Kafka Granite Recycled Smoked Glass

Kafka Granite Paves Way for Sustainability

Investing in sustainability and eco-friendly ventures is costly. Despite the obvious and necessary environmental benefits, the sheer price tag of going green prevents many businesses from making this ecological leap. Kafka Granite, a family owned small business, has found an impressive number of ways to bear its eco-conscious muscle and help the environment despite its size.

In addition to offering decomposed granite aggregate solutions, which are an inherently environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt or concrete, Kafka Granite offers a broad portfolio of other green solutions, such as white roofs and permeable paver grit. Thinking outside of the granite box, Kafka has even teamed up with several other businesses in efforts to recycle waste product such as porcelain, glass, mirror, firebrick and slag.

Decomposed granite is a natural product and is the result of granitic rocks being weathered and eroded. Although organic stabilizing binders can be added and the aggregate is compacted, the permeability of decomposed granite aggregate perseveres. Beyond natural decomposed granite, many other eco-friendly hardscape solutions are becoming popular. In addition to supplying manufacturers with aggregate to create permeable pavers, Kafka Granite also specially produces permeable paver grit, the joint filler between the pavers.

Sunset Pink Permeable Paver Grit- Buckingham Fountain - Chicago, IL

Sunset Pink Permeable Paver Grit- Buckingham Fountain – Chicago, IL

An added benefit of Kafka Granite’s permeable paver grit is its ability to complement the pavers’ color or design. It can be practically camouflaged or can lend itself to the aesthetics of the area while providing the appropriately sized joint filler. Using the correct size, and hardness, of aggregate between pavers ensures that joints between pavers won’t become clogged and the permeability of the joints will remain optimal during its lifespan.

The incredible permeability of Kafka’s aggregate prevents water runoff or unwanted flooding — instead, the water permeates the aggregate and is reabsorbed by the soil and water table below. Ancillary benefits of Kafka aggregate include its lifespan — requiring fewer replacements than alternatives.

Some of Kafka’s aggregates are manufactured for other environmental causes such as white roofs. Also known as cool roofs, Kafka produces recycled porcelain and white quartz which can be applied to pre-existing rooftops using a two-part epoxy overlay. Naturally round Birchwood granite is also available for traditional rooftop ballast applications. White roofs diminish the heat island effect — the occurrence of higher temperatures in urban areas versus rural ones — exhibited by dark roofs. By reflecting the majority of the sun’s rays, the ambient temperature surrounding a white roof is dramatically lower. The cooling costs of a structure with a white roof are also reduced, saving costs for homeowners, business owners, and the atmosphere.

Kafka Granite Recycled Copper Slag

Kafka Granite Recycled Copper Slag

As a Wisconsin-based company, Kafka looked to native-Wisconsin businesses Wausau Tile and Kohler Corporation to join in a recycling initiative. Kohler Corporation’s rejected porcelain toilets and sinks, as well as the corporation’s other landfilled materials like slag and firebrick, get crushed to size and used in place of natural stone. Recently adopted was the recycling of glass screens from outdated televisions and computers, as well as two-sided mirrors. Recycled materials can be used as aggregates in precast concrete, terrazzo flooring and countertops, epoxy overlay surfacing, pathway materials and more. The smoky recycled glass serves as an impressive alternative to expensive natural quartz, while the two-sided mirror creates a unique, high-end finish to flooring and countertop products.

Using recycled and sustainable materials helps architects earn points toward LEED certification. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and serves as third-party verification to determine whether new construction is truly green or eco-friendly. By using sustainable materials or recycled products manufactured by Kafka, designers and architects can establish themselves as leaders in green design and construction — a highly sought after quality in modern construction trends.

Kafka Granite's Dust Collection System

Kafka Granite’s Dust Collection System

Even the byproducts of Kafka’s manufacturing process are reused. Taking an eco-friendly leap forward, a state-of-the-art dust-collection system was installed at Kafka’s crushing facility. A huge asset, the system winds through the crushing facility, acting like a large vacuum and collecting dust. This innovative system not only keeps otherwise wasted dust from polluting the air, but after it has been collected, it is being reused in the creation of other products such as pathway mixes.

