Top Ten Reasons To Choose Reclaimed Wood Floors

As you all know, we are going to great lenghts to find and purchase reclaimed wood for as much as possible in this build. Yes – it has been an arduous process, but the benefits well outweigh the costs. If you don’t believe us, then listen to some words of advice from the Reclaimed Wood Council. They have put together the top ten reasons why you should use reclaimed wood floors. 

  1. Wood is a natural product in a diverse selection of colors and grain patterns. Who hasn’t marveled at the beauty of a home with a fine wood floor? It’s in our nature to love trees, to harvest them and to replant them. Wood is a part of our lives and our homes. There are more choices now than ever before… a wood floor for every taste.
  2. Wood is the easiest floor to clean, requiring far less chemicals. Whenever someone says, “I think tile or carpet might be easier to clean,” I point to my wood floor cleaning tools. With only a swivel mop and sometimes a non-aerosol spray, I can clean my wood floor in less than half the time it takes to vacuum, scrub or shampoo other floor coverings. Wood doesn’t trap dust and fumes like carpet and doesn’t grow mold in the grout like tile. Best yet, fewer chemicals are needed.
  3. It’s the best choice for the environment. Production is cleaner than alternatives. Wood production is much cleaner than other building materials. Steel manufacturing results in 40 times more pollutants than manufacturing wood. Concrete requires 6 times more and brick four times. Steel releases 3 times more carbon dioxide into the enviroment and concrete even more. Wood sends less solid waste to the landfill than manufacturing steel or concrete. Finally, wood is more energy efficient. The cellular structure of wood traps air, giving it superior insulating properties. It takes 15 inches of concrete to equal the insulation qualities of just one inch of wood.
  4. You can redecorate by changing your wood floor with stains, faux finishes and inlays. You can easily and cost-efficiently change the entire look of a wood floor from time to time with stains, paints and inlays.
  5. Wood is a smart investment. There is no depreciation on a wood floor. In fact, it usually increases the resale value of a home. Real wood floors offer beauty for a lifetime — or longer! Every day people continue to walk on wood floors that are as old as our nation. For example, the floors in the White House, Washington’s Mount Vernon and Jefferson’s Monticello are still beautiful and practical today. Carpet is replaced 3 to 6 times before most solid wood floors ever need repair. Thus, wood floors cost less long term and add value to your home.
  6. Finishes can be easily repaired or reapplied. As long as maintenance procedures have been followed, wood floors can be refinished instead of adding to the landfill (as happens with some other floor coverings). Our industry helps to preserve what is already there… the finest form of recycling.
  7. Wood floors give a little on your spine and legs and are better for your joints. Don’t be surprised if your doctor recommends a wood floor for your spine and joints. Wood gives a little and is easier on your legs and feet. Have you ever noticed that your feet get tired faster if you are standing on stone or tile than if you are standing on wood?
  8. Wood is an ideal choice for people with allergies. We spend 90 percent of our time indoors so your choice of flooring can be important. Wood is the floor of choice for anyone with allergies. It will not harbor dust mites or mold and does not trap dust or fumes. Some researchers believe the dust mite could be responsible for increasing asthma occurrence. According to the American Lung Association, wood floors in the bedroom and other main living areas can improve air quality.
  9. Wood floor sales return more money back to the wood industry to support good forest management. Wood floors are a high-end use of forest products and can provide more profit, thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the forest. Many developing countries today rely on timber for export earnings, yet the greatest threat to primary forests in these countries is conversion to other forms of land use. Using exotic species for wood floors is a good way to value the wood highly and encourage reforestation for continued income production.
  10. Wood is our greatest renewable resource. North America has more than 70 percent of the forest cover that was here in the 1600’s. Plus many exotic woods come from certified sustainable forests.In North America we produce more wood than any other place on the planet! According to the World Resources Institute report, our continent was unusual in that it increased tree cover in the 1990s. In other words, we grow more than we cut. North America is also becoming known as a ‘carbon sink’. Scientists have shown that young trees use more carbon dioxide than older trees , much like younger animals need more food.

