TTS is ideally suited to capture the opportunity to bring industrial bio-materials products to market. Its experience in product development and process improvement and its strong network within the natural fibre industry make it a key partner; its technological assets and production capacity fill a critical resource gap for the industry; and its global reputation and understanding of opportunities emerging in the natural fibre space make it a leader in this industry.

TTS is focused on small-scale commercial production of its products to bridge the gap between basic lab-scale research and development and commercialization of products and technologies in the industrial bio-products industry. Possible models to establish commercial-scale plants for TTS products are: build, own and operate (BOO), joint ventures, licensing, or franchising.

Small-scale plants have a lower foot-print, can impact more communities, create jobs, use fewer resources at one time, can depend upon a more reliable input, have flexible technology, have lower operating costs, and are designed to be mobile. The goal is for a highly efficient, community-minded, ‘light foot print’ model for industrial bio-products manufacturing.

TTS will continue to provide a continuous R & D pipeline to the commercial operations, there by maintaining they continue to grow and diversify.

We work with like-minded collaborators who:

  • Invest in innovative solutions and expect returns;
  • Recognize increasing consumer demand for sustainable products and shifts in public policy and business for environmentally sound industrial activities;
  • Are community-builders, creating economic, environmental, and social solutions and opportunities for the people who live in their community;
  • Want to diversify economies and portfolios;
  • Understand that natural resources are finite, but can be managed and optimized appropriately;
  • See new opportunities and technologies – for energy, materials, and chemicals – in waste and in nature;
  • Have good business sense and high-standards for quality products;
  • Think big and long-term; and
  • Want to be leaders in sustainable business, design, manufacturing, and communities.

Venture Development Strategy

Biocomposite Panels


There is a strong and growing demand in North America for green furniture, cabinets and ceiling tiles, driven by the continued growth of market segments willing to pay a premium for environmentally friendly furnishings and building interiors. In addition, a large quantity of agricultural and forestry residuals are produced each year in Canada and the U.S. but are currently unutilized. The conjunction of these drivers has created an attractive business opportunity for manufacturing green panel board from natural fibre residuals in Canada.


After five years of applied R&D at a cost of $1 million, TTS developed A-FOR Panels – a unique family of green panel board products made from a blend of agricultural and forestry fibre residuals (straw, bark and sawdust) bonded with ultra low-fuming EcoBind™ phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin or a bio-based resin, depending on the target market. A-FOR Panels can be made with different fibre blends and densities for applications including cabinets, furniture, shelving, store fixtures, and acoustical ceiling tiles. Products made with A-FOR Panels will be eligible for all leading green certification programs.


The recent U.S. housing market collapse and the current recession have kept the residential housing market at historic lows across Canada and the U.S. Consequently, TTS has targeted cabinet, furniture and ceiling tile manufacturers that supply institutional and commercial markets. Government stimulus and green procurement programs, and early adoption of green building practices among many corporations, are offsetting the current downturn in global construction.

Institutional and Commercial Cabinet and Furniture Manufacturers

Strawboard is a specialty product that is widely recognized as the most environmentally friendly panel board available. It is typically made with straw and bonded with MDI resin, an expensive and potent adhesive used because of the extreme difficulty of bonding agricultural fibres together. Cabinets and furniture made with strawboard is sold primarily to institutional and commercial niche markets willing to pay a substantial premium for ultra-green applications.

Green particleboard is made with the same wood fibre materials used in conventional particleboard manufacturing, and is bonded with PF resin instead of the industry standard urea formaldehyde (UF) resin. It is supplied to medium-end markets willing to pay approximately 50% more than commodity particleboard prices, but unwilling to pay the large premiums for strawboard, which is sold at 10-13 times commodity prices.

A-FOR Panel technology is uniquely flexible: it can be made with low-cost and bio-based resin systems, and has a low cost of production due to the ability to utilize both agri-fibre and wood fibre residuals that are not currently used for any application. This flexibility allows A-FOR Panels to be sold into markets for both strawboard and green particleboard markets, as well as the ceiling tile market.

A-FOR Panels made with a bio-based resin will be more environmentally friendly than strawboard, which is made with petroleum-based MDI resin. This will appeal to manufacturers who wish to use the greenest materials available. In addition, A-FOR Panels will be offered at 10%-15% below strawboard prices if required. When sold to manufacturers currently using green particleboard, A-FOR Panels will be made with the same ultra low-fuming PF resin, but will also offer the ultra-green image of a ‘strawboard product’. A-FOR Panels will be priced at the same price point as green particleboard for these manufacturers.

