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

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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.

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BART Berkeley Hills Tunnel

Bart car

The BART Berkeley Hills Tunnel runs between the Rockridge and Orinda stations. Construction began in 1965, with construction completed in 1967 after 465 work days. The tunnels are offset to the north of the Caldecott Tunnel, and provide a more direct alignment. The contract for construction was $31 million USD.

Channel Lumber has partnered with engineering and construction firms providing services and goods in BART construction since BART’s inception.

The Berkeley Hills tunnels are 3.1 miles longs and about 17.5 feet in diameter. There are emergency cross tunnels every 1,000 feet for evacuations. The east portal has roll down doors which close off the tunnel, or allow for ventilation in and out. The tunnel runs across the active Hayward Fault.

Construction of the tunnels involved over 27 million pounds of steel. The rate of advance between boring, blasting and excavation was 19 feet per day. The project was one of the earliest high profile tunnels to be built with Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) as opposed to hand mining.

The building of BART during a cycle of high inflation, led to many well documented budget and political problems. In many instances these problems led to political reform. In 1974 BART was nominated for Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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

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Turn It Up to Ten

Concrete Forms for Level 10 Sunnyvale projects.

Level 10 is a leading construction company based in Northern California. Channel Lumber has partnered with Level 10 on numerous projects, primarily through concrete forming materials.

Level 10 recently completed several high profile award winning projects including the new Facebook Campus (MPK 20) and 181 Fremont, now the tallest skyscraper on the San Francisco skyline.

Currently, Level 10 is working with the Jay Paul Company on two sites in Sunnyvale, the Moffet Gateway and Moffet Place Campus. These projects are unique in that they are not being built for a specific company. Both of these projects were designed and developed to be put on the market for sale after completion.

The Moffet Gateway, completed in 2016,  features two seven story buildings, with a parking structure, roof-top garden and lounge. The Moffet Place Campus is a 1.9 million-sq-ft. Class “A” office campus. The campus will also feature an event center, several parking structures, and other modern amenities. The project has a completion date of April 2020.

In keeping with Channel Lumbers high standards for Green Building, both the Moffet properties are targeted for LEED® Platinum sustainability, the highest level awarded.

Please contact Channel Lumber for more information about products, services and Green Building.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar

sail boat - channel lumberTransformational Sailing is an organization which helps Veterans and others with stress related disorders find relaxation through sailing. Their motto reads “The Power of Healing Through Wind, Sea, and Sky”. The organization is also involved in boat building for which Channel Lumber recently donated Alaskan Yellow Cedar.

Sailing is an activity which can provide a climate for community building, safe communication, working as a team and relying on others, to name just a few of the benefits. For veterans who have become disconnected through war related trauma, Transformational Sailing offers participants a chance to recover a normal, healthy lifestyle, and relate to others with similar experiences.

The Transformational Sailing website features several videos where the participants are asked what the highlight of their day was. Gerry, a former WWII captain answers “getting the feel of the helm again. It’s good to get back on the wheel”. Jason, another Veteran, simply answers “To feel human again. To get to be just like everybody else.” The testimonials are heartfelt and powerful.  They communicate what a needed and transformational experience these sailing voyages provide.

The sailing trips are typically about three hours throughout the Bay. Newcomers often just sit and enjoy the adventure, but over time participants learn sailing skills, and have progressively hands on experiences including manning the helm.

To find out how to get involved and or make a donation please visit the Transformational Sailing Website.

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Channel Lumber is Friends with the Napa River

napa river

Friends of Napa River (FONR) is a community organization whose mission is to “be the community’s voice for the protection, restoration, responsible development and celebration of the Napa River and its watershed through education and advocacy.”

The organization recently hosted the “Living River Celebration” event at the Westin in Napa to honor the elected officials who have supported FONR, and specifically the Oxbow Bypass Flood Channel project. Channel Lumber has been a long-standing supporter of FONR, and was a donor for the event.

Historically, the Napa River is prone to flooding. In downtown Napa, the river makes a hairpin turn and when water levels are high, the river naturally floods into a straight line. This causes damage to infrastructure, and has prevented the downtown from being developed as insurance companies would not cover flood damage in the area.

Twenty years ago, the Army Corp of Engineers proposed a cement channel to redirect the river in downtown Napa. The residents of Napa did not like the aesthetic of the channel, and subsequently the “Living River Plan” was created. The plan involved buying land along the river, removing infrastructure and toxic soil. It also included a more appealing Oxbow Bypass, which eventually became a park and trail network along the river known as the Oxbow Commons.

The community voted to fund the project with a small sales tax. The tax along with matching grant funds and private donations has paid for the Living River Plan so far. The strategy has been successful with the ecosystem being restored, animals returning, and development in downtown Napa. There are still more phases of the plan to be completed and FONR is actively working with the community and government to fulfill the vision of the Living River Plan. Please visit the Friends of Napa River website for more information.

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Net Zero Energy Library in Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is building a new 22,000 square foot library with Channel Lumber providing products and services throughout all phases of construction. The library will be a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Building, with LEED® Silver of better certification. The project is in partnership with BHM Construction.

Side of building

A look at the siding as it is placed.

In addition to a book depository, the new facility will focus on multi-use areas for meetings, events, and internet connectivity.

construction site

A view of the second story, which will be enclosed in glass.

construction site

The unfinished walls for both stories with be finished with glass.

The contemporary design will feature teen literacy facilities, a children’s learning area, an atrium and rooftop deck.

side of building

The wood siding is nearly complete.

two buildings

A new perceptive of the grounds.

