Green Building Materials Sector Expands In Wichita reported that a Florida import company will establish a Midwest headquarters in Wichita early next year to distribute European-made green building materials.

The Cladding Corp., based in Homestead, Fla., will open a satellite office in Wichita managed by Brian Bauer, the company's vice president for marketing.

The office location and opening date have not been determined.

The 10-year-old company sells European cladding materials, including rainscreen and sunscreen. Cladding is protective material placed over another to form a weatherproof layer.

Cladding Corp. isn't the first green building materials distributor with a Wichita office. Ron Ryan's Agriboard Industries, 8301 E. 21st St., produces straw-insulated wallboard.

Wichita will be a centralized location for Cladding's markets in the central third of the United States, Bauer said.

Plus, the Wichita move is a reunion of sorts for Bauer. It reunites him with longtime friends Jon Rolph, director of brand management at Sasnak Management, and Sasnak controller Micah Derr.

The three worked together five years ago as interns in the U.S. Congress.

Bauer said green building products, including the terra-cotta, ceramic stone, high-pressure laminate and glass fiber concrete products his company markets, are growing in popularity across the Midwest.

"They definitely are," said Jeff Crippen, Agriboard president. "I think that the focus has shifted already in a lot of construction projects around here. You're seeing better windows, tighter construction. The government offers tax credits, and that's got people's attention."

That's why the time is right for Wichita to become a corporate player in the green building industry, Rolph said.

"I think it's going to be great for him, watching the business grow and develop in Wichita," Rolph said.

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600450 Green Building Materials Sector Expands In Wichita
Date: 20 November 2006

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