LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

What is LEED?

LEED is a platform by which construction projects can gauge and improve their environmental impact. There are four categories of LEED certification. Each project that applies can choose the category that best suits their needs. Channel Lumber is committed to promoting green building, and environmentally conscious development. LEED is the industry standard by which this is achieved. 

There are currently more than 90,000 projects using LEED in over 165 countries. LEED certification works for any project anywhere in the world. The goals of LEED are to save energy, water, resources, and to generate less waste. And to support human health! 

The ultimate goal of LEED is net zero construction and buildings. What this means in practical terms are: Zero carbon emissions, source energy balance, potable water balance, and waste management.

To learn more about Channel Lumber’s commitment to green building and LEED, please contact us.

San Francisco Bay Trail

San Francisco Bay Trail
Long view of form lumber.

The San Francisco Bay Trail is under construction, with gaps in the trail being closed in various locations around San Francisco Bay. Once completed the trail will encircle the entire Bay! Channel Lumber has provided services and products throughout the development and construction of the trail, including concrete forms and lumber for the pedestrian bridge in Pinole. 

San Francisco Bay Trail
Beneath view of the bridge under construction.

The planned trail will eventually be a 500-mile cycling and walking path that will run through 47 cities, and 9 counties. It will also be a viable commute corridor, connecting cities, schools, parks, and open spaces. The trail navigates a wide variety of terrain, and takes different forms from fully paved bikeways, bridges and causeways, the Embarcadero in San Francisco, and natural surface trails with varying widths. Currently 227 miles of the trail are paved, and 127 miles are natural. 

San Francisco Bay Trail
A sense of scale.

The trail is widely supported and enjoyed throughout the Bay Area. The Bay Area Trail Plan, authored by then Senator Bill Lockyer, was passed into law in 1987.

For more information about Channel Lumber projects, services and products, please contact us.

How You Can Help the Amazon Rainforest

amazon rainforest

As many of you know, the Amazon forest is experiencing devastating, massive fires. Thus far over 80,000 fires have been detected. The smoke can be seen from space. 

So why do you need to care? Although the Amazon Rainforest produces about 6% of Earth’s oxygen, the threat posed by the fires has much more to do with the destruction of ecosystems and animal species, as well as refuge for indiginous people whose lives are inextricably interwoven with the forest. The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most carbon rich and bio-diverse landscapes on the planet, and this in and of itself is reason to oppose deforestation.

Channel Lumber is committed to Green Building and works closely with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is a global nonprofit created to promote responsible forest management world wide. 

In response to the fires in the Amazon, we have compiled a list of resources where you can offer direct help. 

You can donate directly to the following organizations:

You can also get involved by contacting your local officials, and by signing this Greenpeace petition. 

Photo Credit

Leed Platinum: Tumble Creek Cabin

Channel Lumber is a key supporter of the green building movement, with numerous LEED gold and platinum certified projects. More and more buildings and homes are being built in green and sustainable ways. In addition to LEED certification, many developments and properties are striving for “Net Zero”.

Net Zero buildings and homes are typically properties which are on the grid, but produce all the energy they need on site. These buildings require no grid power, pay no power bills and are carbon free.

One great example of a Net Zero home, as featured in Dwell Magazine, is the Tumble Creek Cabin in Washington State. This property is the first LEED Platinum certified home in the state.

Although the home has many features that make it Net Zero, here is a list of key features:

  • Passive solar system with ultra-premium insulation and an energy recovery system. The insulation minimizes the need for heating and cooling and the recovery system reclaims energy for use in other systems
  • Radiant floor heating throughout
  • A large floor to ceiling board-formed concrete fireplace acts as a thermal heat sink, stabilizing the temperature in the home
  • Reclaimed, rustic materials
  • LED lighting
  • An airtight “mudroom” allows guests to enter and exit while keeping out chilly or hot air.

Channel Lumber is proud to be a leader of green and sustainable building. To find out more about our products and services, please contact us.

Concrete and Steel: 650 Townsend

The interior begins to take form.

Originally constructed in 1990, 650 Townsend is a 6 story concrete and steel office building. It has a total of 672,000 square feet, 8 elevators, underground and rooftop parking. The building has hosted a variety of businesses since opening. Channel Lumber provided products and services throughout various phases of the buildings original development and subsequent remodels and upgrades.

Graceful curves define each floor.

The building is the current HQ for gaming developer Zynga. The company purchased the building in 2012, at the beginning of a surge in commercial real estate prices. Zynga purchased the building for $228 million, about $317 per square foot. They are selling it at a considerable profit for $800 per square foot.

Detail of the wood railing.

In addition to Zynga, the building houses three additional tenants, each with unique hours and needs. The outdated HVAC system was not able to handle the needs of all the clients, had ongoing maintenance issues, and resulted in outlandish energy bills. Zynga, along with property managers Cushman and Wakefield eventually hired Syserco, an energy infrastructure specialist, and overhauled the HVAC resulting in a savings of $300,000 per year.

A sense of scale.

Channel Lumber is the industry leading supplier for construction products and services. For more information about Channel Lumber and our projects, please contact us.

Channel Lumber Sponsors Young Athletes in The International Kickboxing Federation

The International Kickboxing Federation
Anthony To and Raheem Davis set to face off in the title fight.
Channel Lumber’s owner, Mike DeSimoni Jr., is in the middle.

On June 2nd 2019, The International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Amateur Modified Muay Thai Rules tournament was held in Benicia, California. Channel Lumber is proud to have sponsored the event in support of these young athletes and their quest for the belt. 