Kafka’s sustainable efforts aren’t only rooted in the core of the business through the sustainable and recycled product offering, but these efforts branch into big-picture efforts to increase efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint and look for solutions to aid in a greener future. Even its less-noted efforts, like using secondhand pallets for shipping, accumulate to create a more sustainable tomorrow and serve as an example for how even small businesses can aid in the green movement.

Platinum Granite High Friction Overpass Overlay - Marathon County Highway Department

In the News: America’s Infrastructure

America’s Infrastructure Could Be Improved With Kafka’s Products

Every four years, America’s infrastructure is graded by the Advisory Council comprised of American Society of Civil Engineers members*. In 2013, the United States of America barely passed, earning an overall grade of D-plus. However, more and more businesses and initiatives have sprung up to try and resolve the deteriorating condition of America’s infrastructure, and Kafka Granite is with them in seeing opportunities to aid in raising our grade.

The categories being routinely graded are public facilities, energy, water and environment, and transportation. By using a simplistic report card scale of A to F, grades are assigned based on eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. Kafka Granite offers products that could help improve the safety of dangerous overpasses, slippery bridges, failing roads and other types of surface transportation, which received an individual grade of D.

Within the ASCE’s 2013 Infrastructure Report card, it was determined that 32% of America’s major roadways are in poor to mediocre condition. As unpleasant as it is to drive on a roadway in poor or hazardous condition, it’s more unpleasant to address the surmounting costs incurred by motorists around the nation. When a road, whether it be a bridge, overpass, or an exit/entrance ramp, suffers from a loss of traction and surfaces become increasingly slippery and dangerous, the safety of motorists is compromised. 

Less-than-ideal conditions can range from roadways being poorly planned to being poorly maintained. The financial costs of U.S. motorists traveling on deficient pavement stood at a staggering $67 billion per year in 2013 while also costing many lives. In 2010, 32,885 motorists, nearly one-third of traffic fatalities, were a result of roadway deficiencies.

The importance of a healthy infrastructure affects more than just motorists. The following video summarizes the 2013 ASCE Report Card for America’s infrastructure and its value.

Kafka Granite Has High-Friction Solution to a Slippery Problem

Kafka Granite sees a way to construct safer surfaces and even improve the condition of diminishing and dangerous roadways: high-friction surfacing. High-friction, or non-skid, surfacing epoxy overlays can improve the safety of preexisting roadways as well as be used during new roadway construction to create a safe, high-traction, high-friction surface from day one. A slippery surface renders roads more dangerous, especially when these roads are heavily used. A high-friction epoxy overlay on a new or deteriorated roadway vastly increases traction between the road and vehicle, which could prove critical for accident-bound stretches of road such as bridges, overpasses and exit/entrance ramps.

Colonial Red & Platinum Granite High Friction Surfacing Overlay

Colonial Red & Platinum Granite High Friction Surfacing Overlay

Recognizing that 47% of urban interstate VMT (vehicle miles traveled) are traveled over deficient pavement, Kafka sees potential for improved safety, cost savings and a higher ASCE grade for infrastructure on the next report card. High-friction epoxy overlays dramatically increase traction year-round and help motorists stay safe whether trekking across roads coated with rain, ice, or snow.

High-friction surfacing aggregates are extremely hard and can endure rigorous environmental conditions, including harsh freezing and thawing cycles. These aggregates can be manufactured to meet Department of Transportation specifications and generally add 3/8” thickness to pre-existing roadways.

Kafka Granite’s unique and vast aggregate color selection also makes it possible to enhance a roadway’s safety even more by being able to distinguish bike paths, street shoulders or crosswalks with colors that contrast against the street itself.

It’s predicted that the financial needs to improve America’s surface transportation infrastructure won’t be met by 2020. With businesses like Kafka working to provide potentially more cost-effective solutions, roads across the nation can adopt solutions like these and become safer for motorists nationwide.

