Paul Wood, Green Builder and Co-Owner of ShelterWorks – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Paul Wood, Green Builder and Co-Owner of ShelterWorks

Name: Paul Wood

Occupation: Co-owner, ShelterWorks Ltd., maker of Faswall blocks and Durable GreenBed raised garden bed kits

Hobbies: gardening, volunteering, spending time with my children and grandchildren

Values: environmental conservation, hard work, Quaker faith

Location: Maine

Paul has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry. He spent over a decade with Habitat Humanity International, building homes across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

For the past 10 years, Paul has been the co-owner of ShelterWorks, maker of Faswall blocks. He started the Oregon-based company with Tom Van Denend, a long-time friend who shares similar values around protecting the earth and helping people fulfill their dreams of homeownership.

Faswall is an insulated concrete form (ICF) that can be used to build extremely green homes. The blocks create structures with a very high level of thermal mass, which means they require minimal heating and cooling. The blocks themselves are eco-friendly — they’re made with untreated pallet wood and Portland cement. Eighty-five percent of the material in each block is recycled. Since Faswall is made from purely organic materials, it will not off-gas toxic chemicals into buildings. That makes it ideal for people looking to create homes with good indoor air quality.


Faswall is very easy to use, which means it’s perfect for do-it-yourself home builders. After some instruction, DIY builders will find that the 1-foot by 2-foot blocks stack quickly and easily. There’s no need to learn framing, hanging sheetrock, or other carpentry skills. Homes are extremely durable. The mineralized wood resists termites and other pests, and the buildings are so solid they can last for over 100 years. Each house can be finished any way the owner desires, providing them with a beautiful buildings they’ll love for decades to come.

Faswall is also appropriate for office buildings, outbuildings, and many other structures. The company has a number of free resources for people interested in learning more about the product. Every Faswall order comes with on-site instruction and support from a regional manager with experience using the blocks.

Durable GreenBed: The Only Raised Garden Bed You’ll Need

The mineralized wood product used to manufacture Faswall is also used to create Durable GreenBed, which are raised bed garden kits for home gardeners. The beds are sturdy and will never rot – for that reason, they last four times as long as traditional wood beds. The product contains a high percentage of recycled materials, all of which are nontoxic, meaning they will never release harmful chemicals into the garden. GreenBeds are also affordable, attractive, and come in easy-to-assemble kits that even the novice DIYer can put together themselves.