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McMAHON Partners with Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. to Design First-Ever, Zero-Carbon Wood Substitute Manufacturing Facility

SAC COUNTY, IA — McMahon Associates, Inc. (McMAHON), a full-service, professional engineering and architectural firm, is designing and overseeing the construction of a manufacturing plant for Corn Board Manufacturing Inc. (CBMI). The facility, which will be located in Sac County, Iowa, will be used to convert corn stover biomass — leaves, stalks, and husks — into an environmentally friendly wood alternative called CornBoard. The CornBoard product will be used to make pallets that weigh less but have the same, if not stronger, structural integrity as traditional wood pallets.

“This project is one of the most specialized and innovative projects we’ve ever had the privilege of working on. CBMI is offering a truly innovative product that’s nothing like anything else on the market. It’s a real game changer for the environment, jobs in rural America, and additional revenue sources for farmers in the Corn Belt,” said Paul E. Benedict, PE, SE, President at McMAHON. “The team at McMAHON, along with our talented partners, are uniquely positioned to design, build, and manage a first-of-its-kind facility such as this.”

McMAHON is managing this project and designing the facility, and partner C.D. Smith will provide construction services.

“We’re designing pallets, furniture, building materials, skis, and even snowboards from a product that requires low to no carbon waste,” said CBMI’s CEO, Lane Segerstrom. “We are able to build these manufacturing facilities right in the middle of the Corn Belt, providing thousands of jobs, securing thousands more, and creating a no-waste solution for everyday products our nation needs to keep moving forward.”

According to Circular Supply Chains Inc., one million acres of forests in the U.S. are cut down to make pallets. Many of these pallets are only used one time and then are sent to a landfill where they take up more space. This process continues each and every day.

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CBMI is flipping this model on its head by creating entirely recyclable pallets. And, through their pallet leasing program, the pallets will never end up in a landfill. When a company is done using the pallets, they are returned to the CBMI manufacturing facility where they are re-used again or broken down, recycled and re-made into another pallet.

"For more than a year we have been excited to work with CBMI on their new Sac County location," said Brandy Ripley, Executive Director of Sac County Economic and Tourism Development. "This is an outstanding opportunity for not only Sac County, but also for our region and our state."

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