Division 06: Wood, Plastics, & Composites

Month day, year

March 2008 updated
This year, along with many other eco-friendly resin additions, 3form introduced 100 Percent, a new sustainable material offering made entirely from post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is typically generated from recycled bottles used for detergent, shampoo, milk, and cosmetics. 3form worked with a recycling partner to devise a state-of-the-art sorting and cleaning technology to sort the waste by color and then arrange a confetti-like sprinkling of compressed color particles into artful combinations within the panels. The company¹s own 240 member work force at its Salt Lake City facility contributes to the recycling effort, even bringing in discards from their homes that are regularly shipped to the recycler in Alabama. 100 Percent panels are UV stable, offer chemical-resistance, and are suited for high-impact environments such as restroom partitions, education, and healthcare facilities, as well as outdoor applications. Initially, 100 Percent is available in four colorways in 4' x 8' sheets that are 1'' thick. Color patterns can be varied according to the needs of the specifier depending on the availability of specific recycled content.

Chroma resin from 3form has been reinvented so it can be reprocessed and repurposed for a second life. Developed in conjunction with Bayer Material Science, Chroma features Aura, a proprietary color infusion process that allows 3form to infuse non-toxic colorant at a depth of 250 microns. To encourage recycling, 3form will buy back the panels and reprocess them through its Reclaim program. The material can also be ³leased² for a defined period of time and then returned for reprocessing.

HighRes, the latest offering from 3form, allows any image with a resolution of 300 dpi to be embedded within the company’s signature Varia eco resin. HighRes can be customized not only with an image, but with 3form’s color, interlayer, texture, and hardware options. Applications include as a branding element in office environments, a display panel at a cultural institution, or a decorative element in a hospitality space. Varia is Greenguard certified for Indoor Air Quality and earns two LEED points for recycled content.

Abet Inc.
September 2001
Abet Laminati has launched Tefor, its first recyclable and recycled surfacing material. Tefor, an alloy of manufacturing wastes of high pressure laminates and chemically inert polypropylene, can be used for interior applications including retail shelving, backsplashes, and vertical cladding. Tefor is available in black or natural.

Arch Treatment Technologies
December 2007
Suitable for most outdoor decking applications, Wolmanized L3 Outdoor Wood features a non-metallic, carbon-based preservative that provides lasting resistance to termites and fungal decay. It can be painted or stained without discoloration from the preservative, which has low impact on hardware and woodworking tools.

AsiaRain Jungle Hardwoods
October 2001
All AsiaRain jungle hardwood flooring is certifiably reclaimed, rediscovered, or recycled tropical hardwood. AsiaRain “Jungle Mix” floors are 100 percent rediscovered and reclaimed “used wood” from old railroad cross ties, telegraph poles, and bridge pilings out of Southeast Asia.

August 2002
Avonite is considered "green" because 51 percent of its properties are from reused or reclaimed material. Avonite's series of recycled patterns utilizes particulates produced from reclaimed solid surface materials.

Avonite Surfaces
November 2007
Avonite Surfaces has introduced nine new solid surfacing products including two new recycled products, that complete a line of eight SCS Certified products that offer a minimum of 40 percent pre-consumer recycled waste content. The two new recycled products include Crater, a basic black with an array of large accents of yellow, gray, red, and brown, and Summer, a cedar green with flecks of black, gray, and clear hues. Avonite first introduced recycled solid surfacing in 1996 with Kaleidoscope, which contained a minimum of 40 percent recycled content. Avonite's Marketing Manager Wayne Rutledge says the company decided to obtain third party certification from SCS in 2005 in response to the ³overactive green marketing buzz² in the past few years. The surfacing¹s pre-consumer recycled content comes from trim scrap and imperfect sheets from Avonite¹s production facilities that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. Although there is no collection system in place to retrieve old installations, all of the products in the line are able to be recycled back into new sheets. According to Rutledge, the company¹s Custom Sheet Size Program is an integral part of their approach to sustainable design. ³Our wide sheet and custom size program provides the smart designer and contractor with a way to cut costs, reduce waste, and save time in large commercial applications,² he says. Such applications include hotel vanities, tub surrounds, or wall cladding for military or student housing, shower stalls, and hospital rooms.

