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 The outdated HVAC system was not able to handle the needs of all the clients, had ongoing maintenance issues, and resulted in outlandish energy bills.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.

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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.

5 Green Building Innovations

Solar Panels

As a leader in the Green and Sustainable building movement, Channel Lumber continues to make a professional investment in offering and incorporating the latest technologies and materials. In our recent survey we found the following to be the most impactful, trending innovations.

Solar Power: The technological advances in have brought solar power to the forefront of energy efficiency and Green Building. Swedish Company Ripasso Energy can now convert up to 34% of sunlight into energy with a single Ripasso dish. This is enough energy to power 24 typical homes in the UK. Producing the same amount of energy using coal would release 81 metric tons of Co2 into the air.

Solar power can now be portable, making it useful in post-disaster areas where the grids have been destroyed. Also there are solar machines which desalinate brackish water and disinfect it with ultraviolet light.

Smart Thermostats: You can control how your home is heated with your smartphone. Once your home is outfitted with sensors throughout, you can choose temperatures for each room in the home. Warming or cooling only rooms that are being used.

LED Lights:LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than incandescent lights. Only 5% of LED energy is wasted as heat, and 95% is used to produce light. Furthermore, LED bulbs do not emit radiation and operate at low voltage so they put off very little heat. They are much safer than incandescent bulbs.

Insulation: New Technologies such as insulating concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels, and phase-change-materials (PCMs) offer designers a wide variety of option for keeping buildings insulated.:

Zero Net Energy (ZNE):Zero net energy buildings use only power that is produced onsite. There are numerous systems that can create ZNE, including solar power, wind turbines, and the integration of plug in vehicles.

Channel Lumber is actively involved and supports the Green Building movement. For more information about our Green projects and products, please contact us.

Concrete Goes Green with Graphene

graphene concrete

Concrete is the world’s most widely used construction material. Cement production accounts for 5% of man made carbon dioxide emissions produced globally. In the era of climate change, this has got scientists thinking and rethinking concrete.

A team of scientists in the UK have come up with a new concrete formula that can actually trap greenhouse gasses. Additionally, this new formula of concrete can self-seal cracks as they form. The secret to this new concrete that is being developed at the University of Exeter, is the introduction of microscopic flakes of graphene. Graphene is one of the world’s strongest materials. With the added graphene, the concrete compound is actually stronger than regular concrete. Because it is stronger, less material would need to be used, opening up possibilities for new designs, and overall reducing the amount of materials needed for a given structure.

This new “green” concrete is also more elastic and more resistant to water. This makes it ideal for building in earthquake or flood zones. The new compound can conduct electricity, opening the possibility to use it to heat roads or walls to melt snow and ice.

Although the green concrete shows promise in many areas of design and construction, it is at the moment costly to produce. Too costly to become viable replacement for the old stuff. Also, it will likely undergo years more of study to determine the parameters of safe useage, and any potential health risks. This article goes into detail about graphene-concrete.

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Lumber Types and Top Uses

lumber stack

At Channel Lumber, we carry a variety of wood and lumber products for applications in all types of construction. Many of our products are FSC Certified. Here we describe each type of wood and how it is typically used.

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir has a range of uses, and is very common in structural building. It can be used for concrete forms, plywood, framing lumber, flooring, and cabinets. Douglas Fir is known an mix of strength and workability. Channel Lumber is a supplier for FSC certified Douglas Fir.

What is FSC Certified?

(From the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on a wood or wood based product is your assurance that it is made with, or contains, wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste.

There are three types of FSC label: 100%, FSC Mix or FSC Recycled.  Please click here to learn more.

California Redwood

Redwood is a premium building product. It can used in nearly every application of construction, from structural to finish. It is an excellent use for outdoor construction and siding as it contains a chemical that is resistant to insect infestation, rot and damage from water and other exposures. 

Channel Lumber offers Redwood in four grades: Construction Heart, Clear Heart, Green and Dry.

Western Red Cedar

This varietal grows in British Columbia. It is a large format, soft wood, know for its workability. It is commonly used in joinery, windows and cladding, siding, and external finishes. Western cedar is known for its rich and superb beauty and is a perfect choice for indoor and outdoor features. 

Pine

Pine is versatile and is common in high value items such as furniture. It it also common in cabinetry, flooring, siding, window frames, panelling, and roofing. Pine grows throughout the world, and it is used in cultures everywhere. If you had to choose one wood type for all your building needs, pine would be a good choice. 

Poplar

Poplar is often miscategorized as a soft wood, but it actually is a hard wood. It is seldom used for its appearance on its own, but because it has some characteristics in common with soft woods, it can be stained to look like more expensive varietals like cherry wood or oak. Poplar tends to scratch or dent easily so it is a good match for painted furniture. It is also a good fit for ceiling molding.

Ipe

Brazilian Ipe is a tropical hard wood that works extremely well in outdoor construction like decking, benches, fencing, and trellising. It is twice as dense and five times stronger than comparable hardwoods. It is extremely resistant to rot, water damage, insect infestations. It can often last out doors up to 75 years, 4-7 times as long as treated wood.

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Golden Gate Green

san franciscoIn a series of independent studies, San Francisco has consistently earned top marks for being environmentally friendly, ranking in the top three (with Portland and Seattle), often taking the the top spot.

Being eco-conscious can be difficult to define, and depending who is conducting the study the parameters may vary. One key factor is per capita public transit ridership. New York City ranks #1, with San Francisco coming in at #2. Addiotionally San Francisco ranks very high for bike ridership with nearly 50,000 weekday commuters riding bikes. In 2017, 14 miles of bikeways were added or upgraded.

For recycling and carbon footprint, San Francisco again ranked in the top three along with Seattle and Portland. In this category San Francisco edged out the other contenders due to voter awareness, participation,and routinely voting for aggressive green programs and renewable energy programs. San Francisco diverts 70 of its waste due to mandatory recycling and composting.

Is the sustainable food category San Francisco again earned top ranking. With the farm to table movement, veganism, and grocery stores which feature and support sustainable practices, San Francisco has become known as an epicenter for healthy dining options. It is also worth noting that San Francisco residents on average consume less than half compared to the rest of the state.

With its green and open spaces, myriad hiking and biking trails and coastline, San Francisco is a great place to be green.