The installation of the hardwood floors has just started. Delivery was September 11th and we allowed the wood to settle into its new home before installation. So look for photos as we move along and all of the details, including the 1-1.5 LEED-H points we may be able to get for them.

Posted by: Lauren

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Real FSC Wood Decking is Green and Good for 50 Years

accoya-wood1The wood for our FSC deck was milled this week and we started the front porch installation while Titan Woods was in town to make sure everything with the project went as smoothly as possible.

Accoya® wood by Titan Wood is a proven “new wood species” that is made only from FSC-certified sustainably sourced wood. Once the sustainable wood is harvested, it undergoes an acetylation process that alters its actual cell structure by transforming free hydroxyl groups into acetyl groups. Because this “modified” wood absorbs 80 percent less water than does conventional wood, the wood is substantially more stable, lasts much longer and requires far less maintenance. Additionally, the acetylation process makes the wood indigestible to fungi and pests, which don’t even recognize it as a food source. The use of Accoya wood will help the project gain half of a LEED-H point in the category of Materials & Resources, exterior decking and contribute to the overall percentage of FSC wood used in the home.

Locally-owned Liberty Cedar is milling the wood decking. They will be dressing this to a normal deck board profile (dressed 4 sides with eased edges) for use with tiger claws, rather than slotted for use with Eb-tys, in order for us to have a hidden fastener system, which is way better for little toes and overall style.

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

Eco-Friendly Siding

4909-sidingThe siding on the home is in the process of going up – and it looks beautiful! As with most of the other products we were using, finding siding that was both green and could handle the harsh New England weather was our biggest priority. We decided on FSC-Certified White Cedar Shingles, from Liberty Cedar. Cedar shingles are known for their innate resistance to moisture and insects, and because the cedar is responsibly harvested we know we are not depleting our forest’s population. The biggest drawback to wood siding is its high maintenance requirements (painting or staining every five to ten years). The shingles we are putting on the home are treated with a bleaching oil that makes them gray, so we won’t have to paint or stain, and extends the life of the shingles. To ensure our shingles last even longer, we are also installing Benjamin Obdyke’s Home Slicker® product which provides a continuous space for drainage and drying, a thermal break and pressure equalization between the layer of sheathing and the siding. To watch the Home Slicker installation, click here.

If you are looking to reside your home, here are some great eco-friendly siding options, in addition to FSC-certified wood shingles:

  • Aluminum – Aluminum siding has lost some favor over the years as vinyl siding came to market. Aluminum siding requires a lot of energy to produce but usually has high recycled content, and it’s recyclable at the end of its life.
  • Fiber-cement siding – This blend of portland cement, wood fibers, sand and clay come in boards and panels, often with texturing that makes it hard to distinguish from solid wood siding. It is fire and rot resistant, requires less repainting than wood, and is about half the price of solid wood siding. There are some drawbacks however, as portland cement is an energy intensive material to manufacture, and while some fiber-cement products are made in the U.S., they typically use imported wood fibers that aren’t FSC certified.
  • Masonry – Today, masonry siding is actually a veneer installed over the home’s wood framing – not solid walls of brick and stone. Brick, natural stone and manufactured stone are relatively environmentally benign. Durable and fire resistant, they require virtually no maintenance. They’re made from abundant although nonrenewable resources. To lessen the impacts, look for salvaged or locally quarried stone or locally made brick.
  • Stucco – Most stucco today is synthetic, and applied over foam insulation boards on the outside of the house. The energy savings from this added insulation are one of the biggest benefits of synthetic stucco. An acrylic-based compound, synthetic stucco is somewhat flexible even after it dries so it’s less likely to crack. It can be prepared with color so you will never need to paint. If you go with stucco, make sure it is properly installed by a professional to make sure that any moisture that gets behind it can drain away from the wall.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl siding has become one of the most popular choices for home siding, as it is inexpensive, incredibly durable, and requires little maintenance. The drawback of vinyl is its manufacturing process is very energy intensive and the process creates dioxin, a potent carcinogenic. It can also produce dioxin at the end of its life, when it is incinerated or burned in a house fire.