Bison Deck Supports
December 2009
These commercial-grade, FSC-certified wood tiles are lightweight and pre-assembled to a size of 2' x 2'. They work with Bison Deck Supports and fastening kits on rooftops, terraces, and green roofs. They offer a Janka Hardness rating of 3190 and have a scuff-resistant surface. No mechanical fasteners are visible from the top, keeping the look clean.

Black's Farmwood
June 2000
Black's Farmwood is 100 percent reclaimed and recycled. Products include remanufactured flooring, barn timber flooring, commercial timber flooring, barn threshing flooring, barn siding, reclaimed beams, posts, and other timbers from barns and vintage structures, and structural timbers.

CanFibre Group Ltd.
ALLGREEN medium density fiberboard is made of 100 percent waste wood and binders. Panels exceeding ANSI standards for industrial MDF and have no incremental formaldehyde emissions. 888/355-4733.

April 2005
Launched at the Greenbuild conference held in Portland last November, Canopy is a new resource for builders, designers, and architects who are interested in hard-to-source green materials. Canopy’s initial portfolio includes: Paperstone, a surfacing material made of a post-consumer recycled paper/resin blend from KlipTech Composites; Durat a durable solid-surface product from Finland made from 50 percent recycled plastic and that is 100 percent recyclable; Kirei, an alternative wood product made from pressed, reclaimed Sorghum stalks and a formaldehyde-free adhesive; and a flooring from EcoTimber, a supplier of FSC-certified, reclaimed and bamboo flooring.

September 2001
Xorel Surfaces is the first woven hard surface using Carnegie's Xorel textile. Developed exclusively by Carnegie, Xorel Surfaces combines the colors, patterns, and textures of a woven textile with the strength and flexibility of a rigid material. Even though the textile is on the surface, the material can be drilled, cut, bent, tapped into, and heat draped. Created by thermofusing
PETG, a polyester resin, with Xorel, the end result is a durable, cleanable, hard surface with no chlorine content or plasticizers.

CertainTeed Corporation
April 2002
Boardwalk composite decking and railing is the only composite decking system made with the patent-pending EcoTech material that combines PVC, a weatherable polymer, with recycled natural fibers for strength and durability. While most manufacturers use a much softer post-consumer recycled polyethylene (PE) to create their decking material, Boardwalk uses PVC, a harder, stronger polymer that is also used in the manufacturing of other vinyl building products such as siding and windows. Boardwalk is manufactured without toxic chemical preservatives, boasts a Class I (A) fire rating, and comes with a 10-year warranty.

December 2008
ChloroFill Board is made from sorghum stalks bound together using a formaldehyde-free, zero-VOC binder. This agrifiber board has a high flexural strength and can be used in the same way as particle board for wall coverings, floor underlayment, door cores, furniture, and other applications.

Columbia Forest Products
April 2007 updated
Columbia Forest Products announced it has begun to convert its veneer-core hardwood plywood plants to formaldehyde-free manufacturing processes using a patented, soy-based adhesive cooperatively developed by Columbia, the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and Hercules. Hercules has awarded Columbia a license to utilize its adhesive system on an exclusive basis for all of Columbia’s North American decorative-panel markets. The new adhesive, made primarily of soy flour, will allow Columbia to completely eliminate formaldehyde from its veneer-core and Woodstalk agrifiber-core panel products. The company expects the conversion to be complete within a year. Currently, there are few no-added-formaldehyde alternatives to UF-based adhesives on the market, and all are significantly higher in cost.

Columbia Forest Products has begun producing formaldehyde-free PureBond particleboard, complementing an existing line of formaldehyde-free hardwood plywood products. The particleboard will be manufactured at the company¹s Hearst, Ontario facility, which will turn the board into finished hardwood plywood and other panels. Columbia is seeking arrangements for other composite panel manufacturers to incorporate the PureBond adhesive system into their processes.

Chemical Specialties
To mitigate possible environmental damage, Preserve treated wood products are coated with a copper-based preservative, instead of the commonly used chromium and arsenic treatment. Biodegradable preservatives offer additional protection from fungi and insect attack that copper alone would not control.

