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The Advantages of Fire Treated Wood

When it comes time to decide what type of material to build with, architects and homebuilders often choose wood mainly because of its aesthetically pleasing look and adaptability in design. Thereafter, they must decide whether or not to purchase fire treated lumber for a project. Undeniably, wood is a naturally beautiful raw material with versatility; therefore, its widely used throughout the world in modern builds. FRTW, or Fire Retardant Treated Wood, is the chemical solution applied for this specific treatment. FRTW is an excellent technique that decreases the chance of a fire burning an entire building. Furthermore, using this type of lumber can help builders surmount restrictions by safety requirements and regulations in regards to potential fire hazards. Wood is a sustainable option in building material and using FRTW makes it a safe, modern choice. Furthermore, there are a number of advantages to selecting lumber processed in this manner.

Advantages of Fire Treated Wood

  • FRTW can be safely used in both interior (inclusive of humid interiors) and exterior builds.
  • Expenditures may also decrease since there will be no need for a sprinkler system in some cases.
  • The smoke impact is substantially reduced when fire treated wood is ignited. 
  • The chemicals used in the process are water-based and non-toxic.
  • Fire treated wood maintains its structural integrity at higher temperatures than steel.
  • Fire Retardant Treated Wood further reduces the speed of combustion by reducing flame travel rate.
  • The costs of FRTW are similar to pre-stained lumber.
  • The treatment lasts as long as the building.
  • Working with this treated wood allows for greater flexibility in designing a building for the architects in possible fire hazard zones.
  • Typical end uses encompass a variety of possiblities: roofing shingles, roof construction, internal wall and ceiling linings, and even scaffolding.
  • FRTW is manufactured in Canada with the utmost of integrity. Therefore, manufacturers are fully supportive of the product.
  • FRTW offers job site convenience in that the wood can be crosscut to length and drilled for holes after treatment, without a loss of its effectiveness.
  • The treatment is not considered hazardous so there need not be any further safeguards taken when working with the material other than the usual dust masks and eye goggle protection.
  • A home or building constructed using fire retardant treated wood will hold its resale value.
Longhouse applies the correct type of fire treatment to lumber in their facility to Canada’s building codes and standards. This allows a wide range of Fire Retardant Treated Wood based products to comply with stringent regulations. Builders choose wood as a renewable, sustainable choice that is also energy efficient to harvest. With over twenty years of experience in applying fire retardant treatments, we have the expertise clients trust.

The Importance of LEED Certification

Building costs are high and affordable housing is a challenge in many areas of our cities and towns. For obvious reasons, inexpensive construction by means of cheap labour and inexpensive materials are often the chosen path. However, those days are quickly disappearing, being replaced with green builds and an eye to a more affordable and energy efficient lifestyle; builds assembled with sustainably-sourced, toxin-free materials, designed for reduced energy consumption in both use and during construction. 

This style of advanced construction follows an assessment for building design and construction. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program that awards four levels of certification based on a point system. Points are bestowed for energy efficiency, water usage, air quality, and building materials used, in addition for environmental factors, like access to public transportation and responsible land use.

Thankfully, there are increasingly more contractors, architects, and companies getting on board with LEED certification and all the benefits extended to both the company and the individual.

REASONS WHY LEED CERTIFICATION IS IMPORTANT

  1. Pollutants in an unhealthy building, possibly made with toxic materials or made with inadequate ventilation, cause all kinds of respiratory illness and consequently, employee absenteeism. LEED certification standards establish minimum indoor air quality (IAQ) performance. A healthy workplace thereby promotes healthy productivity and well-being of employees.
  2. Another element of a LEED certified build is the use of natural light. Workers are exposed to more natural daylight which makes them more effective and improves quality of sleep at night. It also provides an attractive, bright place to function.
  3. Tenants benefit from reduced living expenses when they invest in a LEED certified build. Savings are achieved through reduced energy and water costs, as well as reduced water and energy consumption with energy efficient appliances.
  4. A LEED certified build retains a higher property value over time than one without.
  5. Tax credits may be available in certain cases.
  6. LEED builds are made with natural, sustainable building material, such as the untreated, completely biodegradable Cedar available from Longhouse. 

Individual well-being is rapidly becoming more important than blind over-production and work demands. Productivity improves in a healthy work atmosphere and home environment. Individuals today want to know how their company is contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future because he or she seeks the same goal.

Indeed, certain architects believe LEED certification is essential for modern builds. Environmentally conscious millennials are eager to not only live in sustainable homes, but also want to work for corporations who’ve adopted green initiatives and committed to LEED certified buildings. Longhouse continues to be involved and supportive of LEED certified projects worldwide and we remain passionate on persisting our journey on the higher road.

