NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Holcim Building Envelope, a business segment of the Swiss multinational Holcim Group, continues to “Elevate” the former Firestone Building Products’ roofing business.
The multi-billion dollar firm with North American headquarters in Northville, Mich., has invested millions in capacity expansions in several locations and sought to improve production processes in others, all over the past several years.
It has opened new manufacturing locations, improved its supply chain management and invested in vertical integration.
And the roofing and construction products firm remains in an acquisition stance, with at least four major purchases in the last 36 months.
“For over four decades, our brands and products have been recognized across the industry,” said Kristin Beck, president of the Americas Commercial Roofing Systems and Lining business unit at Holcim Building Envelope. “Today, we continue that tradition as Elevate with our focus on products, people and the planet, providing the highest quality solutions to solve shared challenges and evolve how we build for tomorrow.”
Beck called the growth over the last two years “an exciting period.”
Holcim Group is among the largest rubber products makers in the world, ranking as No. 12 on Rubber News’ most recent list of global non-tire rubber products makers.
It made a big splash when it entered the market with its April 2021, $3.4 billion purchase of Firestone Building Products Co. roofing business from Bridgestone Americas, then rebranded the roofing, wall and lining systems firm to Elevate a year later.
Holcim Building Envelope, itself a division of the $3.52 billion Holcim Solutions and Products, remains bullish on the construction markets and green infrastructure, especially as that infrastructure relates to green cities.
Since the Firestone acquisition, Elevate has responded to that demand, investing in operational improvements, increased manufacturing capacity and new locations.
Holcim expanded production of metal roofing products in Corsicana, Texas, and in Jacksonville, Fla.
The company said it will look to expand its asphalt production to the West Coast in the coming years, and a new facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, will open its doors later this year with an Isogard-brand (metal production) capacity expansion.
At some point, the company is planning a West Coast distribution center as well, according to Holcim.
Within Holcim Building Envelope, Elevate is making “substantial capital investments” and prioritizing vertical integration, as well.
Elevates’ product portfolio is set to increase at manufacturing facilities in Prescott, Ark.—an EPDM plant—and in Muscle Shoals, Ala., a thermoplastic olefin facility.
The company will invest about $25 million in Prescott—by employment, the largest of the Holcim Building Envelope facilities—in infrastructure and equipment upgrades.
“The enhancements aim to improve safety, quality and production capacity by automating processes and removing ergonomic challenges, without cutting jobs or raising costs,” the company said Aug. 30.
Holcim put about $12 million into the TPO plant in Muscle Shoals for process improvements, converting to a single-step process with in-line coating for its roofing products.
Holcim is not ignoring the need to improve supply lines, either, as it adopts multiple sources for its raw materials.
Diversification in this manner keeps costs low for customers, Holcim said.
“Holcim Building Envelope and the Elevate brand are not just in the business of manufacturing roofing products; we’re in the business of building trust, partnerships and a better future,” Beck said. “Our continued investment in the building envelope space shows our deep commitment to the industry, bringing the highest quality and most comprehensive line of roofing materials to the market.
“Our vision is to make a difference in the world, with sustainability at the core of everything we do.”
Holcim Group’s vision for growth continues to take shape, via organic investments and especially with bolt-on acquisitions.
Holcim on Aug. 2 acquired the Mannheim, Germany-based Cooper Standard Technical Rubber GmbH business from Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc., bringing into the fold more rubber product manufacturing and expertise related to sheeting, compounding and flooring.
The business now is under Holcim Building Envelope.
For Holcim, this acquisition helped establish a strong global presence in construction-adjacent end markets.
The CSTR unit in Germany employs about 130 and its R&D and manufacturing experience should help Holcim expand business, particularly in Europe, Cooper-Standard said.
In October 2022, Holcim purchased Texas-based Polymers Sealants North America, a former division of Illinois Tool Works.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition brought approximately 150 workers into the fold for Holcim Building Envelope, which now totals more than 2,000 employees—about 95 percent who came from Firestone Building Products.
Polymers Sealants North America has five facilities operating in Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Arizona and California, with its headquarters in Irving, Texas.
The combined square footage is more than 275,000 square feet.
PSNA’s primary capabilities are development and formulation, extrusion, and compound mixing.
Overall, the Holcim Group said it is capitalizing on rising demand for green roofing and sustainable construction products within its Solutions and Products unit.
The newest segment of the $26.7 billion Holcim Group is on pace to comprise about 30 percent of group sales by 2025.
Jamie Gentoso, president of Holcim Building Envelope and global head of Holcim Solutions and Products, told Rubber News last year that the segment is eyeing $4 billion in roofing product sales by 2025.
Holcim Building Envelope already boasts the Elevate brand (RubberGard EPDM and UltraPly TPO), the former Firestone Building Products, which includes roofing, wall and lining systems; the Gaco brand, which includes silicones, foams, urethanes and acrylic roofing solutions; the GenFlex brand, which includes components necessary to support sustainable roofing solutions; the Malarkey brand, which includes sustainable, high-performance roofing shingles for commercial and residential applications; and now PSNA.