Forest Stewardship Council-US Announces Winner of Third Annual Designing & Building with FSC Award
ALDO LEOPOLD LEGACY CENTER RECOGNIZED FOR NOTABLE USE OF FSC-CERTIFIED WOOD BUILDING PRODUCTS
Washington, DC; November 2, 2007 - The Forest Stewardship Council-US (FSC-US) has announced that the Aldo Leopold Foundation, based in Baraboo, WI, will receive the third annual Designing & Building with FSC Award for their Aldo Leopold Legacy Center headquarters building. The Designing & Building with FSC Award recognizes building projects that have furthered responsible forest management through their use of FSC-certified wood products. The award will be presented in a reception in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council’s “GreenBuild” Conference and Expo in Chicago, IL, on November 8, 2007.
Completed in June 2007, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center (ALLC) is a 12,000 square foot administrative and program headquarters for the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and is located one mile from the famous Leopold Shack. The primary project team members in the construction of the Center were The Kubala-Washatko Architects, the architect and engineer, and Boldt Construction, the general contractor.
Project entries were judged by an independent selection panel on the use of wood, inclusion of FSC-certified wood products, efforts to incorporate certified forest products market transformation, overall wood design, and appropriate wood use. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is being recognized for its outstanding accomplishments in each of these areas. A total of 78% of the wood used in the building was FSC-certified, and of that amount, 92% was site-harvested and locally processed.
Aldo Leopold, for whom the Center and Foundation are named, graduated from the Yale Forestry School in 1909 and was widely respected as a leader in the field of wildlife ecology and management in the 1930’s and 40’s. Leopold’s most recognized accomplishments are his famous collection of essays entitled A Sand County Almanac and his ecological restoration project at the Leopold Shack. Leopold and his family demonstrated their commitment to a land ethic through the purchase of an abused farm, worn-out through years of neglect. The Leopold family worked to restore the health of the land, most dramatically by planting thousands of pine trees.
During the design phase of ALLC, the Foundation realized the unique opportunity to use site-harvested materials: the very trees that Leopold and his family planted in the 1930’s and 40’s. The Foundation desired to demonstrate their continued land ethic in the stewardship of their lands, and FSC certification provided an important tool for the Foundation’s forestry work. In the end, the site-harvested FSC-certified lumber created a strong physical connection to the Leopold legacy, the Foundation’s land stewardship goals, and their commitment to sustainable design and construction of their new administrative and program headquarters.
The site-harvested FSC-certified wood was implemented in both structural and non-structural uses. Site-milled columns and beams created the majority of the interior skeleton of the building. The non-structural uses included siding, ceiling decking, porch decking, flooring, base board, window frames, doors, chairs, tables, book shelves, counters, and cabinets. In addition to the products supplied by Aldo Leopold Foundation themselves, FSC-certified products were also provided by H Window Company LLC and Certified Forest Products Inc.
Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director of The Aldo Leopold Foundation, stated, “as concern grows about our future and life on this planet we call home, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center demonstrates that we can make positive contributions to both the built and the natural landscape. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is built from wood harvested from our land, and FSC certification provided an important level of oversight and critical review during our effort to responsibly integrate the stewardship of our land with the construction of the Legacy Center. By developing standards and measures that can be widely applied by knowledgeable and experienced foresters, the Forest Stewardship Council is doing important work to bring Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic into daily practice.”
The project expanded market transformation in green building and forest products in a number of tangible ways. In addition to seeking FSC forest management certification for the Foundation’s forestlands, the ALLC is also a LEED Platinum certified, carbon neutral facility.
From the perspective of the design and building team, their commitment to using their own site-harvested FSC-certified wood forced the Foundation to consider the value of a forest resource from new perspectives. For example, harvest selections from the forestland were completed prior to architectural plans—in other words, they used what the land provided and amended their architectural plans accordingly, including the extensive use of red maple throughout the buildings. The low quality trees and heartwood were used to make ceiling decking, while the higher quality, outer portions of the log were used for cabinets and doors. Although red maple (soft maple) is not as durable as sugar maple (hard maple), their millwork partners found it worthy of use.
In another example of market transformation, the pines planted by the Leopold Family presented another challenge to the process as many of them were small in diameter and quite tall. Typically, the market for whole logs in construction tends toward larger diameter trees, with the smallest useable pieces being 8 inches in diameter. Recently, US Forest Service scientists have been piloting projects using small diameter whole log construction, with diameters ranging from 6-8 inches in diameter. Because of these projects, the Center’s project engineers gained confidence in the material and were able to use the smaller diameter logs. Not only did this allow them to utilize much more of the site-harvested FSC-certified material, but demonstrated appropriate and necessary wood use.
Diana Brown, publisher of Environmental Design & Construction Magazine and part of the selection committee for the Award stated, “this year's winner, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, exceeded the goals of the award criteria by using 78% FSC-certified wood, site harvested and locally processed certified wood, and showed education in the green building industry and growth in the use of certified wood in the community. An outstanding project!"
Dovetail Partners Inc., based in Minneapolis, MN, earned this year’s “Honorable Mention” Designing & Building with FSC Award for the “Aitkin House,” a single-family home in Aitkin, MN that was built as part of their Eco-Affordable Housing program. The program aims to meet local housing needs while incorporating green building practices, including a focus on sustainable and local materials. Approximately 67% of all wood products in the 1,300 square foot home were FSC-certified, including flooring, stairs, millwork, siding, cabinets, and ceiling components. In addition to the home’s great use of FSC-certified wood, it also features a passive solar design, energy-efficient in-floor radiant heating, energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, and a small floor plan that minimized site disturbance and impact.
Erik Lund of Hastings Architecture Associates also participated in this year’s Award selection committee. He stated that, “the awards are an excellent opportunity to see how designers and contractors around the country are promoting the use of FSC-certified wood in a variety of project types. The submissions showcased innovative uses of certified wood in both structural and aesthetic applications.”
The award is open to owners, architects, interior designers, general contractors, builders, consultants or other professionals. Projects can be any building type, including commercial, institutional, mixed-use, or residential. To submit a project, applicants must use a significant amount (at least 50% of the new wood by cost) of FSC-certified wood. This year’s applicant projects must have been completed during or since 2004. The selection committee, developed by Forest Products Solutions, a green building consulting firm based in Portland, OR, consisted of representatives from: architectural firms Lucchesi Galati , and Hastings Architecture Associates; the nonprofit organizations Dovetail Partners Inc., Ecotrust, and Rocky Mountain Institute; forest products manufacturer Royal Plywood; and Environmental Design & Construction magazine.
Forest certification enables consumers to make informed choices when selecting wood and other forest products. The Forest Stewardship Council, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the global and national leader in the independent certification of forests managed to exemplary standards covering environmental, social and economic issues. FSC promotes responsible forest management by evaluating and accrediting certifiers, by encouraging the development of national and regional forest management standards, and by providing public education and information about independent, third-party certification as a tool for ensuring that the world's forests are protected for future generations. There are currently more than 23 million acres of FSC-certified forestland in the U.S. and more than 225 million acres globally. Further information about FSC-US can be found at www.fscus.org.
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