When the economy tanks, the stronger startups often take the opportunity to get stronger, while the weak get weaker. That’s the case for green construction startup Serious Materials. The company said this morning it has acquired the assets of Kensington Windows, which stopped producing vinyl windows in October after its parent Jancor Cos. filed for bankruptcy.
Serious Materials says that it will start up the closed plant, which had about 150 jobs and produced 13,000 windows per month, within the next 30 days. The company also says beyond this acquisition it will ramp up production “10 fold” of its windows and glass products in just the first quarter of this year. Serious Materials is reportedly also looking at a Republic Windows and Doors factory in the Chicago area that recently shut down, leaving 300 workers out of jobs.
That’s a quick scale-up. Serious Materials only officially announced the availability of its energy-efficient windows in October 2008. The company says the windows can save significant energy in buildings and reduce heating and cooling costs by 40 percent, saving a homeowner more than $100,000 over the life of the windows for a standard home. The windows are made using insulated glass units with a high R-value, a solid seal between the glass and the frame, and an insulated frame. The company also claims that if existing windows in U.S. buildings were replaced with its ThermaProof windows, U.S. carbon emissions could be reduced by 5 percent.
This isn’t Serious Materials’ first aqcuisition. The 7-year-old company got into the efficient windows business by buying up glass company Alpen Windows. Serious Materials also sells environmentally preferable drywall, and it raised $50 million from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Foundation Capital and Rustic Canyon Partners to get its drywall factories up and running.