macro and micronutrients, as well as improves and stabilizes soil pH. In the long-term, it increases infiltration and permeability of heavy soils, reducing erosion and runoff. It also improves water holding capacity, reducing water loss and leaching in sandy soils.

Overall, the use of Filtrexx products in 2017 meant 1,616,547 tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) prevented and sequestered from the atmosphere, which is more than the average yearly energy use by 140,000 American homes. These carbon sequestration benefits come from both plants (the creation of living walls with active growing plants) and compost (when compost is added to soils it increases the microbial activity and promotes plant growth).

Business benefit

Thanks to their innovation, the company has now expanded into stormwater management, sediment control, erosion control, pollutant removal, and living walls. Their innovation made Filtrexx Products the highest performing Compost Filter Socks in the industry.

It benefits both the company and its business partner, especially since Filtrexx seeks to put evidence-based measurements to its products. For this reason, they entered a partnership with EcoPractices to provide clients with third party verification of practices with environmental impact value quantification.

Moreover, Filtrexx benefits local businesses as Dr. Britt Faucette explained: “We mostly use local or regionally-sourced materials, whereas other companies usually have centralized manufacturing coming from one or two locations.”

Social and environmental benefit

In 2017, Filtrexx utilized waste materials to fill SiltSoxx, Living Walls, and compost blankets that resulted in significant environmental benefits. Environmental benefits come from CO2e emission prevention, emission sequestration, the diversion of organic waste from landfills, and the diversion of sediments from waterways.

Additionally, Filtrexx products improve the soil structure, which creates a better plant root environment and improves water holding capacity, reducing water loss, erosion and runoff.

Interview

Dr. Britt Faucette, Filtrexx Director of Research, Technical, and Environmental Services

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Filtrexx

Filtrexx

Akron, OH, US

Business Website: https://www.filtrexx.com/en

Year Founded: 2001

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

Filtrexx is the inventor of the Compost Filter Sock, a superior alternative to silt fence and straw wattles to divert, control and trap sediment and debris during construction activities. Thanks to their innovation, the company has now expanded into stormwater management, sediment control, erosion control, pollutant removal, and living walls.

The use of Filtrexx products results in significant environmental benefits: CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) emission prevention, emission sequestration, the diversion of organic waste from landfills, and the diversion of sediments from waterways. Additionally, their products improve the soil structure, which creates a better plant root environment and improves water holding capacity, reducing water loss, erosion and runoff.