CalStar, manufacturer of affordable, sustainable masonry products, has expanded the capacity of its Caledonia, Wis., manufacturing plant with the addition of a second shift. The expansion will help the company meet growing demand across all of its product lines.
“Increasing interest in our products combined with the improving construction economy had begun to stretch delivery lead times beyond acceptable limits,” says Michael Telischak, VP of manufacturing for CalStar. “Adding a second shift has allowed us to accommodate that growth as well as further bolster our orders.”
The expansion created 17 new jobs at the plant, adding to the 38 existing staff in Caledonia and the 10 sales and marketing team members around the country. Along with new hires, the company’s internal training programs have helped several employees advance into positions of greater responsibility.
CalStar’s growth is felt across its brick, paver, and Thru-Wall lines. Among the largest drivers are a number of large facing-brick projects, such as a high school in Oxford, Miss.; springtime demand for pavers at more than 160 Home Depot locations; and skyrocketing orders for Thru-Wall units, including for several large retailers.
In addition, CalStar has added several new products to its offerings over the past six months, including wet cast products, 12 x 12 pavers, a monarch brick, and numerous colors and blends. The company also is able to create custom molds and color blends on special order for high-volume projects. One of its newest introductions, wet cast, has recently moved from pilot operation to production scale, and has been specified, along with CalStar brick, on high-profile projects, including Courtyard by Marriott and Walgreens’ ground-breaking net-zero store in Evanston, Ill.
“We are thrilled with the growing rate of demand for our masonry products and even more pleased to be adding jobs to the Southwest Wisconsin region,” says CalStar CEO Joel Rood. “This plant expansion is further proof that architects and masons have recognized the sustainability, affordability, and aesthetic benefits of CalStar bricks, pavers, Thru-Wall units, and wet cast products.”
Like all of CalStar’s masonry offerings, the newest products are manufactured with up to 37 percent recycled content in a process that uses up to 81 percent less energy and emits up to 84 percent less CO2. Along with their sustainability properties, the products also cost up to 10 percent less than traditional options.