Blog

Dec 26 2012

This Living Building house more than meets the challenge to use local, FSC wood

By KC

When builder James Arnold was discussing ideas for a custom home in Southwest Portland, he was overjoyed by his client's excitement to go for the Living Building Challenge.

The Challenge is a strict rating system that leaps far beyond LEED in its requirements for non-toxic, locally sourced materials for every component of the building. One of the standards for the Challenge is that all of the wood in the space must be either reclaimed or FSC certified, and it must all be sourced from within 200 miles of the job site.

James and his crew at JRA Green Building Construction knew all he had to do to meet this standard was reach out to Sustainable Northwest Wood and we could outfit the house with all the local, FSC wood he'd need.

And we did! From the framing lumber and plywood to the hardwood flooring and cabinetry, every piece of wood in this house was sourced from our network of small mills and meets the stringent criteria of the Living Building Challenge.
 
For the interior finishes, the builder and homeowner chose FSC Big Leaf Maple, which we custom-milled into flooring, trim, and architectural panels for the cabinetry and interior doors. We especially love the show-stopping floating staircase, custom crafted from maple (see photos below).
 
The home also features FSC Western Red Cedar decking and siding, which add a natural touch to its clean, modern lines.

The home was designed by Michelle Jeresek at Departure Design. In addition to its beautiful lines and functional space, it is net zero water and energy: It generates all of its own electricity through its solar panels and passive solar design, and all of its water through an advanced rainwater harvesting system.