The leadership in energy and environmental design or LEED Green building rating system is the benchmark for building, designing and operating green buildings in the United States. LEED is a consensus based voluntary rating system used to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings, construction, operations and maintenance. To become certified projects must first meet the prerequisites of the USGBC then earn credits in the six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.
Using reclaimed wood can earn credit toward achieving LEED project certification. Because reclaimed wood and barn wood is considered recycled content it meets the Materials and Resources criteria for LEED certification. Reclaimed materials and especially industrial salvage can be used in so many ways in LEED projects from structural members to sub-floor, ceilings, wall coverings, flooring, exterior siding, all types of accents and creative details.
For more information, or to see if your building project may qualify please check out the LEED website here.
Wood naturally expands and contracts throughout the seasons due to changes in temperature and humidity. Spanned over decades, this process makes barnwood denser (typically 40 points on the Janka hardness scale) than its virgin counterpart. Denser wood is less prone to warping, splitting and cracking, making barnwood a stable and long-lasting choice for almost any application.
Wood oxidizes over time, resulting in a desirable grey weathered look. Barnwood that has been in constant contact with the elements also develops a subtle surface texture, adding warmth and character. This hallmark of authentic barnwood is among the more difficult to replicate.
Nails, bolts, chains or any piece of metal that touched or penetrated the wood will leave behind mineral stains that infuse the surrounding grain and create the distinctive, streaked barnwood look that can’t be manufactured
Reclaimed materials are a sustainable alternative to other building products. Because reclaimed materials are considered recycled content they meets the Materials and Resources criteria for LEED certification and may also earns points towards a certification with Green Globes and other building rating systems.
Using reclaimed materials keeps trees standing. Every tree not harvested absorbs on average 31.5 pounds of carbon in its lifetime, filters out 48 pounds of carbon dioxide every year and produces enough oxygen to sustain two human beings for life. Greenpeace prefers reclaimed wood, and has called it the most environmentally friendly form of timber production.
The manufacture and transport of new building materials have environmental impacts. For instance, producing 1 cubic meter of wood flooring from virgin wood materials consumes 13 times the energy required to use reclaimed flooring. And manufacturing 1 cubic meter of wood flooring from virgin wood materials creates 470% more fossil CO2 emissions than reclaiming the same amount of wood flooring.*
About 10% of old wood ends up in landfills where it decomposes over time, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. The other 90% is burned, immediately adding to carbon emissions. Reclaiming old wood rather than disposing of it keeps the carbon stored within it out of the atmosphere for many more years to come.
*From a joint study by the Army Corp of engineers, USDA forest products lab, construction engineering research lab.
We absolutely love how our reclaimed barn wood and rusty corrugated metal looks in the new restaurant Sauce on the Blue in Silverthorne, CO. We’d like to give prop’s to Shervin Rashidi, Sam Rivers and the KKJR crew for making this vision a reality.
This is a great example of the Urban rustic design theme, incorporating old reclaimed materials into modern spaces. The timbers corners and planking on the standing bar are from a Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery building (#21) taken down in Milwaukee. The dark and naily back walls were roof decking from barns in northern Wisconsin. The red barn wood behind the bar was the siding from the Joe Minch barn in Illinois.
Everyone loves the look of old barn wood, but not all contractors know how to handle it properly. Make sure your project goes as planned by asking the following questions: