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.

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

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.

Photo Credit

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.

Photo Credit

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.

The Sky is the Limit

Sales Force Tower

In addition to the many green projects we work on, we like to showcase innovative green and smart structures here at home and around the world, hi-lighting the cutting edge building technologies, products and designs that are now available.

Salesforce Tower is now the tallest building in San Francisco, with an overall height of 1,070 ft. In keeping with Channel Lumber’s high standards for sustainability and green building, Salesforce tower is pre-Certified LEED platinum.

Over a decade of planning went into bringing this icon into fruition. It is part of the Transbay redevelopment plan, which will develop offices, transportation, residential and retail uses.

The top portion of the building features an electronic sculpture, “Day or Night”, created by artist Jim Campbell. The sculpture projects images and video captured around the city on the same day.

The construction of the project is a massive achievement for modern day engineering, materials, and subcontractors. Starting at the ground level, the mat slab floor, the foundation of the building, is reinforced with #18 rebar, the largest available. The concrete pour for the foundation started at midnight and ran 14 hours, until 2 pm, at a rate of 900 yards per hour. This amount of concrete could fill 1,400 trucks. The rebar weighs a total of 5 million lbs. The core walls surrounding the mat slab floor are 4 feet thick, the thickest of any San Francisco building.

The pace of construction was extremely fast requiring flawless planning and execution. Once the foundation was laid, 2 floors per week were built on a round the clock schedule.

The building features a state of the art air distribution system, and blackwater recycling system, among many green features.

The building is currently at 97% occupancy, with Salesforce.com being the primary lessee.

Channel Lumber is active in its support of green, and LEED certified development. For more information Channel Lumber products and services, please contact us. Channel

Photo Credit

Green Dream: YouTube Headquarters

You Tube HQ - Channel LumberThe YouTube headquarters in San Bruno was designed by William McDonough + Partners and Huntsman. Channel Lumber partnered with designers and contractors throughout the development of the campus.

One of the notable green features of the building is a 70,000 square foot rooftop green space featuring native grasses and wildflowers. The roof provides insulation, protection from the elements, rainwater absorption and it dampens sound from the nearby airport.

The campus features an open format loft-like design with lots of informal meeting spaces to encourage impromptu brainstorms. The hallways are lined with white board to capture inspiration.

Late for a meeting downstairs? No problem. The building features a three lane, three story slide to shuttle employees down. And when it is time to take a break employees can play on-site mini golf, frisbee golf or power nap in the Energy Pod, a dark day bed pod with relaxing soundtrack and timer.

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

Photo Credit

Smart and Green: The Manna House

Manna HouseChannel Lumber is committed to green and sustainable building. The Channel Lumber headquarters itself has many green amenities and features including a broad energy efficiency and solar generation platform.

In addition to the many green projects we work on, we like to showcase innovative green and smart structures, and the cutting edge technologies, products and design that are now available.

The Manna house in Los Angeles, designed by architect Jeremy Levine is a modern smart home that utilizes extensive sustainable systems, and recycled and non toxic materials. The flooring throughout the house is either recycled or unfinished plywood, as are the ceilings. All of the decking is composite recycled material. The kitchen and bathroom countertops were all poured in place with concrete using environmentally friendly fly ash.

The home is powered by a photovoltaic solar energy system. It also features a rain collection and grey water recycling system which are both utilized to water fruit trees and a garden. The passive cooling system is acheived by using low windows on one side of the house and high windows on the opposing side creating a natural breezeway, and a movable fan for days when there is no breeze.

Non VOC paints and stains were used, and all electrical appliances are energy star rated.

For more information about Channel Lumber’s continuing effort to promote green and sustainable building practice, please contact us.

Photo Credit