Stewardship: Green Building
We’re as concerned with the why of green building as we are with the how. For us, being green builders is about living in the world as responsible stewards. Our community involvement, company culture, and willingness to practice our principles makes our process naturally green. The goal? Exceptionally crafted, truly durable buildings that enrich the communities that they’re part of and the lives of the occupants and the craftspeople involved.
Read our published article about big picture sustainability, “Against Entropy.”
Thinking Green — Changing Consciousness
Our green thinking focuses on four primary areas: overall building design and project planning, the culture of craft and craftspeople, our relationship with our community, and the practice of top notch building skills.
Overall building design/project planning/designing with timber: Truly sustainable buildings always begin with well thought out design. Sustainable designs: minimize wasted materials, avoid unnecessary space and features, identify site specific requirements and opportunities, explore and use alternative energy sources, and consider ease of repair and maintenance. Our designs also focus on disentangling building systems (mechanical, structural, insulation, etc.), that make adaptive reuse of buildings much simpler. In all cases design and building practices consider durability as a primary factor. Read an article about durability.
An additional positive with timber frame construction is the evidence that recycled big timbers are valued and useful. Even if the buildings we build now are taken down later, the original raw materials will probably see a second life in a new building. Current markets place the value of recycled timber as high as four times that of new. We don’t expect that to change.
The culture of craft and craftspeople: We expect to live and behave in communities as respected members, not fulfilling the stereotype about construction workers that is common. Our cultural expectations begin in our shop. We’re a company of educated, passionate, driven people with high expectations. We expect to see change in the culture of building by being the change. Meet us here.
Community development/relationships: Side by side with past clients, we’ve found that timber frame construction roots us in our present communities, and opens up opportunities to discover new communities. Every time it happens our commitment to being responsible stewards of our own community increases. Read the evidence from the Horsman Residence.
Pursuit of quality building practices: Building a green building should take advantage of cutting edge materials and products, but we remain convinced that the greenest solutions are about doing top notch work. You can count on us to constantly search for training and education about great buildings. We study historical carpentry and cutting edge developments in constant search of practices that will add years to the expected life of buildings.
Acting Green — Doing Our Part
Zero Waste Timber Framing
Our process of timber framing produces zero landfill waste. Timber cutoffs are first offered to friends, neighbors, or shop visitors as firewood. Pieces too small to use as firewood or are otherwise unusuable are sent to a local recycler for composting. Even the leftover tongue and groove is used around the shop for jigs and fixtures, planed down to 5/8″ for SIPS panel furring on the next frame, or converted into coasters we use for thank you’s and promotions.
As much as we can, we run biodiesel in our company vehicles. We’re lucky enough to have two stations located within a mile of our shop.
The Heritage Natural Finishes we often use is made with natural ingredients from sustainable resources, without chemical processing, bleaching, or harmful additives. It’s biodegradable and does not deplete the ozone. Ingredients are Tung Oil, Linseed Oil, Beeswax, and a pure, food grade citrus extract called D-limonene.
As of May 07, 2007, 100% of the electricity used at our shop is wind generated. You won’t actually find a wind turbine at our shop but we are able to buy wind credits from our local utility company.
We use and promote locally harvested wherever possible and environmentally certified coastal fir or recycled material when it’s not. Much of the local timber we use is beetle kill. Using local timber cuts shipping distances by more than 80% and lowers a structure’s carbon footprint. We believe in supporting our neighbors by being customers and advocates for locally available materials. You can count on us to promote the products that are currently available locally, accept the limitations that are inherent as we design, and continue to try to help educate and fund progress in our local forest economy.
Frameworks is a ClimateWise partner and is committed to reducing our green house gas emissions (GHG). The ClimateWise program grew from the first Climate Action Plan (CAP) passed by the city of Fort Collins in 1999. In the spring of 2015, the Fort Collins City Council approved an updated CAP that accelerated our GHG goals. The new CAP goals are:
1. Achieve a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by
2020 below 2005 levels
2. Achieve an 80% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2030 below 2005 levels
3. Be carbon neutral by 2050
The city of Fort Collins has one of the most progressive Climate Action Plans in the world. Only Copenhagen, Denmark and Melbourne, Australia have committed to reducing emissions more rapidly. We feel lucky to live in a forward thinking community and strive to do our part.