*http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org

Kafka Granite manufacturing

A Simple Guide to Kafka Granite’s Commercial Offerings

From specialty crushed stone in over sixty different colors for manufacturing, to beautiful multi-colored, naturally round granite boulders for landscaping, Kafka Granite is one of the largest and most specialized producers of architectural and landscape aggregates. Having been a leading and established supplier of granite, quartz, marble and recycled materials for over three decades, many of the top architects, landscape architects, contractors, and manufacturers turn to Kafka Granite aggregates for variety of projects, including:

  • Architectural precast aggregates for exposed precast concrete office buildings, medical complexes, skyscrapers, sports stadiums, etc.
  • Specialty crushed aggregates and manufactured sands for manufacturing decorative precast concrete pavers, or bricks, and precast concrete amenities such as trash cans, tables, planters, etc.
  • Over 60 colors of granite, quartz, marble, and recycled materials crushed, dried, and bagged for use in manufacturing epoxy resin countertops, tile, and terrazzo flooring.
  • Epoxy Overlay Aggregates for High Friction surfacing applications that provide high-friction, non-skid surfaces for bridge decks, entrance/exit ramps, curves, bike paths, and pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Bulk quantities of decorative landscape stone that includes various colors and sizes of crushed stone, round pebbles, multi-colored granite boulders, and decorative rip rap boulders.
  • Decomposed Granite pathway materials for a more natural alternative to traditional hardscape solutions such as asphalt, concrete or pavers.
  • Premiere ball yard infield mix, warning track mix, and mound clay available at a variety of price points to provide lower maintenance, better drainage, safer footings, and consistent ball hops.

With so many products available, sometimes it’s difficult to understand all of the choices, but we are here to help! The Kafka sales team is standing by to help with your next project, but this short guide might be a simple first step in answering many of your questions. Let us break it down:

Architectural Precast Aggregates

Architectural precast is one of the most durable materials used in the exterior construction of commercial buildings today.  But it is the exposed precast stone aggregate that truly gives the final product its unique aesthetic. Architectural precasters are looking for the perfect combination of aggregate with a very specific combination of stone size, color, and strength to create the perfect end product.  With a massive network of stone quarries throughout North America and the unique ability to meet any size specification, Kafka Granite has the perfect aggregate and will work with you to make your next project a success.

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Decorative Precast Concrete Aggregates for Decorative Paver and Brick Manufacturing

Concrete bricks and pavers are always a popular decorative hardscape solution. However, adding Kafka Granite’s naturally colored aggregates to your precast concrete mix has the power to make them even more unique, by adding visual interest to the face-mix. Many of the top producers of decorative precast concrete pavers, bricks, and amenities trust Kafka Granite as their aggregate supplier–especially for the specialized colors, sizes, and recycled content not found anywhere else. With the rise in popularity of permeable pavers, we also offer complimentary permeable paver grit that’s crushed to size to ensure proper drainage and durability in freeze/thaw conditions.

Epoxy Resin Aggregates for Countertop, Tile, and Terrazzo Floor Manufacturing

With the ability to crush, dry, and bag 60 different colors of granite, quartz, marble, and recycled materials, Kafka Granite has a long history of supplying crushed stone chips for manufactured countertops, tiles, terrazzo flooring, and other epoxy resin based manufacturing. Many of the top producers of Manufactured Quartz Countertops use a variety of Kafka’s aggregates and recycled materials in their production. Furthermore, Kafka has a longstanding relationship with T&M Supply, who distributes Kafka’s aggregates for stunning terrazzo flooring solutions throughout the world.

Epoxy Overlay Aggregates for High-Friction Roads and Non-Slip Pedestrian Walkways

There are many times when traditional concrete and asphalt are simply unsafe for high traffic roadways and walkways.  During certain times of the year, these surfaces can become extremely slippery and unsafe, especially on bridge decks, sharp curves, and entrance/exit ramps. High Friction Surfacing is the perfect solution, with Kafka Granite’s Epoxy Overlay aggregates offering a high level of traction in all kinds of weather, while also being durable enough to withstand harsh freeze/thaw conditions. The epoxy overlay aggregates can also be used for Streetscape applications such as crosswalks, medians, sidewalks, and bike lanes to create a non-slip surface for pedestrians while also enhancing the aesthetics of the pre-existing hardscape.

