Imagine changing the color of your living room walls with a finger swipe of your smartphone. Or being admitted to a hospital built with walls that are uninhabitable to microbes, bacteria, and viruses – viruses like COVID-19. Or consider the peace of mind that would come from living in a space equipped with walls that can help prevent a fire.
Outlandish you say?
It’s precisely that kind of frontier that Trusscore – a building materials company imbued with science – has its sights set on.
And it’s the very reason why Trusscore has adopted the tagline of “Material Science.”
Science is at the heart of the Trusscore story.
Building Materials Technology
The notion is perhaps incongruous. The building materials space to which Trusscore belongs is hardly one with a reputation for innovation or boundary challenging technology. Building and construction methods and materials have traditionally changed very slowly. Painted drywall, for instance, was invented in 1916 and yet didn’t gain widespread use until the 1940s. Once it was adopted, its ubiquity and design went virtually unchallenged for some 80 years – to the present day.
And that very fact is a large part of the market opportunity Trusscore sees – to be a technological leader in the building materials space. To see opportunity where others don’t. To make and deliver modern, functional, improved products that no one would think of living without.
“We're coming from an industry that is maybe low tech, low science, and working to move it past the status quo. We're pursuing very technically bold products”
Ryan Gerakopulos, Director of Research & Development at Trusscore.
Trusscore currently makes PVC-based wall panels that incorporate technology that is already changing the way people build. Its products, suitable for residential, commercial, and agriculture applications, are impervious to water, strong and yet light in weight, easier to install than drywall, recyclable, and functional in ways that drywall can never be.
“And this is just the beginning,” says Gerakopulos.
Passion for Innovation
An interest and awareness of the power of technology and innovation were precisely what led Trusscore CEO Dave Caputo, a serial entrepreneur in the technology startup space, and one who has led two scaleups to exits of more than half a billion dollars each, to join the company and embark, along with its co-founders, Chief Manufacturing Officer Steve Bosman and Executive Vice-President of Corporate Development and Distribution Joel Koops, on a rebranding and a reinvestment with technology as the focus.
“I think there's an under-appreciation for the revolution that's happening in advanced materials and material science right now with respect to their application for new sustainable building materials,”
Dave Caputo, CEO at Trusscore.
Caputo has had a lifelong dislike for painted drywall and its limitations. He knew that Trusscore, whose products already had a firmly established beachhead in the agricultural market, could gain far wider and more popular use, particularly once advanced materials technology was brought to bear.
He immediately established a research and lab facility for Trusscore in the world-famous Communitech innovation hub in Kitchener, Ontario. Communitech is a public-private partnership at the core of Waterloo Region’s emergence as one of the world’s hottest centers for technology development.
The next step was to partner with the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Nanotechnology, a global leader in developing smart, functional materials and a key player in the Waterloo Region tech ecosystem, in order to drive innovation in Trusscore products and ensure company materials are on the cutting edge of material science.
The Research & Development Team
Cutting-edge is precisely the place that Gerakopulos and his R&D team like to work. The growing team has deep roots in advanced nanotechnology, chemistry, and innovation culture; multiple PhDs in material science; others have Masters-level degrees in mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Among their achievements:
Gerakopulos, who has an MSc. in mechanical and mechatronics engineering from the University of Waterloo, has co-authored 13 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is the founder of NanoQuan, a materials science and nanotechnology startup. The co-inventor of eight pending patents, he was the recipient of the 2019 Innovation Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for innovations in nanotechnology related to new techniques for fabricating nanocomposites.
The Nam Long Doan, with a PhD. in chemical engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is the co-inventor of three pending patents.
Jeff Mirza, with a PhD. in chemistry from the University of Guelph, has co-authored nine peer-reviewed scientific publications and has developed material formulations for fraud prevention and as a graduate student developed an environmentally friendly process for gold extraction.
Director of Research & Development
The Nam Long Doan
Experimental Formulations Lead Engineer
Lead Formulation Scientist
“We’re introducing things into the building and construction space that is radically new,” says Gerakopulos. “To do so, we have to be very methodical. Scientifically we have to be deliberate. It’s all about credibility and trustworthiness – we know how to chart our path forward. We know there are successful, important, outcomes out there.”
Or, to put it another way, success for Trusscore is tied to material science. And where does it all lead?
Swipe left and change the color of your walls. Swipe right and change your mind about the future of the building materials industry.