21 June 2021

Neolife: biosourced technology

Neolife, a specialist in biosourced, eco-responsible construction materials, is currently riding on the crest of the carbon-free buildings wave thanks to a unique patented technology that allies toughness, durability, and good looks. We meet Marie Berland, the development manager at this rising star from Lyon.

Marie Berland, development manager at Neolife

Your patented technology is called VESTA®, an acronym of Vegetal, Ecological, Stable, Timber, Advantage. What are its characteristics?

This patented technology is based first and foremost on a very high natural wood fibre  content (over 85%) from recovered woodshop scrap that is untainted—no varnish, wood treatment, solvent, etc.—and whose original timber stock comes from sustainably managed European forests. We put this biosourced material through a heat treatment process to rotproof the timber and make it water repellent. It is further strengthened by the addition of natural mineral pigments that dye the product to the core and also make the colours stable and UV resistant. The other components are neutral polymers. 

This process guarantees a sound, fully traceable, thermoformable material with no heavy metals, no solvents, no glues, and no phthalates. Its mechanical properties combine lightness with flexibility and toughness. It meets high standards of fire, shock, wind, and earthquake resistance. To top it all, the material itself is 100% recyclable. These unique VESTA® qualities earned Neolife and its partners a prize at the European Energiesprong innovation contest in the “House exterior wall insulation” category—a fitting reward!

Renovation of Jean-Charcot College in Oissel near Rouen - HQE project
Product: Cover Architectural – SAND shade
Project owner: Seine-Maritime departmental council
Architect: Ataub Architectes

Are exterior walls the main end market for your products?

So far, we have sent almost 500,000m² of our products to market, the great majority for use on the exterior walls of houses, public amenities, and industrial and commercial buildings; but many more application areas exist—privacy screens, louvres, street furniture, patios, among others—that promise good development opportunities.

As for exterior walls, we have developed several ranges, of which the most recent, “COVER Architectural”, is enhanced with new combinations and ornamentation. These offer new alternatives for architects wishing to be both stylish and eco-responsible.

What are your major development axes?

First, 2020 was a year of progression for our turnover despite the pandemic and a three-month slowdown, which in itself is encouraging. Our exports, most of them to Europe, suffered, but the restart is now in gear and we are looking for further progress in 2021.

For the future, our sights are on organic growth, as we took advantage of the lockdown to optimize our organization, extend our sales representation to our customers’ doorsteps, and launch new products.  We are developing stronger ties with property developers, housing associations, specifiers and influencers to get them familiar with our different ranges and explain their performance in the perspective of the 2020 energy regulations that come into effect on 1st January, 2022. These new regulations will be a powerful development lever, opening access to projects with high added technical value.

Next, we are pursuing our quality label and certification endeavours, a development axis in itself. We have begun the certification process for fitting our facades to light structures. Alongside that, our products are busy obtaining biosourcing labels, which will guarantee our customers high biomass content, traceability of components, and raw material origins. We also aim to obtain the Origin France Guarantee label by 2022, so we are working toward sourcing mostly from France and manufacturing essentially on our own territory.

Neolife invites all building ecosystem stakeholders to reinvent themselves for the duration. Our self-imposed leitmotiv, a permanent obligation in all our industrial, commercial, and organizational choices, is to be unfaltering in its vocation of responsible, innovative business and driving force in the ecological transition.

Find out more neolife.fr

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