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Since its creation in 2002, local design-build firm Green Hammer has truly put its money where its mouth is when it comes to using only the most sustainable lumber and wood products available.
Every Green Hammer project is built with lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Green Hammer was the first contractor in the United States to achieve its own chain-of-custody certification from FSC, and founder Stephen Aiguier is an ardent advocate for the advanced forestry techniques embodied by FSC's auditing system.
FSC is, of course, only one way to measure the sustainability of wood products. Other sources including urban salvage and reclaimed timbers can also provide legitimately green lumber, and Green Hammer regularly employs these sources in its projects.
Back in 2005, before FSC wood was readily available at local lumberyards, Stephen was frustrated by the difficulty in sourcing good wood. He teamed up with local forester Peter Hayes to establish the Build Local Alliance, a pioneering non-profit that helps connect builders and designers to local sawmills and wood sources.
Sustainable Northwest Wood is a member and supporter of the Build Local Alliance, and much of our wood comes from mills that have achieved continued growth and success thanks to the networking connections enabled by Stephen's early leadership and vision.
These days, due in large part to forward-thinking builders like Green Hammer who insist on their use, FSC lumber and other kinds of uber-local, deep-green wood are readily available to Portland builders through Sustainable Northwest Wood, the Build Local Alliance, and a rich network of salvage and reclaimed operations.
Green Hammer continues to make beautiful use of these wood products in each of its projects, setting an example for other builders while supporting local sawmills and forest restoration projects.
We applaud and thank the folks at Green Hammer for their hard work and continued commitment to sustainable wood.
Photo at top: The cedar fascia on this home is FSC 100%, sourced through Sustainable Northwest Wood and the Build Local Alliance.
Photo below: The Doug fir trim shown is this photo is FSC, as are the framing, plywood, and all other structural wood materials that comprise this artful home.
The fabulous deck pictured at right is built out of our Restoration Juniper Decking. The homeowner chose juniper because of its beauty and durability, but also because it's a "true Oregon product," as he put it.
And it is. Juniper is grown in Oregon, and it is "made" in Oregon (harvested and milled), but as this savvy client understands, its value to our state reaches much deeper than that.
Juniper supports Oregon's economy
The communities of central and eastern Oregon have been hit hard by economic recession over the past several years. Lumber mills that operated for decades have closed up shop, and families have had to make do with far less.
Juniper provides a solid solution to this chronic problem. As the popularity of this wood grows, the number of individuals employed by its harvest and milling also grows; we estimate that as many as 60 people are now employed by juniper-related businesses east of the Cascades. This is approximately equivalent to 4,200 jobs in the more populous communities west of the Cascades.
Juniper supports Oregon's environment
The scrubby, fragrant juniper is native to Oregon, but in the past 150 years the environmental pressures that used to keep its population in check (specifically, rangeland wildfires) have been virtually eliminated by humans intent on preserving property and grazing livestock.
As a result, juniper's population has boomed from about 1 million acres of coverage at the turn of the 20th century to between 6 and 9 million acres today. This means millions of acres of prime sagebrush habitat are being rapidly transformed into dense woodlands, as shown above, endangering valuable species (PDF) and drying up entire streams and water holes.
The respectful harvest of juniper helps to restore historic flows of groundwater and resurrect the important sage steppe habitat. Many groups are intent on accomplishing this restoration work; Sustainable Northwest Wood is proud to offer the juniper lumber products that are the fruit of this restoration work -- and that provide the economic incentives to keep the restoration projects going.
How to use juniper
Juniper is an ideal wood for many outdoor applications due to its remarkable durability: It lasts 30+ years in ground-contact installations.
Whether you're designing an office from the studs up or need a quick and easy solution to spruce up your current space, we've got the wood to help.
Our pre-made butcher block tops are ideal for quick and easy office makeovers. Use them for desk tops, conference tables, and other surfaces.
These tops are available in six different species starting at just $26 per square foot, all locally sourced and sustainably harvested. We also offer custom sizes and thicknesses for your special project.
For dramatic custom conference tables and reception desks, our live-edge slabs set the standard. Choose the size and species and your woodworker can customize it for you.
Or use our Northwest hardwood lumber in any species for custom cabinetry, desks, tables, millwork and trim.
Photo at top right: Live-edge blue pine makes a memorable conference table
Photos from below left: Pre-made juniper butcher block was a quick and affordable solution for this office's desks and reception area tables; a custom juniper slat wall adds texture and warmth to this West Linn dental office; the Oregon Zoo uses live-edge maple slabs for custom display tables.