It’s Earth Day – and at TerraMai, our focus on eco-friendly practices in sustainably harvested and reclaimed wood is what we’re all about. If you want to celebrate Earth Day everyday, here are four reasons to work with TerraMai to get beautiful, high-quality, sustainable materials for your next project.
1. Wood: A building material to minimize carbon emissions
There are plenty of ways that using wood as a building material helps the environment. This can include reducing deforestation, reusing perfectly good materials destined for a landfill – as well as lowering emissions associated with logging, transport, and processing of traditional wood.
When it comes to carbon in the atmosphere wood is the only building material that draws out and stores more carbon than emitted during production. This makes it an excellent resource given its net positive impact on carbon footprint.
The ways that wood is reclaimed and salvaged goes beyond wood from older structures – it can be sourced from old orchards (preventing common chipping or burning operations at end the of fruit-bearing life), rescued from flooded forests, saved from the forest floor after being abandoned as imperfect or non-targeted species, and restored from off-cuts in the manufacturing process of furniture, flooring, mass timber production, and the like. All of these practices are in use at TerraMai where wood is given new life and purpose; from locations across the globe.
Humanity has had sweeping environmental impacts, not limited to depleting our old growth forests, making it crucial to protect our remaining few. Old growth wood from projects will become available for reclamation and new purposes for generations down the road. This wood continues to be an ideal (and ethical) material given its stability, durability, and character long after it was harvested.
Reclaimed Solid Teak at the High Line, NYC.
2. Reclaimed wood takes less energy to produce
Aside from providing sustainably sourced material, wood from TerraMai neatly ducks many of the environmentally harmful ways that new wood is harvested. Most of the steps needed to prepare the wood are complete, and at TerraMai it’s a high priority to have the wood milled as close to the source as possible both domestically and overseas. TerraMai only works with operations that meet high workplace and technical standards and facilities are visited and inspected regularly.
NYC Fifth Avenue Apartment Lobby with Acacia Metro Paneling.
Teak Engineered Flooring at AT&T’s Flagship Chicago Store.
Reclaimed MC Walnut Paneling at Shore Club.
3. Sustainably-sourced wood means less need for new wood from living forests
A great deal of the wood at TerraMai is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC); which means that it is deemed responsibly sourced. Want to look it up? Our FSC number is located under License Code FSC-C021798.
Wood that hasn’t been certified by the FSC sometimes falls outside of the organization’s jurisdiction, but is considered ethically sourced, like wood harvested through water reclaim and orchard salvage.
4. A material that builds up the benefits of the built environment
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program holds national acclaim as one of the top ways to rate a sustainable building. During this rating a building’s use of sustainable materials is factored in. This makes TerraMai a perfect resource for those seeking these certifications.
Other ranking systems such as the WELL Building Standard and Living Building Standard put their focus on incorporating biophilia as a way to measure elements of an environment that positively impact human health and well-being.
TerraMai strives to meet all three of these standards by using zero and low-VOC finishes and adhesives and the majority of our materials are within compliance of the LEED program’s non-emitting and low-emitting sources requirements.
Products that are inherently non-emitting sources of VOCs – specifically unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring, stone, ceramics, powder-coated metals, plated metals or anodized metals, glass, concrete, and clay brick– are considered fully compliant without any VOC emissions testing if they do not include integral organic-based surface coatings, binders, or sealants.
To wrap things up
Through high standards, promoting sustainability, and by putting compassion for the environment first across the board, TerraMai aims to treat every day like it’s Earth Day and we’re here to help you do the same.
Happy Earth Day!
– From TerraMai