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A Climate Deal: Serious Materials

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Cross Posted on Hub Culture

Kevin Surace, the CEO of Serious Materials, is an engineer. When we sat down to interview him for Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum, he insisted on adjusting the volume on the microphone himself -- and (much to our cameraman's surprise) he quickly manipulated the hidden dials on the wireless recorder.

Since the mid 80's, Mr. Surace has been a leader in technology companies that design semiconductors and electronics. Now he makes drywall and windows -- seemingly mundane products. Why do these materials require high-tech engineering? He answers below.

In short, improvements in these materials offer the Holy Grail: massive profits and a cleaner environment.

As Mr. Surace explained, most windows are horrible insulators, easily losing heat to the outside. The special design of Serious Material's windows gives them up to five times the insulating value of normal windows, and in most markets, the energy savings on these windows pay for themselves in just two years -- and after that, the savings just keep piling up.

Mr. Surace was very clear that he is not marketing this as a green product. He is marketing a product to save people money. Nonetheless, his company's products have already avoided 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (and saved consumers over $200 million in energy costs).

Mr. Surace will be back in the Hub Culture Pavilion in Davos on Wednesday to help facilitate Climate Deal Day. Indeed, as his company has shown, there are some fantastic deals to be made in the building industry.

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