All of Craftmark's centuries-old wood is rescued from historic building sites and oldmills and factories. This vintage lumber is harder, denser, and more stable than newwood. The company recently rescued Douglas Fir lumber from a historic Seagrams whiskeyfactory in Illinois. In the early 1900's this lumber was harvested in Oregon and sent by railcar to Illinois. Today, that same lumber has returned to Oregon, by rail car, tograce many homes in the Pacific Northwest. Craftmark mills vintage Douglas Fir, Redand White Oak, Heart Pine and many other species into flooring, wainscoting,stair treads & risers, and custom molding for restoration projects.

The Collins Companies
December 2007
FreeForm is a new FSC-certified particleboard produced without added urea-formaldehyde (a melamine-formaldehyde binder is used instead). Initial chamber testing has shown formaldehyde emissions to meet Phase I California Air Resources Board standards. The company hopes to eventually eliminate formaldehyde-based binders from its products.

January 2008
DuPont Corian¹s Terra Collection is a selection of 25 colors certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), a third party company that confirms that manufacturers meet standards regarding environmental claims for pre-consumer recycled material. The launch consists of 25 Corian colors with two levels of certification, including a group of seven colors certified to have at least 13 percent preconsumer recycled material and a group of 18 colors made with a minimum of six percent preconsumer recycled content.

EHV-Weidmann Industries
September 2006
While the manufacturers of Maplex surfacing material hope their new product will be a model of green manufacturing, they avoid making any hyperbolic claims. Made from 100 percent unbleached softwood fibers from sustainably managed forests, Maplex is produced using only water, heat, and pressure. By eliminating binders, formaldehyde, or petroleum-based products, Maplex is both nontoxic and biodegradable. Two types are available: Maplex C, a medium-density, highly flexible version that can be rolled and formed; and Maplex P, a stronger, high-density version with good dimensional stability (twice the bending and tensile strength of birch plywood). Both can be punched, drilled, laminated, stained, or coated, and are suitable for most interior applications.

December 2007
Made from plantation-grown, renewable timber such as pine, Alowood is a natural wood that is organically hardened and colored for a denser, stronger wood than the original that can be produced in virtually any color.

November 2006
Formica¹s Veneer Premium Wood Surfacing Collection includes 30 new engineered wood veneers that combine fine wood grain and a polyurethane finish. All are derived from sustainable forestry practices and produced using fast-growth species including poplar, obeche, basswood, and bamboo.

Five collections, including Modern, Traditional, Metropolitan, New Classic, and Exotic Veneers, make up the group.

Goodwin Heart Pine Company
May 2000
Most of the trees recovered by Goodwin and Company are hundreds and sometimes thousands of years old. When the trees were initially hewn, it was the oldest and most dense trees that rolled off the logging rafts and slipped in the darkness of the Suwannee and Florida Rivers. Many carry the V-bottom cut of the broad axe used more than a hundred years ago. The wood is carefully raised, kiln-dried, then cut to the specifications of the particular project. Applications include the Ernest Hemingway House Museum in Key West, Florida.

Homasote, Inc.
Homasote 440 Sound Barrier is a high-density fiberboard panel made from 100 percent recycled waste paper and formaldehyde-free binders. It is designed for use as a carpet underlayment and as a sound-control panel. Related products include 4-Way Floor Decking and Firestall Roof Decking, all structural high-density fiberboard panels made of 100 percent waste paper, paraffin binders, and additives for pest and fire resistance.

Huber Engineered Woods
December 2009
AdvanTech has greater water resistance, design bending strength, and stiffness than commodity OSB and plywood. Certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the flooring and sheathing is made of sustainable, fast-growing tree species and formaldehyde-free resin. All waste is reused in the manufacturing process.

Ineos Acrylics
January 2001
44/01254 874000
Lucite cast acrylic can be used in the bathroom on bathtubs, shower trays, and whirlpools. The material is 100 percent recyclable.

