Cabinets and Wood

cabinets01032009Our cabinets started getting delivered this past week over the holidays.  They are really spectacular-looking and (you guessed it) environmentally friendly (photo is of the master bathroom vanity).  The cabinets are locally produced here in Dallas.  The Materials & Resources category of LEED for Homes allows us to claim points for using a local supplier.  So think of it this way:  we could have cabinets fabricated in, say, California.  The fabricator would ship them to Dallas.  When they are shipped, however, most of what is being shipped is air because the cabinets are mostly open space.  With the cabinets made in Dallas, the wood can be locally sourced from the forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma and shipped to the fabricator in stacks so that more material is shippped at once.  Then the cabinets are made and brought the final 10 miles to us – much more efficient.

Had our cabinets been constructed with tropical wood, we would have had to use FSC-certified woods.  The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that was created “to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.”  Basically the organization creates standards that allows the end buyer (us!) to be assured that the wood we’re buying has been grown, harvested and transported in both an environmentally-friendly and a human rights-friendly manner.

Section 2.1 of the LEED for Homes Materials & Resources category requires the use of FSC-certified tropical woods.  We’re having a bit of a hard time finding a supplier of garapa, which is what we’re hoping to use on our upper balconies and bridge.  There is wood available that is not FSC-certified, but its use would negate any LEED certification….obviously not desireable!