New Solutions to Carbon Emissions

birch trees

Net Zero buildings have been at the cutting edge of Green building in the last decade. The foundation of this is that once the building opens for business it produces the energy it consumes. A net zero building is also expected to recycle waste, including carbon dioxide

This is referred to as operational carbon. Operational carbon, however, is not the only carbon liability in the lifespan of a structure. There is also carbon that is produced in the building process itself, as well as in the production of building materials. This is referred to as “embodied carbon”.

Embodied carbon emissions are the new frontier in the building world. There is an entire industry emerging that is dedicated to analyzing how much carbon is produced in construction, and how it can be eradicated. 

For instance two Swedish companies, Skanska and Volvo, are at the forefront of research and have plans for embodied carbon reduction. Their plans for all new buildings, infrastructure, and renovations detail 40% less emissions by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050. 

Let’s hope they can do it! 

Channel Lumber is dedicated to the vision and day to day operation of Green Building as well as the promotion of Green Building across the construction industry. 

Please contact us for more information about how to build Green.

World of Concrete

World of Concrete

Channel Lumber attended the World of Concrete 2020 convention in Las Vegas February 3-7.

Concrete is one of the most used building materials globally. Ton for ton its usage is more than twice that of steel, wood, plastics, and aluminum combined. So concrete is big business.

The concrete industry is evolving quickly as new compounds are being created and tested. Among the reasons for this is that concrete production off puts a ton of CO2 for every ton of ton of cement created. Globally, this is a massive contributor to greenhouse gasses and climate change.

Among the innovations in concrete have been the development of graphene concrete. Although still in the testing phase, graphene base concrete is stronger, more flexible than traditional concrete, and can trap CO2. New forms of concrete are also being tested that are electrically conductive, and can in fact act as a battery to deliver energy to office devices, for example.

Channel Lumber continues to be committed to be on the cutting edge of Green Building, sustainability, and the latest of building trends and materials.

For more information, please contact us.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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.