PROTEX Products LLC
After working in the film industry for more than 20 years, Brad Wells discovered that there was a large need for temporary surface protection in the construction industry. After recruiting several long-term friends from the film and manufacturing industries, PROTEX Products LLC was established in Chicago in 2012. Four years later, PROTEX manufactures some of the most innovative, durable and environmentally-friendly temporary surface protection solutions for the construction, remediation and entertainment industries.
Like Wells, many of the 15 employees at PROTEX spent time in the film industry, which was the birthplace of temporary surface protection. Whether it’s on a soundstage, in a modern office building in the city, a townhouse in the suburbs or a mansion with wood floors, most of the locations where movies and television are shot are rented and need to be protected.
A sustainable solution
“When we were working on a movie for a large Hollywood studio, the head of sustainable production asked me if it was possible to create a truly lay-flat layout board product that is better, stronger and easier to use than the layout board all the studios were using and meet their ‘green standards,’” recalls Wells. “After a lot of research, product material and real world testing, we ended up developing PROBoard as the sustainable solution.”
When PROBoard started being used on numerous film shoots around the Midwest, it caught the eye of workers building the sets, many of whom also worked for big construction companies. “They began asking me if they could buy PROBoard for their construction projects,” adds Wells. “Once we realized that it worked on construction sites we knew we had a market a lot bigger than just the film industry.”
After dealing exclusively with major general contractors and film studios for three years, contractors were so impressed with PROTEX that they began requesting the ability to purchase it from the local building material suppliers. In 2015, PROTEX products became available through Home Depot as well as other distributors across the country.
“When speaking to contractors we learned that sustainable building was just as important as sustainable film production,” says Trent Depel, director of sales for PROTEX. “Our products are unique in that they are certified by SCS Global Services to be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Recycled, which is the gold standard for sustainability as well as being patented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” PROTEX is also a member of the Unites States Green Building Council. All PROTEX products are available in three different sizes of Tru-Lay Flat sheets, making the products easy to install, remove, reuse and generate zero waste. All PROTEX products are also LEED compliant and are eligible for up to six LEED credits.
PROTEX provides unsurpassed temporary surface protection for concrete, hardwood, tile, stone linoleum and all other types of flooring, as well as walls, doors, windows, cabinets and countertops. “We always say, ‘protect it now or fix it later,’” says Depel, “Whether it’s a new construction, remediation, restoration or remodeling projects, it’s a requirement to protect the work that has already been done.”
PROTEX has developed a strategic relationship with GaffGun, which is a revolutionary tool for laying tape in all sorts of applications. GaffGun prevents the user from having to be on their knees to lay tape as well as increases safety. This product is easy to use and significantly increases efficiency and decreases the chance of damage. “PROTEX takes great pride in the fact that all of our products are made in the USA,” says Depel. “We could have manufactured our products elsewhere at a cheaper rate, but we chose to make our ‘Made in the USA’ fact a key component of our company.”
To meet the needs of various types of projects, PROTEX manufactures four primary products: PROTEX, PROBoard, PROBoardMAX and PROEdge. PROTEX is a standard-duty temporary surface jobsite layout board specifically designed for the everyday construction and do-it-yourself types of projects. PROBoard provides superior impact and puncture resistance for the more demanding projects. PROBoardMAX is an extreme-duty, water proof temporary surface protection sheet for the harshest and most demanding jobs. PROedge is a heavy-duty 90 degree temporary corner protector that helps protect vulnerable corners from damage. PROTEX has also developed a complete line of seam tapes at the request of several contractors to complement their products.
Environmental benefits and savings
All PROTEX products are made in the United States and are manufactured to be as green as possible. All products are made with certified FSC Recycled materials, 100 percent recycled kraft paper, recycled plastic, natural fibers and use only bio-degradable or water-based adhesives. PROTEX incorporates environmental responsibility into every aspect of its product design, development and distribution. “We not only provide the most effective temporary job site products, but also help our customers further reduce their own environmental impact,” says Depel. “We believe that this balance is essential to sustain not only our own prosperity, but also that of future generations.”
Environmental benefits of using PROTEX products include – but are not limited to – 100 percent fewer trees used, 42 percent less energy used, 37 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and 46 less water used. The environmental savings of recycling 1 ton of PROTEX products includes saving 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 17 trees, 185 gallons of gas and 6,953 gallons of water.
PROTEX was recently selected to be the exclusive temporary surface protection supplier for a new $75 million luxury residential apartment complex in Chicago, near Hyde Park called Vue53. Over 216,000 square-feet of PROBoard was used to protect all of the concrete floors which required over 26.2 miles – the equivalent of a marathon – of PROTEX’s new KTape, which will remain in place for the entire construction phase.
PROTEX was also contracted by MVS Consulting, an information technology company based in Washington, D.C. to provide 16,000 square-feet of PROBoardMAX to temporarily protect the raised access floor system of a new government office while MVS installed a new computer network.
Adapting to find a solution is the core of PROTEX Products LLC. The company has invested a significant amount of time and money into the research and design of its products. The company has worked with some of the nation’s top architects, contractors and engineers to develop not only the best and most effective, but also the most environmentally-friendly temporary surface protection products available.
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