A native of the Pittsburgh suburbs, Keaton will have an ownership stake and play an active role in Nexii's new facility.
Hollywood actor Michael Keaton, best known for his portrayal of Batman in two blockbuster films, has entered a partnership with Nexii Building Solutions Inc. (Nexii) to develop the company's new green construction manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh.
A native of the Pittsburgh suburbs, Keaton will, according to a PRNewswire press release, have an ownership stake and play an active role in Nexii's new facility, to be developed by Trinity Sustainable Solutions, a new entity composed of Keaton, Nexii and Craig Rippole of Trinity Commercial Development.
The Canadian-based green construction technology company's second U.S. facility also will be the first built entirely from Nexiite, Nexii's proprietary and sustainable concrete alternative. The composite creates sustainable buildings that are cost-efficient, use less energy and are resilient in the face of climate change. Nexii's products are precision manufactured off-site and rapidly assembled on-site, reducing build times and construction costs.
"Growing up, many of my neighbors worked in Pittsburgh's famous steel plants; the lore was that a businessman would take an extra white shirt to work because the one he started with would get so dirty from the mills' polluted air that he'd have to put on a fresh one to come home," said Keaton, who also first began acting in local theatre in the area. "Nexii's new plant will create more than 300 green, healthy job opportunities and help revitalize my hometown in a way that helps folks right now while paving the way for future generations."
After describing himself as an "unapologetic environmentalist," Keaton added, "I've always been interested in design and construction, but I only recently learned the game-changing impact the construction industry can have in improving the environment by adopting innovative, lower-carbon techniques. For me, the opportunity to marry job creation with an environmentally sustainable business is incredibly exciting."
Besides producing Nexii's environmentally friendly building materials, Trinity Sustainable Solutions aims to be proficient in all aspects of ground-up development, including site selection, land assembly and acquisition, permitting/approvals, civil engineering, architectural design and construction management.
As Pittsburgh continues to move further away from being known as the Steel City, to a new generation of people it is recognized as an equitable Green City that is home to disruptive technology companies and industry pioneers — a fitting place for Nexii's newest manufacturing site, PRNewswire noted.
Scheduled to open in summer 2022, the Nexii plant will benefit from the strong local ties and expertise of co-owner Rippole, whose Pittsburgh-based Trinity Commercial Development has developed more than 1.5 million sq. ft. of commercial space. The company has been successful in forming public-private partnerships to clean up brownfield sites and return them to productive use.
"This partnership with Michael Keaton, Nexii and Pittsburgh is ideal," said Rippole in a statement. "Not only will the new plant provide manufacturing jobs but the environmentally friendly panels being produced will also provide real estate owners and developers, like me, with a cost-competitive building solution that significantly reduces carbon emission. This is a true sustainability-based economic recovery initiative."
Nexii's sister Pennsylvania plant, set to open soon in Hazleton, Pa., will make Nexiite panels and other materials used to build the Pittsburgh facility. When finished, the lightweight panels will be shipped across the state to Pittsburgh and bolted together onsite. Nexii said the process reduces build times by an average of 75 percent while also slashing on-site waste, labor costs and accidents.
Each of the manufacturer's two Pennsylvania plants will have the ability to supply eco-friendly construction materials to building and retrofit projects across the East Coast and the Midwest.
Trinity Sustainable Solutions is working with Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), a 10-county economic development organization, to find sites located within federally designated Opportunity Zones and other under-invested communities where this initiative could have an impact.
"Together, the building and construction industries account for 39 percent of global emissions; the time to reinvent the way the world builds is now," Nexii CEO Stephen Sidwell said in the PRNewswire release. "We're honored to have so many passionate and knowledgeable champions in our corner as we scale Nexii rapidly to meet increased demand for cost-efficient green buildings."
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