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

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.

Earth Day 2018

View of Earth from SpaceEarth Day is a Global event which will be held on April 22 of this year. The campaign and focus for this years’ Earth Day is “A World Without Plastic Pollution”.

Over the past several decades, plastic pollution on our planet has grown exponentially. As a result, Earth Day is committed to fundamentally changing human attitudes and behaviors about plastics, and to sparking a drastic reduction in plastic pollution globally.

Plastic Pollution is pervasive at all levels in nature and within our infrastructure. We have all seen pictures of plastic bottles in nature, etc. but this is just the tip of the iceberg. As plastics decompose, they become smaller and smaller bits of pollution eventually so small they can not be seen and are very difficult to contain. Eventually these particles make it into our tap water system. A recent study showed that 94% of American tap water contained plastic pollutants.

The Earth Day Campaign will be an all out attempt to build a Global framework of plastic pollutant reduction with a vertical approach, from grassroots education, school system outreach, advertising, encouraging more reports in the news, and reaching out to our Global Leaders to take an aggressive stand on the issue.

You can track your own plastic pollutant footprint and learn how to make changes using the Earth Day End Plastic Pollution Kit.

For more information and to get involved please visit the Earth Day website.

Channel Lumber is a leader in Green Building. For more information about our green projects, please contact us.

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Today is International Day of Forests

forestInternational Day of Forests is celebrated on 21 March each year. It was established in 2013 by the United Nations, and the week long symposium and celebration is hosted by a different country each year. The theme for this years’ International Day of Forests (IDF) is “Forests and Sustainable Cities”.

The slogan for this year’s’ celebration is “Let’s make our cities greener, happier, healthier places to live.” There is comprehensive list of topics on the IDF website, and among the primary messages are that trees contribute to a host of benefits in an urban setting. These include that forests store carbon and help to mitigate climate change. Trees can be used to cool air, thus decreasing the need for air-conditioning and power consumption. Lastly that green urban spaces contribute to more healthy active lifestyles.

It is estimated that deforestation contributes to 10-20% of climate change related problems. Each year the world loses 13 million hectares of forests, approximately the size of England.

The concept for IDF started casually at Oxford, England, when two professors agreed that the consequences of deforestation especially as it relates to climate change was being grossly underestimated. Over the next several years, with support of the United Nations, the IDF was founded and continues to be a source of education, awareness and action around protecting and developing forestry around the world.

Sustainable forestry is, and will always be, one of our driving missions at Channel Lumber.

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

Five Tips to Keep Your Holidays Green

sustainable holidays

Sustainability is one of our core values, here are five tips to your holidays green.

 

  1. Purchase a live christmas tree. There are many advantages to having a live tree. For starters, a live tree will be more fragrant than a cut tree. Although many tree farms are sustainable, you won’t be paying for a dead tree, nor contributing to the costs of transport and disposal. You get the joy of having the same tree year after year, and once is has become too big to handle, you simply plant it in the yard. Start a tradition with a live tree. Find your sustainable Christmas Tree here.
  2. Reduce packaging and reuse wrapping paper. Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This year consider using your own shopping bags, buying sustainable foods, avoid extra packaging and reuse wrapping paper.
  3. Make hand-crafted gifts and DIY decorations. 35% of Christmas gives end up in the closet, never to be used. Make the holidays more personal and creative by crafting a gift by hand, and making a wreath with material from your own yard.
  4. Give a gift that supports your community. This could mean buying local products, giving tickets to the theater, a museum membership or art classes. Make a donation in someone’s name.
  5. Conserve electricity. Those festive lights use electricity. Try switching to LED lights, and rethink the importance of over the top lighting. Would candles in the window be better choice to create the feeling of warmth and community?
The list of ways you can have a more sustainable Holiday goes on. Use your imagination and enjoy creating traditions that feel good and support the planet.