The SEED CompaniesNovember 18th, 2008 by Steven Gardner
No, I haven’t heard more about tonight’s meeting. I have, however, spoken with Noah Israel of Godstream Technologies and Jonathan Hampton of Ceramic Cement Research Institute Inc. of Arkansas.
Israel’s letter of intent is there as kind of a placeholder, holding room for the companies interested in coming to Kitsap County.
One of those is Ceramic Cement Research Institute. Jonathan Hampton said he worked years in the construction field with cement, raised his 10 kids on it. His facility serves a couple functions. One is to do research on mineral-based cement that takes far less energy to make and can be stronger than traditional cement used. Traditional cement, which he referred to as “Portland Cement” needs dehydrating at temperatures up to 2,700 degrees to make, so cement is one of the big contributors to CO2 emissions. He also teaches contractors how to use the more eco-friendly cement, using his Arkansas lab to do it.
He wants to come to Kitsap for a few reasons. One, he grew up in Alaska and doesn’t like living where he does. He spent about five years in Port Townsend. It’s not Alaska, he says, but it’s a nice compromise between that and where he is. Second, he would be coming because of the stated goal of Kitsap SEED, to help lead work into new greener technologies.
The port has another letter of intent, which I’ve yet to see, but has been characterized three times for me, as an $8 million commitment from a private partner of a Las Vegas company that wants to build a new type of wall board in Kitsap County. Hampton described it as a replacement for sheetrock. It costs twice as much, but retains room temperatures for hours, where sheet rock will give way to outside temps in about 10 minutes. He estimates the new wall board saves 40 percent in energy over traditional boards. That company wants to locate at the port, and a New Zealand financier is putting up $8 million to tool the facility and make it ready to go.
Godstream’s Noah Israel said the development project that the hearing examiner denied “with prejudice” has had that last phrase removed and her decision is being appealed before the county council. The argument he’s making is that the hearing examiner used the same pattern in denying his application that she did in doing so to another application, a decision the county council overturned. Specifically, she was applying engineering standards she would have no knowledge of and apparently no business using. Israel said in the past it was his company that converted the trees to finished product for the siding, flooring and moulding at Islandwood.
His particular interest in SEED heightened when he had the setback with the community development he was proposing for Arlington went south along with the housing market. He’s been developing these relationships with like-minded companies in other products. Hampton said he and Israel met about a year ago at Washington State University, where Hampton was speaking on ceramic cement at a conference.
WSU is Hampton’s preferred testing facility.
I’ll blog live from the meeting.