Net Zero Houses

Here on the West Coast of British Columbia, and indeed worldwide, sustainability and environmental protection are top of mind with eco-conscious builders and homeowners. Certainly, many of us strive to protect the beauty of our precious environment while pursuing innovative ways to live greener every day of our lives.

Builders and homeowners embrace a greener way of living by supporting the construction of Net Zero Energy homes. These homes are the pinnacle of energy efficiency, designed and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes annually.

What is Net Zero?

The definition of a Zero Energy Building or Zero Net Energy Building is a structure with zero net energy consumption. In other words, the total amount of energy used by the building each year approximately equals the amount of renewable energy created on site. Consequently, these types of buildings generate a smaller amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than traditional builds. 

MIKE HOLMES: ““Net-zero homes produce as much energy as they consume. Given rising energy costs these homes are becoming increasingly more popular.””
Photo Credit: Joern Rohde, RDC Fine Homes

A further definition, according to Mike Holmes of HGTV online, “A Net Zero home produces its own energy locally and should aim to produce at least as much energy as it consumes. EnerGuide rates the energy performance of the home; the higher the rating, the more efficient the home. The lower the EnerGuide number the better energy performance of the home is. In order for a home to be completely Net Zero, it will most likely need to incorporate solar power or utilize some form of renewable energy source.”

Concerned individuals choose a net zero home build because they’re up to 80% more energy efficient than typical new home builds. They produce as much clean energy as they consume. All this plus a more comfortable living space and reduced future energy costs for the homeowner.

The features that enable a Net Zero Energy Home to do what it does comprises sourcing passive heat from the sun, using air-sourced and ground-sourced heat pumps, as well as the installation of solar panels.

Benefits

There are further benefits to living in a Net Zero Home:

  • All home features work together to minimize the household’s environmental footprint.
  • Comes equipped with water-saving fixtures and appliances.
  • Produces as much clean, renewable energy as the structure consumes.
  • Empowers homeowners to help protect against climate change and preserve our natural resources.
  • Provides a quiet, peaceful living atmosphere due to superior insulation.
  • Provides clean fresh air indoors via a filtration system that reduces allergens and other air pollutants for a healthier living environment.
  • Delivers outstanding year-round comfort with advanced construction methods and materials, in addition to heating, cooling, and ventilation systems that maintain comfortable, consistent temperatures everywhere in the home.
  • Offers durability with high-performance windows, superior insulation in walls and roofs, all built to higher standards than conventional homes.
  • Protects the homeowner from future increases in energy prices.
  • Generates minimal year-round utility bills.
  • Built with an advanced foundation system with superior insulation qualities.

 

Why Choose Net Zero?

Net Zero Houses are important to us for several reasons. For one, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation describes a substantial rebate on your mortgage insurance premium when you invest in a Net Zero Energy Home. Furthermore, they’re not limited to new builds, although it takes some planning, renovating an old home to a net-zero home is possible and the energy savings are worth the effort.

In order to build a net zero home, the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) has a labelling program to guide consumers. They are also a rich source of information to help plan a net zero build.

Longhouse has long been a supporter and partner in a number of sustainable building projects. We are proud to support these types of endeavours and believe they’re a mainstay of our future. If you’re searching for a more efficient, sustainable way of living, a net zero home is a sensible choice. 

New Height Restrictions for Wooden Structures

Timber buildings have been around for centuries. Thankfully, over time, code restrictions have been revised and changed, with concerns of fire safety topmost in many architects’ and builders’ minds. 

Recently

New height restrictions have been introduced for wooden structures in the newest Mass Timber Code Proposals guide. Specifically, Code Change Proposals G75-18, G80-18, and G84-18 deal with tall wood buildings. The three code changes state that height, number of stories, and allowable area, should be reviewed only after one becomes familiar with the types of construction.

In the News

According to a recent news article, ‘Peter Busby designs a 40 storey timber tower proposed for Vancouver’, posted on treehugger.com, a new timber tower is in the works. Peter Busby of Perkins+Will Canada is the designer onboard the proposed green-build project. According to their website, Perkins+Will has one of the highest numbers of ‘Certified Passive House Designers’ of any design firm in North America.

One of the founders of the Canada Green Building Council (CGBC), with which Longhouse remains a member, Busby has a vision towards reducing energy consumption in new builds. To paraphrase, the tower is the tallest Busby thinks can technically be made with wood today. The building is to be predominantly made out of cross-laminated timbers (CLT) and dowel laminated timbers (DLT). This timber is manufactured in British Columbia and culled from damaged trees. Busby is optimistic it can be built between 35-40 stories high.

