As part of the subdivision process, every single tree on the entire Mullet Hall property above 12″ caliper was tagged. This allowed for easily identification of trees for removal, saving, protection, and trimming. We learned that most of the trees on the property are Sugar Maple, Red Oak, and Black Locust. We learned through research that the best use of the downed Maple is milling for flooring, the best use for the Red Oak is shelving and other cabinetry, and the best use for the Black Locust is landscape and ground contact uses.
After the trees were removed and rough grading began in preparation for footing and foundation installation, we worked to find a variety of local mills to process the downed wood. While smaller wood was cut into firewood, Sugar Maple was shipped to Meltz Lumber to mill for flooring, Red Oak and Tulip Poplar was shipped to Dain’s Lumber to mill for interior trim and framing, and we are working with a local/mobile mill to mill Black Locust and Cherry for interior and exterior uses.
Milling the downed lumber for use on the project is in keeping with the sustainable development ethics as well as Living Building Challenge ethics.
We are still working on sourcing lumber for the construction of the house. The Living Building Challenge Material Petal directs us to use FSC certified wood. We have had some difficulty sourcing FSC wood but we are doing our best to do so. It is our preference to use locally milled wood from New York (or Northeast trees) for framing, but we have to make sure that it will be of the caliber required to ensure that building air tightness standards, and thereby energy performance standards, can also be met.