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AK to open anti-bacteria concept home

By Thomas Gnau, Journal Business Writer, E-mail:

In one sense, it’s a long way from Middletown.

In another sense, it’s right at home.

The AK Steel “concept home” just north of Los Angeles will open its doors for a first public look — at least for writers and media types — in October.

The 11,000-square-foot hillside home in the Simi Valley — named “Camino De Robles,” Spanish for “Path of Oaks” — is being touted as the nation’s first antimicrobial home, built with 200,000 pounds of steel treated with an anti-bacterial coating.

Some of that steel was made in AK’s Middletown Works, AK Vice President of Public Affairs Alan McCoy said, but he couldn’t say how much. Steel for the home also came from AK plants in Coshocton and Butler, Pa.

Journalists who journey up the mile-long driveway will be treated to tours on Oct. 2. On the agenda is a meeting with Edward and Madeleine Landry, who will move into the home next month, said Megan Licursi, spokeswoman for the concept home.

Edward Landry is described by the home’s Web site — yes, the house has its own Web site, — as a prominent Los Angeles attorney.

Middletown-based AK entered into an agreement with Wakefield, Mass.-based AgION Technologies Inc. in 1999 to develop a process that protects steel and steel products from fungus, molds and other microbes. The process can be applied to carbon and stainless steels, both of which AK makes.

This California home’s antimicrobial steel can be found in its roof, framing, stainless kitchen appliances, 6,000-bottle wine rack and elsewhere, Licursi said.

“It’s striking,” said McCoy, who has seen the home.

The Landrys were planning the home when an AK employee, aware of the company’s search for a way to showcase antimicrobial capabilities, learned of those plans, the company said. That employee was able to help bring AK and the Landrys together. “The partnership was born,” the Web site said.

McCoy said AK wanted a home something like the home the Landrys had in mind: low-maintenance, long-lasting and relying on steel construction.

“The owners were intrigued by it,” McCoy said.

AK’s stock (NYSE: AKS) closed at $2.48 Wednesday, up 19 cents from Tuesday’s close.

Published 08.21.03



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