Innovative and ideal for all manner of projects—residential, hospitality, and more—our selection of outdoor products and materials includes a variety of greener exterior wood alternatives, chemical-free swimming pools and lawns, al fresco electronics, and whimsical furnishings. — Linda C. Lentz

East Teak Fine Hardwood Ipé deck tile (top); FiberTech Polymer TimberWolf Wood Composite Fencing (middle); and Bay Tree Technologies PureWood preserved wood decking (above) are durable, workable, stable, easy to maintain, and resistant to weather, insects, acids, fungus, UV, and water.

A trio of manufacturers redefine “green” wood with variations on earth-friendly options

Teak has long been a paradigm for landscaping due to its inherent properties. It is costly, however, and while carefully managed forests are combating its potential extinction, overconsumption is a volatile issue.

“The price of teak is driven by supply and demand, but also by harvesting techniques. It’s still harvested by elephant,” says George Guy, vice president of East Teak Fine Hardwoods. Moreover, he adds, its country of origin, Myanmar, significantly impacts the bottom line.

While the company offers FSC-certified reclaimed teak decking and timbers, ipé (aka Brazilian walnut) is a much less expensive option with otherwise similar attributes—and, according to Guy, strictly controlled by the Brazilian government.

Tobacco brown in color, harder and denser than teak, with a fire rating equal to concrete or steel, ipé is also more difficult to work with, which is what makes the company’s new deck tiles so compelling.

Available in straight patterns with nonslip grooves, the units measure 20'' x 20'' and install easily with the company’s I-Connect mechanism that grips tiles together and separates them into halves or quarters to accommodate edges. East Teak Fine Hardwoods, Dallas, Tex.

[Reader Service: June 2008 #214]


Teaklike in all its attributes, but made with southern yellow pine, PureWood chemical- and metal-free preserved wood decking and components from Bay Tree Technologies is a result of the Stellac Thermally Modified Wood (TMW) process used in Europe for more than a decade.

According to Bill Schwam, vice president of sales and marketing, this proven technology marries heat and steam to about 400 degrees F. It kills the nutrients that attract insects, fungus, and molds but stabilizes the wood, which is light, renewable, and recyclable. Bay Tree Technologies USA, Memphis, Tenn.

[Reader Service: June 2008 #215]


With the look and performance of hardwood, FiberTech’s TimberWolf Wood Composite Fencing is certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to have a minimum of 90 percent postconsumer recycled content, in this case high-density polyethylene containers and wood fiber. Indeed, says Jerry Crews, vice president of engineering, it’s been tested and exceeds Miami-Dade’s requirements for wind load. FiberTech Polymers, Santa Ana, Calif.

[Reader Service: June 2008 #216]


At one with nature
Completely free of chemicals, natural swimming pools take advantage of a biological purification system to clean the water. Applicable for public and private use, five systems have been developed, installed, and refined in Europe over the past 20 years. Traditional, contemporary, or organic by design, some have separate, plant-filled regeneration zones; other, pondlike versions combine swimming and treatment zones in one. BioNova Water Solutions, Bergkirchen, Germany.

[Reader Service: June 2008 #217]


Exterior views
Befitting the current proclivity for al fresco environments furnished as if they were luxurious living rooms or hospitality suites, 32- and 42-inch outdoor, weatherproof LCD HDTVs have been engineered to withstand the rain and snow or the coldest Minnesota winter, as well as the wind and dust of the hottest Arizona summer. In addition to state-of-the-art audio and video features, options that include custom mounting and speaker packages, as well as covers. Pantel TV, Garden Grove, Calif.

[Reader Service: June 2008 #218]