Landscaping Stones and Boulders

Kafka offers a wide variety decorative landscape stone and boulders that will provide the perfect solution for landscape designers and contractors.  Offered in a variety of colors and sizes, use Kafka’s Decorative Landscape Stone to define walkways and driveways, to enhance gardens and flower beds, or to brighten heavily shaded areas.  Kafka Granite also offers a beautiful array of naturally round, glacially deposited multi-colored boulders that range in size from 3-6-inch cobbles to massive boulders over 60-inches in diameter. Use round boulders, or consider the variety of Decorative Rip Rap boulders, for retaining walls, water features, ponds, shorelines, or simple, yet effective, accent pieces in your landscape design.

Pewter Granite Stabilized Pathway - Walgreens Corporate Headquarters - Deerfield, IL

Pewter Granite Stabilized Pathway – Walgreens Corporate Headquarters – Deerfield, IL

Pathway Materials

For pathways, bike paths, and other trail systems where a more natural look and feel is desired, consider a more organic material that is both aesthetically appealing and durable.  Sometimes traditional concrete or asphalt just won’t do. The Standard Pathway Mix is made from decomposed granite or crushed stone, screened to a specific size to ensure a maximum compacted surface that retains firmness, flexibility, and permeability.  Kafka also offers two additional levels of durability. The Stabilized Pathway Mix includes an organic binding agent for a stronger, more stable, and less erosive surface.  Meanwhile, the Wax Polymer Pathway Mix is the best pathway solution for extremely high traffic areas or steep inclines, as it’s non-permeable surface allows water to bead off the surface, eliminating mud, dust, and erosion.

Ballyard Materials

Finding the proper materials for baseball or softball diamonds can be a nightmare; most of the traditional materials are too muddy, too dusty, and too high maintenance, which all take valuable time away from both the groundskeepers and players. However, Kafka Granite specializes in low maintenance, high drainage products that minimize mud and dust, while retaining the natural playing surface that players know and love. From standard high-drainage top dressings, to high-quality, professional grade infield mixes and warning track mixes, Kafka Granite offers a variety of solutions for any price point: from the little league to the major league.

Kafka Granite Does It All!

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just ask! After all, most of Kafka Granite’s products were originally developed to meet customer requests, and we are not limited to the product lines you just read about. We are a custom-orientated company, so whether your firm is trying to match an aggregate used in a pre-existing structure, meeting a unique size specification for your manufacturing process, or just making a statement with a completely unique, custom color combination, Kafka Granite will work with your team to make it happen.

 

 

Kafka Granite Crushing Facility - Mosinee, WI

HOW IT’S MADE: An Insight into Kafka Granite’s Manufacturing Process

To commemorate 35 years of growth in the specialty aggregate industry, Kafka Granite has developed this video to give our customers a closer look at what makes our manufacturing process unique.

 

 

Jack Caldwell, Project Designer at Waldrop Engineering, was one of the first to view Our Manufacturing video after recently taking a tour of our crushing facility. He noted, “We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the process and how much growth your company has experienced…we were able to see a much bigger picture. It’s a great video and a helpful tool for us to educate our design team with!”

Whether you are an architect or an engineer, a purchaser or a manufacturer, or one of the other many friends of Kafka Granite, we hope this video proves to be a helpful tool for you and your team as well!

Our new video is available for viewing on our new and improved website. While you are there, take a look around…there is a lot of updated information, photos, and other resources!

As always, please let us know if Kafka Granite can help you with your next project. We would be happy to provide you and your team with a tour of our facilities, a lunch and learn presentation, or samples of our products. Contact our sales team for more information. 

Like our video? Contact David Schulta Videography!

 

Video produced by David Schulta & Tiffany Kafka. Video directed and edited by David Schulta Videography LLC.