InPro Corporation
November 2007 updated
Bamboo continues to work its way into more building product categories: in addition to its ability to be sustainably harvested every three to five years, its durability makes it a good replacement for hardwoods in interior finishes and flooring. InPro¹s bamboo hand rail and chair rail products, an extension of the company¹s EnviroGT line, are available in both a lighter natural bamboo color and a rich brown hue created through a ³carbonizing² process. Materials can be ordered in 13' stock lengths or in pre-assembled units.

InPro Corporations¹ new SanparrelGT sheet is a PETG (polyester) based rigid sheet product that is intended to be a greener alternative to other non-PVC sheet materials. Unlike products made with ABS or polycarbonate, SanparrelGT sheet offers an eco-friendlier make-up and higher recycling rates when compared to other plastics, according to the manufacturer. The new rigid PETG sheet product has an NFPA Class A fire rating, and comes in 54 standard colors at .040'' and .060'' thicknesses for high impact resistance.

May 2000
When the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources recently renovated their office space located in a 107-year-old building in the historic Exchange District of Winnipeg, Isobord was used for shelving, cabinetry, baseboards, work stations, and a reception desk. Isobord, an engineered strawboard product with non-Formaldehyde resins, was also used as door and window trim and bookcases in the 10,000 square foot office areas.

Jefferson Recycled Woodworks
April 2001
Jefferson Recycled Woodworks offers a full spectrum of lumber products, all remanufactured from salvaged lumber and timbers. They claim to currently hold one of the largest inventories of reclaimed redwood beams and timbers. A new company, AsiaRain, is now manufacturing hardwood flooring made from reclaimed exotic hardwoods in Southeast Asia.

February 2001
Louisiana-Pacific is entering the composite decking market and plans to construct two wood fiber composite decking facilities. Composite decking is made of recycled and/or excess wood products and post-consumer recycled plastic. Products will include solid and hollow planks and railing systems. LP developed the Super Smooth Technology process to manufacture a special engineered wood substrate with an extraordinarily smooth surface. To create the surface, sustainable trees are processed into consistent wood panel sizes that are treated with a strengthening high-grade exterior binder and a special smoothing top layer.

LP Building Products
December 2008
LP SolidStart laminated strand lumber is a wood product made from thin strands of sustainably harvested aspen, maple, and other woods. It has superior resistance to warping, twisting, shrinking, and bowing and outperforms lumber in various applications.

August 2006
Milanese designer Luisa Cevese adapted the technique she developed for her Riedizioni collection of accessories to create Ply, a pliable laminate material for interior applications manufactured for Maharam. The product is based on a proprietary process Cevese developed to embed textile remnants in a soft, translucent polyurethane. Variations of the substrate, coupled with jute, chenille, and tweed yarns, create bold effects; low contrast combinations accentuate texture and high-contrast variations add an optical twist. The translucent variation of Ply allows for opportunities to showcase materials underneath the surface. Polyurethane, the foundation of Ply, is a PVC-free organic polymer that offers the elasticity of latex coupled with extreme durability.

Nexwood Industries Ltd.
March 2001
Nexwood is a low maintenance composite decking and railing product. It is manufactured in a proprietary extrusion process. Recycled plastic and wood-like filler (rice hulls) diverted from the waste stream are mixed and shaped to standard lumber dimensions. No toxic chemicals are used during manufacturing as the plastic content is naturally resistant to moisture, insects, and rot.

Panel Source International
April 2004
Panel Source International manufactures a line of particleboard, MDF, and plywood panels known as Pyroblock.Pyroblock is a Class A Fire Retardant Panel, available as urea-formaldehyde free, FSC Certified, and manufactured with varying degrees of recycled and rapidly renewable fibers. Panel Source International also distributes its line of Purekor Environmentally Preferable particleboard, MDF, and Plywood.

Parametre by 3form
December 2008
Like a paper wedding bell, Parametre expands from a 2'' strip into a 3D screen. Made of nonwoven polyester with a 10 percent recycled content, it comes as large as 14' x 16' and can be installed vertically or horizontally, indoors or outside.

