Home Building

Clayton Rockwell and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Form Materials Partnership

Repurposed Waste Materials Used to Train Current and Future Firefighters

February 20, 2024

ROCKWELL, N.C., February 20, 2024 — Clayton Rockwell, a Clayton Home Building Group off-site home building facility, has partnered with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to repurpose scrap building materials for use in the school’s training programs. To date, an estimated 37 tons of scrap material has been donated to the college.

Certification-seeking students as well as current firefighters, who typically train over 200 hours per year to maintain certification, use the scrap materials to learn critical firefighting skills and techniques. For example, scrap wood placed in a specially created apparatus allows firefighters to rehearse breaking down doors to gain entry to structures on fire. Donated pallets are set aflame to practice extinguishing fires. Various scrap materials are used to build structures to simulate areas in a home that firefighters may need to access to rescue people or pets trapped inside. As many as 60 area fire departments train at the Rowan-Cabarrus facility.

The idea was sparked when Clayton Rockwell ISO® Coordinator Star Harris heard of similar partnerships taking place at other Clayton home building facilities around the country. A tour of Clayton Rockwell easily convinced Rowan-Cabarrus’ Director of Fire and Emergency Services Michael Caviness that Clayton Rockwell’s scrap material was ideal for Rowan-Cabarrus’ firefighting programs. The school also benefits from cost savings by not having to purchase as much building material for training purposes.

Caviness says, “I am very proud of our partnership with Clayton Rockwell. Sustainability is a key focus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and we are committed to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. When Ms. Harris approached me about a possible partnership, I never dreamed it would work out so perfectly to help train firefighters.”

Clayton Rockwell’s approximately 320 team members work together to execute the partnership efforts, from home builders collecting materials to forklift operators transporting them to an on-site storage facility. Faculty and staff at Rowan-Cabarrus transport the material from Clayton Rockwell to the school using a flatbed truck.

Since the program began in August 2023, Harris estimates that Clayton Rockwell has donated three tons of scrap material each week, saving them over $2,600 in disposal costs. In the future, Harris hopes to significantly scale the program.

Harris’ goal to support local partnerships and repurpose waste materials reflects Clayton’s value to Do good. Harris says, “This partnership is a unique convergence of Clayton’s values and goals. We support a community institution, repurpose waste materials, support education programs and reduce our business costs. And since firefighters must have knowledge of home construction to fight fires effectively, partnering with our home building facility is a natural fit.”

Visit the Clayton Home Building Group website to learn more about the innovative ways Clayton continues to drive change toward a more sustainable future.

About Clayton
Founded in 1956, Clayton is committed to opening doors to a better life and building happyness® through homeownership. A Berkshire Hathaway company, Clayton is a leading single-family, values-driven home builder dedicated to attainable housing, sustainable practices, and creating a world-class experience for customers and team members. The company’s portfolio includes a comprehensive range of site-built, modern manufactured, Tiny, CrossMod® and modular housing. In 2023, Clayton built more than 52,000 homes across the country. For more information, visit claytonhomes.com.
CrossMod is a registered trademark of the Manufactured Housing Institute.