Future

However, several people doubt the project will in fact go ahead due to the revised building codes. The new codes permit wood structures up to 12 stories with exposed wood elements, and up to 18 stories with wood enclosed in gypsum board. Procedures may be taken that permit variances from the code but could be time-consuming. To date, the tallest wooden skyscraper in Canada is the Brock Commons at UBC, at 18 stories. 

Furthermore, zoning on the site in question has a limit of 14 stories. Unquestionably, every project should be studied to be suitable to the existing neighbourhood. Although wood is having a renaissance, there seems to be much debate about whether the proposed 40 towers is too tall for the site.

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products has played a role in thousands of exciting custom projects worldwide. We’ve had the pleasure of working with several talented individuals in the design and construction industry. Dedicated to sustainable construction methods and growth, in addition to maintaining as tiny of a carbon footprint as possible, we’re keeping a close watch to see how these new height restrictions affect future modern projects.

Longhouse Receives ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ Award

Family owned and operated

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products, located in Parksville, BC, was recently honoured with the title of ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ by the Vancouver Island Construction Association.

The 2019 inaugural Awards Gala, held by VICA, is open to all its members in good standing and intended to formally acknowledge the work members do across Vancouver Island. The panel of judges are comprised of industry professionals from across the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional, and multi-family residential construction sectors. Longhouse received the award specifically for the company’s recent project Pacific Centre Family Services Association in Victoria.

When asked how he feels about receiving the new title, Longhouse owner Brian Jenkins replied “Humbled. We went into it with no expectations. Longhouse manufactures pre-finished/ fire treated high grade lumber products. We are unlike any other forest products company. Our lumber products are not mass produced or from foreign countries. All of our products are sourced locally.”

Longhouse boasts delivering over 14,000 projects globally in the construction and design industry since 1985.

Concerning the project that won them the award, Jenkins says “We work on many projects, and this one in particular was a health centre and it looks fabulous. It was created using sustainable wood products. Unlike other buildings on the market, this one will stand for centuries because of its build and design.”

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products maintains FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certification by the Rainforest Alliance since 2007. The company is also a member of the Canada Green Building Council and the Greater Vancouver Home Building Association. Longhouse also belongs to Passive house Canada and the Living Building Challenge Foundation.

Although they specialize in Western Red Cedar, Longhouse manufactures all British Columbia softwood species, such as yellow cypress (cedar), Douglas-fir, Pacific Coast hemlock, and spruce pine fir (SPF). Specialty products manufactured by the company encompass custom cut yellow cedar decking, solid wood flooring, cedar fascia and soffits, different varieties of FSC® certified cedar siding, Japanese grade spruce siding, and Douglas Fir products.

For Longhouse, the award is a meaningful achievement.

“It recognizes Longhouse for being unique in what we do,” says Jenkins, “We are unlike any other company. It shows that our work is finally paying off and being recognized for what we do. Not only that but it will help to create a stronger customer base. People that may not have been familiar to the Longhouse brand, will now have the opportunity to hear of us. We are excited about what the future has in store for us.”

Longhouse would like to give tribute

“To our committed team whereby this award belongs to them equally.  Ken L’Heureux  company millwright of 20 years, and Matt Newton production manager of 15 years, and all of our suppliers who believed in our commitment to value added over the last 30 plus years.”

 

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New Height Restrictions for Wooden Structures

Timber buildings have been around for centuries. Thankfully, over time, code restrictions have been revised and changed, with concerns of fire safety topmost in many architects’ and builders’ minds. 

Recently, new height restrictions have been introduced for wooden structures in the newest Mass Timber Code Proposals guide. Specifically, Code Change Proposals G75-18, G80-18, and G84-18 deal with tall wood buildings. The three code changes state that height, number of stories, and allowable area, should be reviewed only after one becomes familiar with the types of construction.

According to a recent news article, ‘Peter Busby designs a 40 storey timber tower proposed for Vancouver’, posted on treehugger.com, a new timber tower is in the works. Peter Busby of Perkins+Will Canada is the designer onboard the proposed green-build project. According to their website, Perkins+Will has one of the highest numbers of ‘Certified Passive House Designers’ of any design firm in North America (presently 25 in Canada, in case you were wondering).

One of the founders of the Canada Green Building Council (CGBC), with which Longhouse remains a member, Busby has a vision towards reducing energy consumption in new builds. To paraphrase, the tower is the tallest Busby thinks can technically be made with wood today. The building is to be predominantly made out of cross-laminated timbers (CLT) and dowel laminated timbers (DLT). This timber is manufactured in British Columbia and culled from damaged trees. Busby is optimistic it can be built between 35-40 stories high.

