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Progress Update: Still Working Outdoors Even in a Deep Freeze

Chris Mensch’s crew from Coastal Management deserved a medal last week!  Despite the deep freeze that is blanketing the northeast, Chris’ team made tremendous progress on Sunset Green Home’s FSC-certified cumaru decking installation.

In planning Sunset Green Home's porches and decks, we wanted to use natural wood decking for its aesthetic appeal and comfort underfoot.  And we were equally concerned about the deck's ability to stand up to the harsh coastal environment where Sunset Green Home is located.  We chose tropical cumaru for its hardness, insect and rot resistance, and natural beauty.  But installing cumaru in a LEED® project would require us to meet a stringent prerequisite in the LEED for Homes Materials & Resources category.  

According to the LEED for Homes reference guide, "if tropical wood is intentionally used (i.e., specified in purchasing documents), use only FSC-certified tropical wood products."  The LEED for Homes green building program includes this requirement in order to ensure that tropical wood products used in LEED projects are grown and harvested using sustainable practices.  After all, according to the Forest Stewardship Council, "deforestation and forest destruction is the second leading cause of carbon pollution, causing 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions."  The Forest Stewardship Council's mission is "to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests." 

Sterritt Lumber sourced Sunset Green Home's beautiful Bolivian cumaru from WalkGreen™.  The proof of the decking material's FSC certification is a "Chain of Custody" document that will be reviewed by Sunset Green Home's verification team prior to the project's LEED certification.

Durability was also a factor in Sunset Green Home's choice of installation method and materials.  The decking, which runs parallel to the long side of the swimming pool, has been top-nailed with ring shank decking nails from Simpson Strong-Tie in 316 grade stainless steel, which is more resistant to corrosion than 304 grade stainless steel.  Choosing the right nails was critical for Sunset Green Home, as the project has been designed for resiliency in a coastal environment.

FSC certified cumaru decking alongside Sunset Green Home's pool

FSC certified cumaru decking alongside Sunset Green Home's pool

For a long time we were practicing our "balance beam" skills and walking along the top of the deck framing members to get from the main house to the pool house.  It's great that we can now walk easily between the two structures.

Decking extends from the main house to the pool house.

Decking extends from the main house to the pool house.

The decking now extends into the area that will be Sunset Green Home's screened porch, and continues along the water-facing side of the house.  There's only a small section of deck remaining to be installed...just in time for the upcoming delivery of our posts and stainless steel railing assembly.

Screened porch decking installation

Screened porch decking installation

Sunset Green Home's exterior work is coming to a close, at the same time that interior work is ramping up.  Stay tuned for upcoming posts about our HVAC, plumbing and electrical installations.  

The team from Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning is already very busy indoors.  They've completed the installation of Sunset Green Home's ComfoAir 550 ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) by Zehnder America, have hung the air handlers for the home's Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating multi-zone Hyper Heating INVERTER H2i MXZ system, and have started installing the short duct runs that will connect the air handlers to the rooms they will serve.  We'll post photos of these installations shortly.

Sunset Green Home
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