Through sales to distributors and direct to targeted institutional and commercial cabinet and furniture manufacturers, TTS projects panel sales of $10.2 million in revenue by Year 5 of operation (all figures in Canadian dollars). This will constitute less than 2% of the North American particleboard market, which is projected to reach $589 million by 2015, with a 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Acoustical Ceiling Tile Manufacturers

In response to growing demand for environmentally friendly ceiling tiles for institutional and commercial buildings, ceiling tile manufacturers have begun including more recycled content in their products. The leading ceiling tile manufacturer in North America has developed a ceiling tile product made with 45% imported jute. TTS’ ceiling tiles will be made with 100% natural fibre, including approximately 40% industrial hemp, making them the most environmentally friendly product in the industry. TTS will also price its ceiling tiles approximately 15% lower than the only competing product. Through sales to 2-3 ceiling tile manufacturers, TTS projects sales of $6.6 million by Year 5, which will constitute 16% of the specialty green ceiling tile market in North America, which is projected to reach $41.5 million by 2015.

Environmental and Social Impacts

A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by the Boxfish Group found that by making use of agricultural and forest residues that are currently combusted or landfilled, the A-FOR Panel pilot plant will realize annual emission reductions of 8 kilo tonnes of GHGs, 48 tonnes of nitrous oxide, 563 tonnes of carbon monoxide, and 104 tonnes of particulate matter. The plant will also reduce the quantity of leachate from wood waste, which is highly damaging to aquatic ecosystems. The A-FOR Panel plant will also have a substantial positive economic impact on the rural area in which the plant will be located.

To inquire about this investment opportunity in a commercial plant for your community or company, please contact us.

Bio-fibre cement composites


There is a strong and growing demand for environmentally friendly building materials driven by government and corporate green procurement programs. Natural fibre reinforced cement blocks are an environmentally friendly building product that provide a number of performance advantages over conventional cement blocks: significant reduction in noise transmission, increased thermal insulation, increased durability, and up to 50% lighter weight. These properties are particularly important for schools, sports arenas, and libraries, which all require noise control.

Natural Fibre Reinforced Cement

TTS developed its fibre cement (FC) technology over eight years at a cost of approximately $250,000. Prototype FC blocks have been manufactured on TTS’ pilot production line, and have been used in the Composites Innovation Centre headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and in the Biocomposite Group’s engineered fibre mat plant in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Upgrades to ensure product consistency and enable certification are required.

The FC can be made with a range of natural fibres including wood waste, industrial hemp, and flax. The fibre is then mixed with cement, water and additives, and blended according to proprietary ‘recipes’ for a suite of applications including fibre cement blocks, highway sound barriers, and exterior cladding. The primary market opportunity is for FC blocks for use in institutional construction markets.

TTS’ FC blocks have a number of performance advantages over conventional concrete blocks:

  • Reduced noise transmission due to the dampening effects of natural fibres as opposed to sound deflection with conventional concrete blocks.
  • Improved thermal insulation resulting from the use of natural fibres as opposed to using conventional aggregates.
  • Reduced cracking and toughness resulting from natural fibre re-enforcement. Conventional processes use fibreglass or synthetic fibres for such purposes.
  • Up to 50% lighter weight from the use of low density natural fibres, resulting in increased productivity during construction and reduced transportation costs and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollution emissions.
  • Environmental friendliness due to the use of renewable natural fibre aggregates. Qualifies for LEED points for the use of rapidly renewable natural fibre materials.

Institutional and Commercial Construction Market in Alberta

The current market application for fibre cement products is siding, which has experienced rapid growth from 1% of the North American siding market in 1994 to 14% in 2002. FC blocks are currently only used in niche applications because the technical knowledge and expertise required to manufacture high quality blocks with natural fibre is only now being developed by a small number of firms. Further development will position FC blocks as a cutting edge building material with the potential to be the next growth fibre cement application. Particular areas of growth will be in structures where noise control and thermal insulation are important requirements. In addition, many municipalities and provincial government departments are enacting green procurement policies, mandating the utilization of environmentally friendly products whenever possible.

The primary target market segments identified in the Alberta institutional construction market all have acoustical requirements: schools, arenas, libraries and performance centres. These segments make up an Alberta ‘acoustical’ institutional construction market of $881 million market in 2011 (all figures in Canadian dollars). Approximately $169 million of concrete blocks are used in these projects. The ‘acoustical’ institutional construction market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2%, with the concrete block market for these projects projected to reach $218 million by 2016.
The secondary target segment is hospitals and health centres, to be targeted in the fourth and fifth years of commercial operation. This market was over $680 million in 2011, with the concrete blocks used in these projects making up a market of approximately $187 million and projected to reach $241 million by 2015.