Potlatch Corporation
October 2004 updated
Potlatch Corporation offers the OXBoard line of specialty OSB (oriented strand board). OXBoard specialty OSB products include OXTerminator Structural Building Panels, LuminOX Radiant Barrier Roof and Wall Sheathing, and OXTreme Sturd-I-Floor Panels. OXTerminator prevents termites, fungal rot and decay, and are highly resistant to surface mold growth. LumixOX reflects up to 97 percent of the sun's radiant energy, reducing homeowner's cooling costs by 10-25 percent. OXTreme panels resist moisture and edge-swell caused by exposure to rain, snow, high humidity, and other adverse weather conditions during construction.

Potlatch Corporation is the first U.S. headquartered, publicly traded forest products company to certify its Idaho lumber and plywood manufacturing operations under the standards of the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Certified Potlatch products include framing lumber made of hemlock fir, larch fir, Douglas fir, and hybrid poplar, as well as decking, siding, boards, and finger-jointed boards made of red cedar. Sanded and sheathing grades of plywood made from white or Douglas fir have also been certified.

Reclaimed Snow Fence Wood
Centennial Woods
August 2011
Centennial Woods reclaims rustic lumber from Wyoming snow fences (built to help control snowdrift on roadways) and repurposes it for a second life as siding, flooring, and other applications such as this herringbone-patterned ceiling for a private residence. The company claims to have reclaimed 6 million linear feet of snow fence that would have been burned or thrown into a landfill.  

November 2010
Richlite’s Cascade Range of Greenguard- and FSC-certified materials come with a solid-color top and two- or three-tone edges. Intended to offer a multi-colored surface edging option for countertops, work surfaces, stairs, wall cladding, wall caps, flooring, and columns. The material features a matte surface finish that is durable and heat- and stain resistant.  

Robin Reigi Inc. for Smith & Fong Company
September 2006
New from San Francisco-based Smith & Fong Company, Plyboo End Grain Block is available in 3' x 6' slabs and is ideal for tabletops, kitchen butcher-block, and other horizontal surfacing applications. The Plyboo EndGrain Block material is 1 1Ž2'' thick and is available in natural or amber, or in custom color stains. According to the manufacturer, the bamboo product will soon be available in flooring. Smith & Fong offers a range of sustainable materials, including Strand and Neopolitan bamboo and Durapalm, made from plantation grown coconut palms

Shinnoki Real Wood Designs
August 2011
Shinnoki, a provider of real-wood veneer panels for interior applications, offers the Zero Line of no added urea-formaldehyde veneer. The line is made of FSC-certified wood depending on species; Bright Maple, Milk oak, and Espresso Beech, are a few. The basic panel consists of 18 mm MDF that is FSC-certified (70% Mixed) and made with formaldehyde-free glues, stains, and lacquer. Available through the Robin Reigi Inc. showroom.  

December 2000
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has certified SierraPine Limited for using up to 100 percent recovered and recycled wood fiber in its production of particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF). Three SierraPine products, Medite II, Medite FRm, and Medex are also certified for having no formaldehyde added.

S.J. Morse
March 2004
The S.J. Morse Company has introduced a new veneer-faced trim to provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to solid wood. The Company now offers the custom-made trim in six FSC-certified species: three domestics, oak, cherry, and maple; and three relatively unknown Brazilian species, Amapa, Taurari Vermelho, and Cupiuba.

Smile Plastics
December 2008
Smile Plastics makes something new out of old plastic coffee cups. By collecting, shredding, cleaning, melting, and tinting the cups, it creates polystyrene sheet materials called Charcoal. The product looks like granite and suits the same applications.

Smith & Fong
November 2008 updated
Smith & Fong’s trio of wood products—Plyboo Strand plywood, Plyboo Black Tambour, and Durapalm Plywood—provide different options for decoration and paneling. Strand (left) is made of bamboo but is durable enough (3000 PSI) to withstand commercial environments. Black Tambour is made of bamboo strips applied to a thin fabric backing with a non-toxic glue and can be used on a variety of surfaces. Durapalm Plywood is made of layers of non-productive, plantation-grown coconut palm.

Palm Woven is the latest addition to Smith & Fong¹s Durapalm collection of flooring and plywood. Derived from plantation-grown coconut palms at the end of their life cycle, Durapalm is composed of multiple layers from the tree¹s hard, dark perimeter for a stable and durable panel. The finger joint design of these textured panels snap together for easy installation on walls and other surfaces.