There are many options to choose from, the trick is finding the choice that fits you and your needs.

Posted by: Lauren

Green Building Perspectives: Accoya® by Titan Wood

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We recently announced our latest building partners on the home. This week, our Green Building Perspectives come from one of those new sponsors, Accoya®by Titan Wood. Titan will be outfitting the home with some of the most beautiful FSC certified decking that we have ever seen. The company’s great commitment to sustainability and their determination to provide builder and homeowners alike products that are eco-conscious and aesthetically pleasing.

The folks over at Titan took some time out of thier busy schedules this week to answer a few questions for us.

What do you think of the Green Life Smart Life Project to date? What interested Titan Wood about participating in the project?
Titan Wood has enjoyed being a part of the Green Life Smart Life Project, and we have been very impressed with the progress. Working with the homeowners, Kim and Joe, has been a pleasure as they are very committed to achieving a green home that will be a great model for others to follow. The architect, Laura Krekorian has been very helpful in moving our particular project forward and we appreciate all the dedication from all parties to complete this green home.

We are very excited about being a part of this project because it is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with a dedicated group for a great cause. We are pleased to be associated with others that have a desire to ensure a better environment through the use of green products like our Accoya® wood.

Where does Titan Wood see green building going in the next 5 years? With an ever increasing awareness of the environmental impact of the things we do and the materials we use, the popularity and necessity of green building is set to increase. In fact, a recent McGraw Hill Construction survey revealed that homeowners are willing to pay an average of $18,500 more for homes which make use of green products. Green building is not just a trend; it is quickly becoming the standard.

How is your company evolving to address green building?
The increasing focus on climate change and sustainability has led to a rapidly growing demand for high-performance products which can help combat the effects of global warming. Titan Wood is uniquely positioned to benefit from this change in principles and practices. Wood, such as our Accoya® wood, helps reduce climate change when used in place of other more energy-intensive products such as steel or plastics. In addition, wood building materials sequester carbon for the life of the product, which happens to be 50+ years with Accoya®. Distinguished by 50 year durability, dimensional stability, and reliability, Accoya® wood is produced using an environmentally-friendly process and serves as a true alternative to products which are produced using toxic chemicals or unsustainable resources and is set to become the material of choice for exterior applications.

What challenges do you see Titan Wood facing in the evolution of green building?
There are many unexplored market opportunities for Accoya® wood; in fact, the opportunities are almost endless and limited only by imagination. With that said, however, we, like all products, must compete in an economy where every cent of expenditures will be heavily scrutinized.

Do you think green building will ever dominate your business?
Titan Wood and our parent company Accsys Technologies PLC is proud to be a market-leader in the green building materials sector and strives to continually develop technologies for a better world.

Anything else you would like to add about the green building market or the Green Life Smart Life project?
Green Life Smart Life has done a tremendous job of illustrating that beautiful, inviting, and comfortable homes needn’t be detrimental to the world around us. We are pleased to take part in this project which will surely serve as an educational tool for many years to come.

FSC Wood Delivered and Doing my part to keep the economy humming

The project is moving along we have had lots of wood delivered, but though I received my Chain of Custody codes with my paperwork, I was quickly saddened when I could not find the logo stamp with FSC. I called National who told me they’d look into it. A few hours later, they called back, my wood was stamped and my next load would have it.

Here’s my FSC wood that makes me feel like I did something good.

FSC Wood on site

FSC Wood on site

Here’s my contribution to the world today:

1. With this project I’ve created jobs in a down economy.

2. I’m buying supplies and services which keeps businesses with orders and cash flow.

3. I’m diverting contruction waste as opposed to dumping it the central landfill (driving jobs at the recycling plant and better for the earth by recycling materials I could write on or wear next year, who knows)

4. I’m helping families understand what they need to tackle to build a green house.

5. I’m helping RI builders learn how to build a green house.

I’m getting smarter (mostly).

posted by KDL