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We’ve been hearing more and more lately about wood framing for midsize (and even some high-rise) commercial buildings, and this year the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has given Design & Build awards to two pretty large examples of timber construction.
A vernacular West Indian cottage also took home the residential award, and there was a surprise “Judges’ Choice” award that I’ll explain below. The projects are chosen each year based on use of FSC wood, market impact, broader contributions to sustainability, and aesthetics.
I had the privilege to serve on the jury for these awards, which was a lot of fun—but we also had to make some pretty tough choices.
This six-story commercial building designed by the Miller Hull Partnership has steel framing on the ground floor and heavy timber framing above. Much of the wood serves as both structure and finish, and 100% is FSC-certified.
This is a really special building that set out to define a “Pacific Northwest vernacular” through its unique use of regional wood and is also aiming for Living Building Challenge certification—which not only sets stringent standards in regard to materials and design but also requires net-zero energy and water for at least one year after occupancy.
This traditional West Indian cottage on the island of St. John revives a vernacular style that has fallen out of favor due to hurricane-related building codes (which builder Seacoast Cottage Company says its home meet). The regional tropical hardwoods used also provide natural termite resistance.
This log structure made from regionally sourced white pine is located in the mountains outside Montreal. It received the first FSC Project Certificate in Canada; this whole-building certification was developed in Europe in 2006 but has not yet caught on in North America, and no projects have yet achieved it in the U.S.
Woodtech isn’t a building. It’s a table manufacturer that has made 8,000 conference tables for Cisco Systems out of FSC-certified wood products. Cisco has made a commitment to using these tables in all of its facilities worldwide, and Woodtech claims it has purchased $4 million worth of FSC-certified materials in order to make them.
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