Looking back on Last year, 2019:
We started our own small business with (literally) nothing but an idea and the blessing of a dear friend who enabled us to believe in ourselves, and began hustling our way to become the legitimate operation we are now. From our three main deconstruction projects of 2019 (the largest still in progress), we have salvaged, cleaned, marketed, and supplied 100% recycled and reclaimed building materials like barn wood and other reusable items to large and small general contractors from Blaine to Seattle to Portland, for use in restaurants, small business offices, spas and salons, private residences and by fine and amateur craftsmen, and to dozens of local diy'ers! It's incredibly gratifying to know that it was our efforts that kept those materials from their likely imminent destination- the landfill. I personally have discovered that there is a real and almost primal satisfaction in working to recover and promote post-consumer recycled products to everyone we possibly can, and we're so grateful that 2020 is another year that will allow us to continue growing with the inevitably powerful social and economical movement towards sustainability and conservation.
We do things a little differently… that's no secret! We recognize that initially, our process may seem a little unorthodox and possibly even - fortuitous, but we are humble and deliberate in our process. Thanks to the blessing we have of being our own bosses, we can take pride in becoming a truly different type of reclaimed wood supplier. Our unique way of running our business affords a certain simplicity and authenticity of experience, and a genuine sense of satisfaction to our clients seeking to responsibly source reclaimed building materials, specifically antique barn wood. Because we are such a small operation (and like it that way), we are able to offer, truly, some of the most sustainable and high quality reclaimed barn wood there is in existence! With the opportunity to visit our sites, choose, customize, and pre-order their materials, and by then picking up or having their wood delivered personally by us, our clients can minimize their own "footprint" in an undeniably effective way.
To briefly summarize from a broad and very relatable standpoint: when you choose to source FSC® Certified 100% recycled (post-consumer) wood for your building needs, as opposed to using easily & widely available fresh harvested lumber, it effectively results in conserving MASSIVE amounts of energy and natural resources(read: greenhouse gas emissions) that would have, in contrast, been consumed in utter excess just for the production of a few boards of inefficient and sub-standard lumber picked up from the "big box store".
How amazing is that?! The more you dig into it, the more awesome it becomes! So we are SO stoked on being new "small business owners", and actually like to be "adulting it" like never before! Plus, we totally enjoy the feeling of fulfilling someone's search for a meaningful wood piece with history, and also having the opportunity of sharing the beauty and superiority of reclaimed, old-growth barn wood with someone who hadn't yet realized the incredible scope of its AWESOMENESS!
Attaining our FSC® Chain -of-Custody Certification (of all our reclaimed barn wood and products we make using it) has been a deeply meaningful achievement for us as business owners, because it truly represents our own personal motivations and goals regarding the impact we hope to have on society. Naturally, we're excited to let everyone know about the huge significance of the FSC® Certification program, and FSC's defining effect on not only the conservation and sustainable building movement, but also the entire building materials, construction, development, engineering, architectural, and design industries! (PNW BarnWood Supply certification code: FSC® 100% Recycled C041262.)
As the world’s most trusted certification system dedicated to sustainable forestry, the Forest Stewardship Council is the leading catalyst and defining force for improved forest management and market transformation, shifting the global forest trend toward sustainable use, conservation, restoration, and respect for all.
The FSC does this by setting standards on forest products, along with certifying, labeling and grading them as eco-friendly.
FSC is the only forest certification supported by the world’s most trusted environmental organizations, including World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Defense Council. FSC uniquely offers climate advantages, they preserve intact forest landscapes and wildlife habitats, and they protect local communities and workers.
The use of green building materials like reclaimed wood is also helpful for contractors/ buildings pursuing various certifications such as LEED, WELL, and Living Building Challenge. Since reclaimed wood is both sustainable and biophilic, it positively impacts both humans and the natural environment. Badass!!
Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.
Biophilia is defined as the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature. Biophilic design, an extension of biophilia, incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment.
**Cool right? K! Back to it!**
Like artisanal goods, reclaimed wood embodies the essence of craftsmanship and brings an authenticity reminiscent of simpler times. While it first enjoyed popularity as a niche product, reclaimed wood quickly became a standard material for commercial projects. Initially, its use was quite common for businesses like coffee shops and restaurants that aimed to evoke an artisanal atmosphere. It swiftly crossed over to commercial buildings and has since become a favored choice for spaces like offices, restaurants, and hotels. As health and wellness benefit data surfaces, reclaimed wood is finding its way more and more into hospitals, schools and retirement homes.
Appropriately, the rise of biophilic design has bolstered the demand for reclaimed wood. All 14 patterns of biophilic design center around a deeper connection to nature, and reclaimed wood is a natural biophilic fit. It excels at fostering a material connection with nature, and its natural patina can connect occupants to natural systems, which creates an environment that is “relaxing, nostalgic, profound, or enlightening, and frequently anticipated” according to Jonce Walker in Terrapin Bright Green. In other words, wood helps people feel better and look forward to being in a space.
This is scientifically backed by numerous studies that have analyzed the complex web of different types of relationships between humans and nature. Reclaimed wood in particular has wellness-enhancing properties that can improve how people feel, work, and interact in a space. The presence of wood lowers heart rates and stress responses, so occupants feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. When used in conjunction with biophilic elements like natural light and greenery, or in spaces meant for refuge or collaboration, reclaimed woods’ effect intensifies, resulting in a built environment optimized for human well-being.
The broader adoption of reclaimed wood coincided with the new era of sustainability in Architecture & Design. Society's focus on environmental friendliness, biophilic design and occupant wellness encourages builders to seek out greener materials and methods. Today, you can find all types of reclaimed wood in commercial buildings, businesses and residences everywhere.
We love our job, and it turned out to be even RADDER than we already thought! Our business, which began as something fun that we enjoy doing, has resulted in a new and real purpose, for us as business owners, as a couple, and as humans. How is it possible we stumbled into being part of something so cool? Seriously! So I guess it's appropriate to say that the humble transformation our hearts have made has consequently required a serious increased intensity of our respective "ADULTING"! And it isn't SO bad…. ;)