Renewed Materials Inc.
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Renewed Materials Inc. (RMI) was founded in 2005 by international award-winning designer Demir Hamami, with the sole objective of creating environmentally beneficial materials of high design and function.
Eleven years later, the company and its vision are alive and well through ALKEMI, a line of sustainable surfacing material produced by RMI. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, RMI makes recycled composites used for countertops, tabletops, furniture, walls and backsplashes for a range of commercial and residential interior applications.
Hamami has a multidesign background, which includes work in architecture, materials, products and furniture. Hamami has built RMI with green building as its focus, not as an afterthought, unlike many companies that have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon only when it seemed profitable.
During the past decade, RMI has become known for developing innovative recycled products that are both beautiful and practical, challenging the notion that green products are not always aesthetically pleasing or durable.
The first product that RMI released was ALKEMI-polyester, an award-winning material made of post-industrial scrap waste.
Made in part from fine-flake aluminum milling scrap, “ALKEMI-polyester was an instant hit because of its aesthetic appeal,” says Hamami. RMI is currently working on increasing the sustainable value of ALKEMI-polyester through incorporating bio-resins along with additional post-industrial waste materials. “The polyester product is currently 35-percent recycled material,” says Hamami. “We are confident that we can increase its recycled content up to 50 percent, while increasing its green value further by converting to bio resins.”
During recent years, RMI’s commitment to improving its products has led to the development of ALKEMI-acrylic and ALKEMI-copper lines of composites, which are SCS certified for containing 88 percent to 97 percent recycled content, the highest percentages of recycled materials in the world and earning credits 4.1 and 4.2 under LEED certification. ALKEMI-acrylic and ALKEMI-copper lines have also been awarded the SCS certification for air quality, appropriate for additional LEED credits.
In 2016, RMI has introduced ALKEMI-table collection in four distinct design options: Vogue, Elan, Deco and Nuevo. Tables are available with or without recyclable steel bases, designed by RMI and made in the USA. “We are very excited about the recent high-profile installations of ALKEMI-tables at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Whole Foods,” says Hamami.
A greener purpose
The measure of the company’s business success has not been driven by profit alone, but also by its founder’s passion for sustainability in the construction industry. “I used to design high-end furniture and products made from raw materials,” shares Hamami. “The experience was not nearly as satisfying to me, personally, as knowing that we are truly making a positive difference in the health of our environment by preventing waste materials from being dumped in to landfills.
With no sign of slowing down, RMI is poised to continue growing and innovating. As the business continually improves on designs and introduces new product lines, the company remains committed to a simple philosophy of balancing aesthetic qualities with environmental responsibility. “I encourage other business owners and entrepreneurs to pursue recycled materials with design potential,” says Hamami. “”There are endless opportunities for innovative individuals to create products of beauty from the waste stream.”
While RMI has always pursued the commercial market, its products possess limitless potential in application. As the company grows, RMI will look to take its products to the consumer market with furniture, accessories, kitchen counters and more. “Due to our limited production volume, we will continue to focus on the commercial market for the time being,” says Hamami.
Hamami looks forward to displaying and educating people on his products at trade shows and conventions every year. At Greenbuild, the sustainability aspect of his products builds interest from commercial clients from all over the world. “I get to communicate directly with customers at the trade shows,” he shares. “We receive a lot of valuable feedback on how our products are used and what the market is looking for.”
Through creating attractive and sustainable recycled surface products, Renewed Materials Inc. stands among the best of green building innovators.
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