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Close up of one of the facilities nearing completion.

Channel Lumber is proud to support this new library and its commitment to achieving the highest Green Building standards both during constructions and as a functioning facility.

Please contact us for more information on our services and products.

Photo Credit: Channel Lumber

Evolution of the Sawmill

Old time sawmillThe earliest type of sawmill, or lumbermill,  was the sawpit. The sawpit was a pit overwhich the log was positioned and held in place by saddleblocks. The “top” sawyer would balance himself atop the log, and guide the blade for accuracy. This required strength, stamina, and skill. The “bottom” sawyer worked in the pit below, primarily providing muscle. The pit was often a basin of water, and the pit sawyer had to battle a constant downpour of sawdust. The two men used a two handled “whipsaw” to rip the lumber. Using this system the team could produce roughly a dozen boards per day. This was tough, demanding work. Sawpits were integral to early ship building.

As early as the 3rd century AD, the water powered mill was invented, and was widely used up until the industrial revolution. The water powered mill operated essentially the same way as a modern mill with respect that uncut lumber enters at one end and cut/dimensional lumber exits at the other end. The watermill used basic crank and connecting rod technology. As the watermill evolved, eventually water was also used to float the timber into position, thus alleviating the need for intensive manual labor to handle the timber. Windmill sawmills were also prevalent during this time period, and used the same connecting rod technology, simply substituting wind power for the water wheel.

With the arrival of the industrial revolution, several advancements were made, First, the circular saw had been invented. The greatly increased the speed of production, while decreasing maintenance needs. The second improvement was the introduction of the steam engine. This had several impacts. First, because of steam engine trains, lumber could be easily transported in larger quantities. Previous to the train, mills had to be built near rivers or lakes, which were the primary means of transporting heavy timber. With the train, sawmills could be built on site, wherever they were needed. An added advantage was that timber by-products, sawdust, branches unusable timber, etc. could be used to fuel boilers and kilns.

Today, sawmills have advanced to become highly efficient, computer controlled machines. The saws themselves are similar to their predecessors, with faster,  better components. Now when log arrives at the mill, it is analyzed by lasers which tell the machinery which types of cuts will provide the most yield. Furthermore, 100% of the wood fiber is used. The sawdust, chips for the kiln, bark for much, and miscellaneous pieces for paper, or composite forest products.

For more information on Channel Lumber millwork, or other products and services, please contact us.

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

Carquinez Bridge

Carquinez BridgeThe Carquinez Bridge which spans the Carquinez Strait between Vallejo and Crocket is actually two bridges. The eastbound span is a cantilever bridge completed in 1958. The westbound span is a suspension bridge completed in 2003, with Channel Lumber providing products and services throughout various phases of its construction.

The original Carquinez bridge was built in 1927, and provided for three lanes of traffic. This was the first major structure built for crossing the bay. Prior to the bridge, Carquinez Strait was navigated via ferry service six miles from the current bridge crossing.

After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the 1927 span of the bridge was surveyed and deemed no longer safe for passage. At that time traffic was consolidated on the 1958 cantilever span, while the original bridge was demolished.

The new Carquinez Bridge is outfitted with 33 wireless “nodes” which collect and transmit data about the structure. This allows engineers to monitor the bridge closely, and undertake any needed repairs efficiently. The bridge currently operates 8 lanes handling 100,000 cars per day.

Contact Channel Lumber for more information about our projects, products, and services.

Photo credit: Jeffrey-Anthony

The Cutting Edge: 5 Products and Services at Channel Lumber

Happy worker at Channel Lumber.At Channel Lumber we are proud to offer a wide variety of industry leading products and services. From lumber and plywood to hardware to lumber grading, Channel Lumber has a depth of professional solutions for large and small scale construction projects. Here is an outline of 5 products and services at Channel Lumber.

  1. Green Building. Channel Lumber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), and works closely with the  Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®). The FSC® has a 10 point mission which protects and preserves our forests globally. These include protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, maintaining long term social and economic well being of forest workers, conserving biodiversity, water resources, soils, assessing conditions of forests, and maintaining of high conservation value forests. Forests cover 30% of the Globe, with 70% of animals living in forests. LEED® is symbol of achievement in Green Building. LEED® provides a framework by which all building projects can be rated for sustainability. Their goal is to create highly efficient, cost effective, healthy Green Buildings.
  2. Concrete Forms. Concrete is a very versatile material in that it can be molded into a wide variety of useful shapes. Concrete forms  are wooden forms which outline and mold the concrete while it dries. Channel Lumber is an industry leader in concrete forms, which have given shape to countless projects including Caldecott Tunnel, Golden Gate Bridge retrofit, and Levi Stadium.
  3. Mill Work. Channel Lumber offers top notch mill work. Perhaps you have a unique design that requires custom wood. Channel Lumber can mill the wood to your specs. Or perhaps you are renovating a house, and can’t find a perfect match for a beam. Channel Lumber can make it.
  4. Sidings. Channel Lumber has stock siding in several materials including cement, plywood, hardwood, shingles, and metal. If you don’t find what you are looking for or have a custom design, Channel Lumber can build it to your specs.
  5. Project Management. For over 50 years Channel Lumber has consulted with architects, contracts, engineers, and city planners to help navigate large development projects in the most efficient, cost effective way. By working with the design team from the earliest stages of a project, Channel Lumber can effectively help with material selection, and help process the difficult building regulations here in northern California so that costly delays can be avoided.

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