Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future

At Boston Valley Terra Cotta, we are continuously enhancing our fabrication processes with sustainability in mind to further innovation in architectural ceramics. To this end, our entire design and fabrication team, and our annual ACAWorkshop, strive to explore new products and alternative techniques centered around the sustainable properties of terra cotta.

To ensure that Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s overall support of sustainability and environmental preservation is embedded deeply in our company culture, our commitment is affirmed through the following objectives:

  • Continuously innovate our processes in order to maximize re-use of materials – progressing towards our goal of a closed-loop production.
  • Source raw materials domestically and locally wherever possible in order to reduce our transportation footprint.
  • Perform thorough due-diligence supplier interviews to ensure responsible sourcing throughout our supply chain.
  • Experiment with recycled and/or environmentally friendly materials in our production processes to create new industry standards.
  • Consider potential environmental impact and mitigation approaches in all business decisions prior to implementation.
  • Proactively engage with all associated Federal, State, and non-regulatory bodies with a focus on the continual improvement of our environmental performance.
  • Network with other businesses and academia in order to identify and implement environmental process improvements.

Long Lasting

A combination of geologically-derived materials – including clays and naturally occurring minerals – terra cotta is malleable when mixed with water and durable when fired in a high temperature kiln. Terra cotta clay fired to this dense state can withstand freeze/thaw conditions and performs well in a variety of harsh climates. Terra cotta is also inherently UV and mildew-resistant, and provides optimum thermal, fire and sound insulation. It is this durability that contributes to the longevity of a building envelope, helping to reduce the amount of discarded building materials in our landfills.

Lower Energy Production

The manufacturing of architectural terra cotta carries a relatively low embodied energy compared to other raw materials commonly used in construction. Terra cotta requires less energy to transport and produce when compared to concrete, metals and plastics – which entail high mining costs and refinement processing – serving to reduce the strain on the environment.

Additionally, all Boston Valley Terra Cotta products are manufactured in the USA – buying domestic products can drastically reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

To find out more, click here to watch William M. Carty, Ph.D.’s webinar, Energy in Terra Cotta: The Balance Between Heat Storage & Strength.

Energy Costs to Produce Materials

MaterialEnergy Requirement (GJ/Ton)Factor over clay
Stainless Steel100+20x
Clay & Terra Cotta
(brick, tile, etc.)

Low Emissions

The CO₂ emissions per ton of terra cotta are significantly lower than those from construction materials such as concrete, glass, and aluminum. Terra cotta is an inherently non-emitting source of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and has no binders, surface boatings, or sealants that include organic chemicals.

In 2022, Boston Valley completed a Health Product Declaration (HPD) in compliance with the HPD Standard version 2.2, which discloses hazards associated with all substances present at or above 1000 parts per million (ppm) in the finished product, along with the role and percent weight. This HPD covers all TerraClad® products in our standard through-body colors.

Download a copy of this report here.

Download more sustainability documents below:

Less Waste in Manufacturing

We affirm our commitment to the well-being of our planet through responsible manufacturing practices. Approximately 20-30% of our finished terra cotta products are recycled material.

Our plant efficiency and quality assurance processes assure streamlined manufacturing with less material waste. Discarded terra cotta can be easily recycled back into the production of new clay bodies. For example, TerraClad® is a 100% recyclable material with multiple re-use options ranging from earth fill material to reintroduction into clay recipes.

LEED Certification, Recycled, Terra Cotta, Red, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Sustainability

Easy to Clean & Maintain

Terra cotta is a resilient material that can last hundreds of years with proper care, requiring little to no maintenance. The outer layer of glazed terra cotta creates a barrier that is easy to clean and disinfect, helping to prevent mold and mildew growth. Our glazed and through-body surfaces will not change in color or finish with repeated cleaning, and exceed the chemical resistance requirements of the Standard Specification for Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing Brick, and Solid Masonry Units (ASTM-C126).

TerraClad™ installation