Cellulose Cement Composite (C3) for Residential Construction

Default ARPA-E Project Image

Corvallis, Oregon
Project Term:
01/05/2023 - 01/04/2026

Critical Need:

HESTIA addresses the need for implementing carbon removal strategies by converting buildings into carbon storage structures. HESTIA is also important for nullifying embodied emissions. The majority of these emissions are concentrated at the start of a building’s lifetime and locked in before the building is ever used. This upfront emissions spike equals 10 years of operational emissions in a building constructed to meet standard code, but increases to 35 years for more advanced, higher operating efficiency buildings, and more than 50 years for high-efficiency buildings operating on a lower carbon intensity grid. These time horizons go beyond 2050 climate targets, which means embodied emission reduction strategies are a high priority.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Oregon State University will develop C3, a cellulose cement composite, for use in residential and light commercial construction as an alternative to dimensional lumber and sheet products. C3 consists of cellulose excelsior (wood wool), cellulose nano material (CNM), and low carbon cement binders. The team will create C3 from small-diameter logs and branches that are unsuitable for lumber production. Removing small diameter wood from the forest as a potential fuel source can help lessen wildfires. C3 will serve as a sink of CO2 from the atmosphere; resist rot, fungal growth, and fire; and possess high insulating effectiveness. C3 materials can be deployed quickly due to compatibility with current construction processes and lend themselves to large-scale commercial adoption.

Potential Impact:

HESTIA projects will facilitate the use of carbon storing materials in building construction to achieve net carbon negativity by optimizing material chemistries and matrices, manufacturing, and whole-building designs in a cost-effective manner.


HESTIA technologies will reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment.


Building materials and designs developed under HESTIA will draw down and store CO2 from the atmosphere.


A variety of promising carbon storing materials are being explored and commercialized for building construction. Currently these materials are generally scarcer, cost more per unit, and/or face performance challenges (e.g., flame resistance for biogenic carbon-containing materials). HESTIA seeks technologies that overcome these barriers while nullifying associated emissions and increasing the total amount of carbon stored in the finished product.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Marina Sofos
Project Contact:
Prof. William Jason Weiss
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


WoodSyn, LLC
University of Maine
Purdue University

Related Projects

Release Date: