I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of IceStone’s factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yards, less than a week after seeing the final product installed in a net-zero residential building in Brighton Beach. IceStone has been used for countertops and tabletops, back splashes and even flooring.
IceStone is a terrazzo-like material that’s made from recycled glass, portland cement and a proprietary binder. Much of the glass comes from pre-consumer manufacturing waste, but a few products do contain post-consumer recycled glass. Additional colors are created using non-toxic pigments.
These ingredients are mixed in batches, poured into molds and dried in special climate-controlled racks. “It’s a lot like baking,” said Sarah Corey, IceStone's Director of Marketing, who led the tour.IceStone has a number of sustainability certifications, including a Cradle to Cradle sliver certification and a NSF certification that ensures the product is safe for food-preparation. The product can contribute to LEED points and IceStone is a certified B Corporation.
Not only are IceStone’s products green, but the factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yards also incorporates many sustainable practices. The space takes advantage of natural light thanks to skylights, and other energy is offset with renewable energy credits. They have a water recycling system, which also filters out any slurry before it goes into the municipal waste stream. Finally, the factory has a goal of being completely zero-waste, and currently recycles over 95 percent of their trash.
IceStone maintains a palette of about 16 different color combinations, and will also work with clients to create custom colors—usually for commercial projects. The newest color, which will officially launch soon, is called “Gotham grey” and shimmers with recycled mirror.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the factory is that it sits right in the heart of one of the largest building markets in the country. Of course, the products are shipped around the world, but for New York designers and builders looking to support locally and sustainably manufactured product, IceStone checks all the right boxes.