Innovation Challenge Winners

144 applicants were screened by Cradle to Cradle certification experts, toxicologists from ToxServices, and building professionals from Make It Right. In September, these judges selected 10 finalists. Jury members charged with selecting winners from this competitive group of finalists include executives from Make It Right, US Green Building Council, Google, First Community Housing, The Honest Company, Schmidt Family Foundation, Delta Development Group in the Netherlands, and GIGA in China. A full listing of the judges is available here. The judges chose four winners, who shared a $250,000 cash prize.

The four winners represent alternatives to a range of traditional building products: bricks, insulation, paints, and construction panels. Find out more about their innovations below.


First Place

bioMASON biobrick

bioMASON Website

Traditional brick manufacturing utilizes a fuel firing process and is responsible for approximately 800m tons of CO2 emissions every year. bioMASON’s protected technology instead employs bacteria to produce a natural cement within a mix of aggregate. Inputs are globally abundant and may be extracted from waste streams. The cementation process is achieved in ambient temperatures. A hardened brick requires less than 5 days to form, and is comparable in cost and performance to traditional masonry. Find out more.

Second Place

Ecovative Mushroom® Insulation

Ecovative Website

Mushroom® Insulation is a renewable, high-performance, and cost-effective replacement for plastic foams. Ecovative’s process combines agricultural byproducts with fungal mycelium, a natural, self-assembling binder, to literally grow structural rigid insulation. We grew a tiny house, and we see this as a proving ground for the $21B rigid board foam insulation market. Find out more.



Third Place (Tie)

ROMA Domus Mineral Paints

Roma Website

Our Domus paints are excellent interior finish paints and primers for sheetrock, wood, plasters, and trim. They are derived from natural materials, washable (matte sheen and above), free of toxic chemicals, free of asthmagens, hypoallergenic, and permeable, prohibit bacteria that form mold, and absorb CO2 (so no Sick Building Syndrome). They are ideal for use in commercial and residential areas: offices, schools, medical facilities, and homes. Easy to apply—spray, roll, or brush. Find out more.

Third Place (Tie)

ECOR® Universal Construction Panels

ECOR Website

ECOR® Universal Construction Panels come in various shapes and sizes. Fabrication, shipping, handling, and assembly are all low-cost. Panels are lightweight, low volume, and designed for anyone to assemble, easily. ECOR® is a sustainable material technology that utilizes a ubiquitous raw material, available worldwide: waste cellulose fiber. ECOR® manufacturing includes a closed loop water system with 99.5% reutilization. Find out more.