One of the main events was the Northern California Superlightweight Title bout. Reigning Champion Anthony To (from Oakland – pictured on the left with the hat), faced off against Raheem Davis (Vallejo). Anthony To successfully defended his crown by unanimous decision, and remains champion in his weight class. 

Muay Thai Kick Fighting is an ancient tradition with very specific rules. The bouts are seen as much as rituals as they are as fights, with each fighter honoring God, themselves and their opponent through a series of symbolic gestures and actions. For instance the tradition of Wai Khre has each fighting circling or “sealing” the ring by praying in each corner. 

There is a long list of rules and modifications based on age, experience, and skill level that serve to protect the athletes as master the sport. Thai music is played during the matches, and the two fighters dress in traditional Muay Thai shorts. You can learn more about the sport by visiting the IKF website
Channel Lumber continues to be deeply involved in community sponsorships of all kind, and would like to congratulate Anthony To for his championship victory.

Channel Lumber Sponsors Team 6918

Team 6918, or The Napa Cellar Rats are a robotics team at Napa High School. The team has performed well in several competitions. Channel Lumber is a supporter and sponsor of the team.

The Cellar Rats, are part of the Blue Alliance, a league of robotics teams that holds a series of competitions throughout each year. In the competitions the teams command their robot to perform a variety of tasks such as picking up and dunking balls, or placing various objects into the appropriate fitting slots, much like assembling a puzzle. The teams are judged based on several criteria including accuracy and speed.

The Cellar Rats competed this year in Del Mar, The Capital City Classic in Davis, and the Sacramento Regional. In 2018 their robot was named Roxanne; in 2019 in was Neil.

The team also engages in various community outreach programs, such as the boys and girls club, to introduce kids to the world of robotics. These events feature various smaller robots that everyone can try out.

Channel Lumber is proud of the Cellar Rats and their outstanding 2019 season.

Here is what the Cellar Rats had to say to Channel Lumber:

Thank You! The Cellar Rats would like to thank you for all your support. Our 2018-2019 FIRST® Robotics Competition season was made possible with the help of generous donors like Channel Lumber, and we couldn’t appreciate it more. We wish you well and hope to see your continued support for the Napa High Cellar Rats! Sincerely, Team 6918.


Chase Center: Construction Update

The New Chase Center in San Francisco

The Chase Center, which will be home to the Golden State Warriors next season, is nearing completion. The first event, Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony, is scheduled for September 6th, 2019. The building will be a state-of-the-art 18,000 seat arena for sports, music, and conventions. Additionally, it will feature 100,000 square feet of mixed use/retail space, underground parking, and three acres of green and public spaces.

In keeping with Channel Lumber’s support of Green Building, the Chase Center is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification. The eco-conscious design utilizes as little resources as possible while maximizing visitor experience. Contractors used regionally sourced materials, and recycled content during development, and the indoor finishes meet stringent requirements for VOC (volatile organic compounds) content. The roof has a high solar reflectance index to minimize heat absorption and create a heat island effect.

Once open, the center will feature plentiful recycling and composting stations, and green power. Initial reports indicate that 70% of electrical use will be offset by wind power. The facility will have an indoor bike valet, ample outdoor bike parking, and eventually will be connected to extended Muni and BART lines.

Photo Credit

Engineered Lumber

At Channel Lumber we offer a wide variety of building materials. There have been interesting advances in the world of engineered lumber — here is a pocket guide to the specialized lumber products we carry.

  • Glue-Lam Beams – Glue-Lam (or Glulam) is typically a large structural beam comprised of layers of smaller dimensional lumber laminated to end-use specifications. Glue-lam beams have a very high strength to weight ratio, and produce far less greenhouse emissions in their production compared to steel or concrete. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of Glue-Lam is that can easily be made into arches and allow more design flexibility than lumber or steel.
Glulam beams the Sheffield Winter Garden. Find out more.
  • Parallam® PSL – PSL stands for parallel strand lumber. The parallel strands are typically veneers, and other non-dimensional lumber created in the process of cutting dimensional lumber. The strands are compressed and bonded with adhesive. The strands are not more than ¼” thick, and have a length of at least 300 times the least dimension.
  • Microllam® LVL – Microllam is similar to plywood in construction. The advantages of microlam are that the dimensions are uniform and predictable, and the product is very strong. It resists warping, and can be treated for weather protection.
Microllam LVL Beams
  • Timberstrand® LSL – Timberstrand is laminated lumber comprised of smaller timber that is not straight or strong enough to produce traditional dimensional lumber. This type of lumber has many advantages: it is free of knots, does not twist or bow, and it is stable and strong.

A Tale of Two Tiny Houses

In our ongoing search for sustainable design innovation and inspiration, Channel Lumber would like to feature two top creations in the world of tiny homes.

New Frontier Tiny Homes

This cabin incorporates elements of Scandinavian and Japanese design. It was built as a writing studio for an author, and has a tangible sense of “hygge” the Danish term for comfort and coziness.  It is 250 square feet, and was built by New Frontier Tiny Homes in Nashville, and was transported to the author’s property in Malibu. Read the full article.

New Frontier Tiny Homes
An interior view of the cabin.

The next tiny home is a retreat for couple on their 200 acre ranch in Pacifica. It was built by Matt Impola. Most of the components were built from scratch. The house is energy efficient with rockwool insulation, LED lighting, energy star windows, etc. The monthly electrical bills are around $20.

Matt Impola Tiny Home
Exterior view of Impolas creation.
Matt Impola Tiny Home
Interior view of Impolas tiny home.

Channel Lumber is an industry leader in green and sustainable building, and as well supports innovation in design. For information about our products and services please contact us.