Environmental and Social Impacts

The replacement of non-renewable aggregates in regular cement mix with natural fibres provides for a sensible carbon sink thereby reducing substantial tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. The plant will also have a substantial positive impact on the town where it is located, and will also have significant impact on the surrounding agricultural community by creating a new market for flax and hemp that is currently unutilized or underutilized. The potential inclusion of other fibres such as cereal straw, forest residue and municipal fibre waste further enhances the environmental sustainability of the operation.

To inquire about this investment opportunity in a commercial plant for your community or company, please contact us.

Structural Insulated Panel


The opportunity to develop and commercialize Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) is timely. SIPs are high-performance building panels used in walls, floors, roofs, and exterior ceilings for residential and light commercial buildings. With energy prices at historic highs and increasing concern over energy conservation, homes made with SIPs are highly energy-efficient, renewable, safe, and cost-effective.


Incorporated in 1998, TTS is a leading biocomposite technology company that focuses on applied research and development of natural fibre based products including engineered fibre mats (EFM), A-FOR biocomposite panels, and fibre cement (FC). TTS has an international reputation for technical and innovative excellence in the forest products industry. TTS operates a world-class natural fibre laboratory that is fully equipped for the pilot fabrication and testing of biocomposites.


TTS’ R-Therm™ SIPs are produced by fusing a rigid polyurethane foam insulation core between two outer structural skins of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) to create an extremely strong construction panel. SIPs can be used to construct walls, ceilings or small pre-fabricated buildings.

R-Therm™ SIPs are prefabricated at TTS’ plant in Edmonton, Alberta, either for predesigned plans or a customized layout. Once the foundation is in place, SIPs are shipped and assembled on-site. Building with SIPs saves end-users time, money and labour, with savings of up to 70%. And by manufacturing in our own plant we significantly reduce the amount of work site waste, which contributes to LEED credits.


Existing and potential markets for SIPs include prefabricated buildings designed for use in northern climates, heavy timbered and high-end residential homes, environmentally friendly or green building applications, and modular and mobile home applications (including sheds and other small buildings).

Despite the slow recovery of the U.S. housing market, the SIP industry experienced only a modest decline in 2011, according to a survey conducted by the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA). The 2005 North American SIP market was approximately $329.8 million, serviced by the production of an estimated 64.6 million square feet of panel. SIP production and sales have been increasing at approximately 15% annually. In Alberta, where new home construction starts have been much higher than elsewhere in North America, potential markets for SIPs have been identified as 594,000 sq ft annually in Edmonton and Calgary for a small proportion (0.5%) of the new home construction market, and 556,875 sq ft annually for Alberta aboriginal communities and Indian Reserves, representing 10% of the homes being built provincially in these areas.

Environmental and Social Benefits

Building with SIPs saves end-users time, money and labour, and significantly reduces the impact of homes and commercial buildings on the environment.

The benefits of R-Therm™ SIPs include:

  • Lower energy costs
  • SIP homes may qualify for LEED credits of up to 46 points, and SIP homes in Alberta may qualify for up to $10,000 in new home rebates.
  • Faster installation – a building envelope can be completed in days rather than weeks
  • Health benefits – R-Therm™ SIPs allow a high degree of control over indoor air quality, allowing occupants to filter out contaminants and allergens and dehumidify incoming air, reducing mould growth.
  • Manufactured in a highly controlled factory environment with rigorous quality control measures, resulting in a final product of exceptionally high quality and consistency
  • Such exceptional performance that SIP houses frequently show little or no damage after major earthquakes or hurricanes.
  • TTS can customize R-Therm™ SIPs to meet clients’ needs and specifications, including interior drywall panels and pre-made exterior finishes.
    SIPs also have significant environmental benefits:
  • SIPs are highly energy-efficient compared to conventional framed homes, reducing the energy requirements by 290 barrels of oil over the lifecycle of a typical 1,100 sq. ft. home. This results in reduced GHGs and other toxic emissions that cause global warming, acid rain and ozone depletion.
  • Less forest acreage is required to build a SIP home than a conventional wood framed house, reducing deforestation and contributing to carbon sinks
  • SIPs significantly reduce the waste generated during construction, and TTS employs a state-of-the-art material recycling system so that virtually no waste is produced during SIP production.
  • SIPs are lighter than conventional wood framing materials, requiring less fuel to transport.

To inquire about this investment opportunity in a commercial plant for your community or company, please contact us.