Smith & Fong is now producing the world’s first range of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified bamboo plywood and flooring. Smith & Fong’s certified products will qualify for the FSC Pure designation, meaning they made of 100 percent FSC material from an FSC-certified forest and have been sold and/or processed by an FSC chain-of-custody certified company. No irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers are used in growing the bamboo.

Stone Source
December 2009
Suitable for interior walls, this line of FSC- and Rainforest Alliance-certified, textured reclaimed wood is made from salvaged parts of deconstructed buildings. The wood paneling is available in various lengths and widths, depending on type of species (seven are available including American Chestnut, North Faced Oak, and New England Hemlock). Textures include sculpted, burnished, raked, dry brushed, and unfinished.

Cottonwood is the newest pattern to be added to Avonite's series of solid surfacing. The colored chips are produced from recycled solid materials.

December 2005 updated
In addition to following methods that meet today's strict air and waste water emission standards, Tabu's collections of reconstituted veneers, Newood and Caleidolegno, utilize wood species such as Obeche and Poplar, which are relatively inexpensive, fast growing wood species from managed forests.

The Green collection, from Tabu, features a line of veneers made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods. These veneers enable builders and architects to earn certified-wood credit from LEED, and according to Tabu, can create yields 40 times greater than using solid lumber.

Tamalpais TimberWorks
June 2001
BYO natural furniture kits will be available in an array of options, from complete kits ready-to-build out of the box (including the single tool required), to partial kits with just the metal assemblies, wood resource information, and detailed instructions. This allows individuals to purchase exactly what they need to create the piece that is right for them, both in terms of assembly time, skills, and budget. Customers may choose between environmentally-certified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) pine, redwood, or exotic woods, or salvaged lumber, and between several different assembly designs and environmentally-friendly finishes. The company has partnered with eco-suppliers, from lumber companies specializing in FSC-harvested wood, to local deconstruction and salvage suppliers such as the Bay Area's Community Woodworks. Every step of Tamalpais TimberWork's process heeds this environmental philosophy, from using recycled paper at its headquarters, to recycled packaging and environmental finishes.

December 2009
GreenGlass fiberglass-faced gypsum sheathing is moisture and mold-resistant as well as SCS-certified to contain at least 90% recycled content, setting a new industry standard. Developed for application under a range of exterior veneers, it complies with ASTM C1177 and conforms to the code-referenced standard for acceptable wall bracing materials.

September 2005
Made of 40 percent recycled plastic and 60 percent industrial-waste wood fiber, Tendura composite boards are fungus- and termite-resistant. The TenduraPlank line features a tongue-and-groove floorboard designed specifically for covered-porch applications. The boards are available in a new Solid collection, which does not need to be painted. Battleship Gray (shown) is the first color available in the line, and more colors will be added soon. Tendura also offers a Classic primed model that allows homeowners to paint their porch any color they choose.

July 2004
Teragren's product line has expanded to include TimberGrass bamboo prefinished and site-finished flooring and accessories, stair parts, panels and veneers as well as a new Teragren brand of bamboo wide plank flooring. Company executives plan to offer a wider range of price points and new products made out of not only bamboo, but other sustainably harvested hardwoods in the near future.

Timber Holdings Ltd
April 2000
Used in commercial applications for more than 25 years, Iron Woods, from Timber Holdings Ltd. (THL) are naturally resistant to termites, rot, splintering, fire, and chemicals. THL works closely with designers to help them reach their environmental objectives

Timber Products Company
December 2007
The entire line of GreenT Hardwood Plywood is available with a special no-added-urea formaldehyde resin and several core options such as MDF, veneer, or particleboard, all produced with recycled wood fibers.

Titan Wood
August 2006
Accoya, from U.K.-based Titan Wood, is produced using a patented acetylation process that converts sustainably forested softwoods and non-durable hardwoods into a modified wood product that offers durability, dimensional stability, and a non-toxic, 100 percent recyclable alternative to tropical hardwoods, biocide-treated woods, and artificial materials in external applications. The company is currently negotiating overseas distribution rights and expects Accoya to be available in the U.S. next year.

