CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- You know the saying, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well one Chattanooga man is living that saying. He's turning trash into housing. A local start-up business is taking old roofing shingles and turning them into building blocks for affordable and eco-friendly housing.
"Chattanooga is like every other city it has two building codes, green and the one everybody uses. What we're trying to do is combine the two so that people can afford to build green," says David White, CEO of RamRock Building Supplies.
White says he can make that possible by building homes out of urban industrial waste like roof shingles.
He says millions of pounds of shingles go to landfills every year.
He plans to charge less than landfills to take the waste and load it into his state of the art machine that pumps out building blocks.
White says, "All we need to be is cost competitive with conventional, because we think we're providing a vastly superior product. We have energy efficiency with strength and durability with this intense hydraulic compression."
Each block is tied from the foundation to the roof by steel rods and pre-drilled holes are also there for water and electric.
White has built a demonstration building in their warehouse. The next step is to earn the international building codes approval.
"Chattanooga has the most to gain from this. We start here, we grow here. Get the word out, the political leaders, business community, environmental community, education community, get those leaders of those out there saying lets do this," says White.
Shingles compressed to build houses, White says, this could be revolutionary.