We are the Lewandowski family and we're building a new house from the ground up. Our goal is to build a comfortable and efficient green home that works for our family. We want to prove that building green is the right choice for the environment, our lives and our pocketbook.

We invite you to come follow us during our adventure and learn along with us, how to build and live green.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Harwood Flooring

Look how PHENOMENAL this floor is... I'm so excited about it! 

When Tony first brought up this idea of building green, I was really nervous because I didn't think we could afford to do what we wanted inside the house.  For me, the flooring was a big concern because we really like hardwood but I wanted to do something other than traditional red oak, and bamboo or cork just wasn't the right choice for us.  We found a flooring manufacturer called Eco Timber Flooring that is devoted to forest protection and healthy homes.  I fell in love with this floor right from the 12X12 sample! It's a blend of poplar (a fast growing wood) and reclaimed woods of all types.  It's such a mix of colors!  We have an eclectic mix of wood furniture and with this floor, it marries everything together.  The cost was a bit more than a traditional oak flooring, about $2 more per square foot.  I think it was well worth it.

When researching bamboo, cork, recycled wood, etc., I learned that certification from hardwood floor suppliers can be deceptive. The following is from Eco Timber's web site.  They sum it up nicely.

"Wood suppliers often make claims that their products come from 'managed' or 'sustainable' forests, but without independent certification, there is no way to really know. Increasingly, such claims are used as a marketing ploy to "greenwash" material that came from destructive forestry practices. That's why its important to buy certified wood, BUT. . .
The fact that a wood product is 'certified' does not mean that it comes from an ecologically-well managed forest. There are now various types of forest certification and most do not have meaningful environmental standards, enforcement mechanisms, or methods of tracking the wood through the supply chain to keep out illegally-logged material and prevent misrepresentation...
The only forest certification system that enjoys the support of environmental groups worldwide is that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which is independent, non-profit, and has a mechanism for tracking wood from the forest to the consumer. The U.S. Green Building Council only recognizes FSC certification as evidence of the sustainability of a wood product. If you want verification that the wood you are purchasing came from a truly well-managed forest, demand FSC-certified material, and demand proper documentation.
PLEASE NOTE: the fact that a company has FSC certification does not mean that what is being sold is FSC-certified. Many companies that have FSC 'Chain of Custody' (COC) certification, which gives them the right to buy and sell FSC-certified wood, don't sell much FSC-certified wood at all. This is particularly the case in the wood flooring industry.
Most FSC-certified wood products have on-product FSC labels. If you are purchasing what you believe is FSC-certified wood but there are no FSC logos on the product packaging, it most likely is not certified, no matter what the rest of the information provided by the manufacturer or supplier might indicate. Some companies will even use the FSC logo on product samples, but ship uncertified material to fill your order. To verify the FSC-certified status of a wood product that does not bare the FSC logo, demand not only the supplier's COC certificate, but also an invoice or receipt detailing the FSC-certified status of each product on an individual line-item basis. If the invoice's line-item doesn't say 'FSC-certified,' the material is not certified."

1 comment:

  1. very informative post on "green washing", thanks for the good warning to all!