Trex Company
March 2000
The Presidential Trail at Mt. Rushmore was surfaced with Trex Easy Care Decking to ensure no splinters for visitors and to reduce upkeep by the park staff. Trex is made with recycled and reclaimed plastic and wood, and requires no special tools or fasteners.

Trus Joist
Engineered lumber products have significant environmental advantages over dimension lumber. Trus Joist MacMillan relies on second-growth and alternative timber species rather than controversial old-growth timber resources. For example, the TJI joist's structurally efficient "I" shape uses half the wood fiber of solid-sawn joists. Wood-based engineered lumber is a natural insulator.

Tabu Veneer
September 2001
Tabu's line of dyed natural and reconstituted veneers is now available in the U.S. The veneers include hundreds of colors, patterns, and species, and are aniline-dyed using a computer calibrated coloring process. The dying process allows the veneers to retain the characteristics of the wood, while eliminating color variations. Tabu veneers reduce the waste experienced with natural veneers caused by these variations.

November 2008
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s Artek Pavilion finally found a permanent home last June when Sotheby’s auctioned off the structure as part of a sale of Important 20th Century Design. Originally hoped to bring in $800,000 to $1.2 million, the unit was purchased at the bargain price of $602,500 by Sebastian + Barquet, a gallery for modern and contemporary furniture based in New York City. The prefabricated pavilion, which has been exhibited in Milan, Helsinki, and Miami, was produced in collaboration with Finnish modern furnishings manufacturer Artek and Finnish forest products group UPM. It comprises 21 modules, each consisting of a section of roof, wall, and structural elements forming an elongated exhibition space.

Originally built for the 2007 Salone del Mobile in Milan, the “Space of Silence” pavilion was designed by Ban using mainly one material: extruded profile out of UPM ProFi, a wood plastic composite made from 60 percent surplus paper and plastic left over from UPM’s production of self-adhesive label stock. The floor of the pavilion was made of UPM ProFi Deck, the first commercial product made of UPM ProFi, which is ideal for outdoor use in garden decks, patios, boardwalks, and other applications.

Weatherproof and highly durable, UPM ProFi Deck requires no annual surface treatment — only periodic cleaning is recommended. According to UPM, ProFi does not contain any harmful chemicals, so it can be crushed and converted to new product, incinerated, or thrown out with regular trash (although it will not decompose).

UPM ProFi Deck can be worked with traditional woodworking tools to create a range of patterns and designs such as compass roses, art deco patterns, curves, and waves. UPM ProFi Deck also reacts to temperature like wood, with a thermal expansion of approximately 0.1 percent. The material’s color (available in a natural palette) will change only slightly after several months exposed to sunlight because the material is virtually free of lignin, the natural wood molecule that turns gray when exposed to sunlight. A hollow core structure keeps the material lightweight and enables the use of hidden fastening and electrical cables that can be run unexposed inside the profiles.

Last April, UPM announced it plans to build a new mill in Karlsruhe, Germany. The plant, which will manufacture UPM ProFi decking boards mainly for the growing Central European market, is scheduled to start production in early 2009.

U.S. Plastic Lumber
May 2004
U.S. Plastic Lumber (USPL) produces plastic lumber made from post-consumer waste including milk jugs and detergent bottles. USPL's high-density polyethylene is made from 100% recycled plastic and is a maintenance-free product for railing or deck board. USPL also manufactures a wood-plastic composite for deck board or railing and TriMax, a structural board that can replace pressure-treated wood.

April 2003
ChoiceDek is a patented composite decking material manufactured with recycled woodfiber and recycled polyethylene that provides a water resistant product practical for deck, railing, dock, and marine applications. ChoiceDek saws, drills, and finishes like wood, and will fade to a grey shade over time. Hidden channels in the railing can be used for lighting wire and support rails on top and bottom are notched for easy assembly and to hide fasteners.

February 2005 updated
Oasis is the latest generation of decking from Alcoa. Distributed throughout North America by Weyerhaeuser, the Oasis system offers both composite and PVC deck planks and railing components. Crafted of HDPE (high density polyethylene) and fine wood fiber, Oasis composite looks and handles like wood.