Posted February 12, 2024

RENCO USA's LEGO-Like Buildings Win Global Innovation Award

RENCO USA launches new era of sustainable building.

A Miami-based company that is disrupting the construction industry by introducing a new way to build with real-life LEGO bricks has been honored with a global innovation award.

RENCO USA’s revolutionary new building system, which uses patented blocks made from a renewable composite material, took first place for building innovations at the 2024 JEC Composites Innovation Awards in Paris, France. The annual competition spotlights cutting-edge ideas in the composites industry worldwide based on value, project complexity, and commercial potential. Past winners include a variety of top companies—from Porsche for its new lightweight roll cage to Nanotures, for making a composite roof for the stadium of Real Madrid.

“For a century, the construction industry has relied on concrete, wood, and steel. RENCO marks a paradigm shift by introducing an entirely new material,” said RENCO Co-Founder Thomas P. Murphy, Jr. “We’ve created user-friendly, connectable bricks and color-coded plans, so communities can construct more affordable buildings, more quickly. This award recognizes how the RENCO system is ushering in a new era of construction, with the power to lower housing costs, address the skilled labor shortage, and reduce the industry’s impact on the environment.”

This marks RENCO USA’s second global award in a matter of months. In November, the company won an international honor for Best Construction Product Design of 2023 at the BLT Built Design Awards in Lucerne, Switzerland.

RENCO's innovative building system, utilizing interlocking molded blocks similar to LEGO bricks, surpasses concrete in strength, reduces costs significantly, and allows for rapid construction. Made with recycled glass fibers, resin, and stone, this renewable composite material is certified to withstand Category 5 hurricanes.

Following more than 12 years of research and development, RENCO USA successfully completed its inaugural apartment complex in Palm Springs, Florida, last November, having passed more than 400 safety tests for U.S. building approval.

“The global demand for affordable and resilient housing has never been more urgent. That’s driving enthusiasm for the transformative impact RENCO is making in simplifying and revolutionizing construction,” said Patrick E. Murphy, RENCO Government Relations Lead.

This innovation addresses the affordable housing crisis by using renewable materials, eliminating construction waste, and reducing labor costs—no specialized workers or heavy machinery are required to build with the blocks, which are stronger but 75% percent lighter than concrete. In Palm Springs, 11 unskilled workers assembled each three-story building in about eight weeks, following color-coded plans.

As climate change worsens, RENCO is easier to insure because it has a longer lifespan than typical construction, it’s rated to be hurricane and earthquake resistant and is resistant to fire, water, mold and pests. To meet growing demand, a manufacturing facility in South Florida is set to open this spring, producing blocks for nationwide distribution.


Florida-based RENCO USA manufactures and distributes a fully patented structural building system made from renewable composites. Its state-of-the-art building system is composed of interlocking composite pieces that are all adhesively joined into a monolithic structure. It includes the entire structure of a building, from the walls (structural building blocks), to the floor joists (pultruded), to the floor (composite decking) to the composite roof trusses and sheathing. Simply put, it’s an alternative way to build—utilizing proven, new materials that are more sustainable, affordable and easier to install.

RENCO’s patented building system, blocks, joists, decking and adhesives have been evaluated in ANSI certified laboratories for structural performance, physical characteristics and fire resistance. After thorough evaluation, IAPMO approved RENCO’s Evaluation Criteria and issued its Evaluation Report to permit the use of the RENCO building system under the International Building Code, including High Velocity Hurricane Zones.

RENCO’s building system is currently approved for structures up to five stories; expanded approvals for taller structures are pending. RENCO is currently completing seismic testing for earthquake zones and is fully confident that it will obtain approval to build in all seismic design categories.