Pursuing a national expansion strategy, Ecolite Concrete USA launched a distributorship model to deliver its rapid-erection, prefabricated cellular concrete
Pursuing a national expansion strategy, Ecolite Concrete USA launched a distributorship model to deliver its rapid-erection, prefabricated cellular concrete wall system across the continent. Recently, the first distributor was established in the Southern Nevada/Southern California territory, and negotiations are underway with distributor candidates in several other North American regions.
Ecolite received ICC-ES approval in April. Moreover, the system is enjoying higher visibility and growing demand among developers following completion of an initial project Û a 56-building U.S. Army training complex at Fort Irwin, Calif. Û in merely six months (see The Ultimate Test, Concrete Products, Feb 2008, at http://concreteproducts.com/mag/ultimate_test_0201/index.html). In addition, the company has been tapped to supply Ecolite panels for another Dept. of Defense job, a hotel on the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and, the system has been proposed for other projects in various regions countrywide.
To meet burgeoning demand, Ecolite is forming Distribution Partnerships with construction industry professionals who can guarantee sales of a certain number of square feet of wall per year. Though the quantity of required sales varies according to the size of the exclusive territory, comprising one or more counties, the typical guarantee is about 400,000 sq. ft. annually. In exchange for the guarantee, Ecolite provides the partner exclusive distribution rights within a territory or region, as well as factory capacity Û even at the expense of building a facility to serve the distributor.
I expect that many of our distribution partners may be general contractors and design/build contractors, comments Ecolite CEO Brian Smith, but, they might also be developers, precasters or steel fabricators looking to expand their businesses, or other individuals with good construction industry connections. We are open to a range of opportunities. Our goal is to join with people who share our vision to build better buildings.
Smith believes the recent downturn in some construction sectors can stimulate demand for the Ecolite product, a factory-produced hybrid of lightweight cellular concrete and cold-formed panelized steel-stud framing that offers speed of erection, affordability, and robust concrete construction weighing a scant 15 psf. This is exactly the kind of market where a new and more affordable technology has its greatest opportunity, he observes. People still need to build, but they have less money to do it. Ecolite provides the means to lower the budget, ramp up the schedule, and not compromise one millimeter on quality. Plus, Ecolite concrete is a green building material containing up to 50 percent recycled materials, and the wall system is eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits in four categories.