An Inside Look at the First Roof Built with Plantd Structural Panels

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 min read
Dan Webb
 min read
August 16, 2023

Last month, we successfully installed Plantd Structural Panels for the first time on a residential job site in Durham, North Carolina. The entire Plantd team experienced an immense sense of excitement and positivity as we witnessed our product being employed for the first time on an actual job site.

Team Plantd in Durham posing for a photo with the first ever 4'x8'  Plantd Structural Panel

Unveiling the Panels

The Plantd Structural Panels used in this home were precisely formed and pressed manually at our original facility in Durham. But, before these panels could create the walls or roof deck of a home, a comprehensive testing process was carried out, including both third-party laboratory assessments and real-world trials. As a result, Plantd Structural Panels are certified by the Center for Building Innovation for roof decking applications.

Learn more about Plantd Structural Panels ->

The Delivery

Deep within the confines of Plantd HQ in Oxford, NC, a stack of Plantd Structural Panels awaited packaging and shipment to a residential construction location.

Plantd's R&D Technicians move Plantd Structural Panel products onto a pallet to be wrapped and packaged

Seventy Plantd Structural Panels were arranged on a pallet and securely wrapped for transportation to D.R. Horton. The panels were snugly encased in a blue-colored wrap to ensure their stability during transit. A robust wooden cage was fashioned from two-by-four pieces to ensure safe transport. Finally, using a forklift, the fully loaded pallet, tipping the scales at over 3,500 pounds, was carefully hoisted onto a waiting truck.

Plantd's technicians watch as the pallet is loaded onto the delivery truck

The team embarked on a short drive along Interstate 85 to Durham, NC, where the pallet found its destination at a D.R. Horton construction site. Here, workers disassembled the protective cage and initiated the process of unwrapping the panels. As these panels were destined for roof decking, a crane was employed to gently lift the panels stack by stack.

D.R. Horton workers unwrap the panels on the job site

The Installation

Now that the panels have arrived at the job site, the D.R. Horton crew prepared to hoist the panels by crane and load them onto the 2nd story of the newly constructed building for installation. Upstairs, inside the home, the crew received the panels via crane and installed a row of roof decking onto the trusses for the inspector to review.

A construction worker cuts through a sheet of Plantd Structural Panel

After lunch, the crew removed sheets of Plantd Structural Panels from the pile and began to cut the engineered grass boards into smaller pieces for the gable and other roof details. Panels were also cut in half to lay across the roof deck.

A group of D.R. Horton workers move Plantd Panels to the roof to be installed

The cut panels were then raised to the roof deck, where team members stationed on the rafters skillfully received the panels, fitting them onto the trusses and nailing them down. The panels install better than traditional wood-based materials, as Plantd panels have better nail withdrawal and nail pull-through performance than OSB.

What Does This Mean for Plantd?

We have taken on the challenge of developing innovative technology to create carbon-negative walls and roofs, and we have succeeded in creating a way for builders to adopt this technology with Plantd Structural Panels. As a drop-in replacement for OSB, Plantd Structural Panels allow builders to adopt carbon-negative materials into their projects without changing installation procedures or compromising on performance.

We have assembled a team of former SpaceX engineers and production experts who have established an advanced production facility for engineered building materials in rural North Carolina. Our goal is clear: to lead the way in high-performance, planet-friendly building practices and set a new standard for the industry.

A worker standing on a roof made from Plantd Structural Panels inspects a row of freshly installed nails

This home is the first of its kind and will pave the way for many more homes built with Plantd materials. D.R. Horton's recent order for 250,000 panels means that more than 1,000 new homes will be constructed using our carbon-negative building materials. Although these new homes may look the same as those made from tree-based materials, they are equipped with walls, floors, and roofs that sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide and prevent it from re-entering the environment.

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