Know Your Neighbor: The BrocKrete group

Company with Taos roots invents recycled construction material

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The Taos area figures prominently in a concept in the construction industry called "BlocKrete." Five Taos-affiliated residents form the BrocKrete company: Bob Brock, Valerie Black, Chris Scarborough, Ken Scarborough and Mike Dobbs.

The invention, BrocKrete, is a low-cost, lightweight, energy-efficient and super-strong construction alternative, according to company staff and the website. The concrete-like appearance replaces concrete and other materials through block forms for floors, walls, exterior and interior work, ceilings and roofs. Made from clean, recycled material, BrocKrete cuts energy costs by 10 percent for residential and commercial use. Recycled materials may include glass, straw, paper and cardboard. In addition, the staff is continuing to research and experiment with plastic.

The product was invented by Brock, a Los Cordovas resident. "I started on the invention about 30 years ago, but worked on it more in the last 10 years," Brock said in a recent interview. "A company with which I was affiliated contracted with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., and Virginia to build local golf courses. Some of the completed courses were in Reston, Virginia, and at the Gulf Oil Company [and later Shell Oil Company]. I began thinking seriously about strong, sustainable building materials. Ten years ago, I completed my first building experiment, a greenhouse on my property."

Brock is the driving force behind research and development of the company's products. He owns and operates what he terms "a serious playpen" of test blocks and experiments on one-quarter of an acre of his property. He said that with his latest patented invention, people need not leave home during natural disasters because the product resists fire, bullets, wind, water and earthquakes. In addition to BrocKrete, the inventor holds patents for other inventions.

Black, chief executive officer of BrocKrete, lived in Taos for eight years, but relocated to Texas, where she had worked as a partner and president of two real estate firms for 23 years. She is a licensed Realtor in both Texas and New Mexico. Her role in this venture includes fiscal, strategic and operational leadership in uniquely challenging situations. "Testing is expensive," said Black of the current status of BrocKrete. "Phase I passed with flying colors," she added.

Texas Tech performed much of the testing, while earthquake and wind resistance testing occurred in Santa Fe.

Future considerations for the green environmental product include a constructed home and a tornado shelter. The area-constructed home will serve as a test situation, used as a short-term rental to provide data on energy costs and home performance.

Chief Operations Officer Chris Scarborough worked in a customer service-oriented profession for more than 23 years. For 15 years, he has co-owned a successful commercial construction company. His role consists of the construction implementation of the product. His duties also include providing consultation on how to use "BlocKrete" products in commercial and residential projects with ease. "My work in the construction industry helps me make others' dreams come true. When I was introduced to BrocKrete, my passion for construction was relit in a new way. I believe the product will change the way we do construction, and more important, it will change lives and the environment for the better around the world," he said.

Taos resident Kenneth "Ken" Scarborough works as the sales and marketing director. For more than two decades, Ken Scarborough has owned a nationwide real estate firm, Scarborough Land and Cattle Company. He also served as president of the commercial brokerage division at a major commercial real estate brokerage firm. As the member of a "local think tank," Scarborough first assembled the group in order to advance the progress of BrocKrete because he realized the potential of its success.

At the time, Brock professed, "I'm an inventor, not a business man." Little did Brock know that such a partnership would produce a full-fledged business of his "brainchild."

Dobbs, a former Taos resident, fulfills the role of consultant/adviser. The company structure includes memberships and LLC status. Dobbs' previous work at Aetna Insurance prior to his retirement provides valuable leadership to the team.

Besides their affiliation in BrocKrete, the five members enjoy active personal lives. Brock married Suzanne, who he met during his teen years. "We moved from the Washington, D.C., area to Taos in 2005, although we visited here many times before then. Suzanne and I enjoy music productions and membership in the TCA [Taos Center for the Arts]," said Brock. He also enjoys cooking French cuisine and spoiling family pets.

Black, a self-avowed "country girl at heart," met and married longtime Taos resident Jim Black, who she considers "quite a catch," during her eight years in Taos. She moved to New Mexico for business purposes, but missed her four children and seven grandchildren. The couple's home in Texas abounds with trees, a pond, four German shepherds, a mixed-breed dog and two horses. Jim Black, a former Taos police officer, currently is studying to become a Realtor.

Ken Scarborough, Taos County Republican chairman, lives in Taos with his wife, Eva Pace. Two of his children - Valerie Black and Chris Scarborough - work with BrocKrete. His middle child, Adam Scarborough, resides in Texas. Ken Scarborough writes novels, backpacks and performs humanitarian works. One of his novels is slated for release soon.

Chris Scarborough resides in Lewisville, Texas, near Dallas. He and his wife, Holly, have three adult children, a grandchild and two expected grandchildren. He remains active in his church. An avid outdoorsman, he also likes to hunt, fish and kayak.

Dobbs, a former Taos County Republican chairman, moved to the Dallas, Texas, area a few years ago. Retiree Dobbs, an avid fly-fisherman, and his wife, Sylvia, enjoy a rich family life. One of Dobbs' favorite enjoyments is fly-fishing, and he participates whenever possible.

Currently, the BrocKrete group is awaiting results from continued testing on the company's product and looks forward to a day when it will be readily available on the market.

For more information on the business, visit brockrete.com.

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