However, several people doubt the project will in fact go ahead due to the revised building codes. The new codes permit wood structures up to 12 stories with exposed wood elements, and up to 18 stories with wood enclosed in gypsum board. Procedures may be taken that permit variances from the code but could be time-consuming. To date, the tallest wooden skyscraper in Canada is the Brock Commons at UBC, at 18 stories. 

Furthermore, zoning on the site in question has a limit of 14 stories. Unquestionably, every project should be studied to be suitable to the existing neighbourhood. Although wood is having a renaissance, there seems to be much debate about whether the proposed 40 towers is too tall for the site.

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products has played a role in thousands of exciting custom projects worldwide. We’ve had the pleasure of working with several talented individuals in the design and construction industry. Dedicated to sustainable construction methods and growth, in addition to maintaining as tiny of a carbon footprint as possible, we’re keeping a close watch to see how these new height restrictions affect future modern projects.

12 Outdoor Decks from Around the World

Designing a deck distinct from identical, cookie-cutter ones around you is a visionary’s dream. And certainly, creating an outdoor living space with worldly charm can be seamlessly tied into your home when prudently thought out. Knowing what types of plants are native to each area, along with typical local decor, can assist you in constructing your exotic patio area. With these concepts from other countries, you too can feel like you’re on vacation as soon you step outside your home.

Canadian East Coast

East Coast decks are strung with lanterns and lights for evening outdoor entertainment after hard work days. Toss in some Muskoka chairs, teak furniture with bright red Canadian colours for a true Canadian feel. Wood or interlocking stone decking. Ornamental grasses that tolerate salty, humid coastal conditions.

Canadian West Coast

A typical modern West Coast style deck is constructed from locally sourced British Columbia cedar wood, conveniently sourced through Longhouse in Yellow or Western Red Cedar. West Coast patios are open, often accented with modern wicker furniture or teak, and outfitted with an outdoor kitchen. Patio covers are also constructed for our unpredictable rainy weather. Large pots varying heights, of greenery, ornamental grasses and blooms placed thoughtfully throughout the patio space accent our naturally beautiful outdoors as well. Strings of lighting to brighten cool coastal evenings on the patio.

Bali

The casual ambience of a Balinese patio offers tufted floor cushions and hanging lanterns for romance. Mix and match seating a further candle light mimic the magical space. Tropical greenery planted (palms) and stone sculptures often accompanied by a water feature.

California

An outdoor California patio may overlook a pool for an inviting oasis built with paving materials that withstand the sun. The design may incorporate a greenhouse for fresh, organic vegetables. You may find an old growth tree and perhaps a living wall with native plants, built out of reclaimed wood. A pergola climbing with honeysuckle also offers day to night enjoyment. There is also a rich array of wild flowers and palms. 

England

A rose garden is a popular planting with a cosy cottage feel. English gardens are often overflowing with blooms and colourful pots of flowers, and a seating area for much-loved afternoon. Concrete pavers create quaint garden pathways.

Florida 

Sleek and modern with an aim towards minimalism, showcase the palms flowing in the breeze. Alternately, they may be jazzed up with patterned seat cushions and colourful, tropical throw pillows for comfort. Modern lanterns hung add cool ambiance for late night soirées.  

France Deck

Think European vibes with a Parisian bistro set, beside a lush teak pergola climbing with clematis. Toss on black and white striped cushions for an authentic Parisian feel. French countryside patios often come with a variety of sweet potted plants and a statement repurposed mirror or frame as a focal point. 

Hawaiian Deck

For a tropical feel, go with bright tropical print cushions, plenty of palm trees swaying, and a cement patio that withstands the humidity. Open-aired Place carved tiki accents and torch lighting for an authentic island feel.

Italy Deck

Think Positano without the breathtaking views, unless you’re lucky to already have one of those! Italian marble sculptures are typical for outdoor living spaces, along with potted plants, wisteria, and climbing ivy. Throw in a gazebo for an intimate dining area to search those fresh Italian pasta dishes. Comfortable cushioned chairs, a long dining table for lots of family and friends, and pendant lighting setting the mood.

   

Mexico

Beautiful handcrafted Mayan hammocks and dazzling hand painted tiles and pots accent Mexican terraces, along with drought tolerant potted plants. A trellis or pergola adds shade as well. Covered sundeck for plenty of outdoor entertainment as Mexican families love to spend time together enjoying delicious Mexican food. Wood deck made from coconut palm wood. 

Morocco

A Moroccan terrace, you’ll find brilliant coloured cushions, sheer drapes swaying in the breezes for a romantic, laid-back ambience. Elegant and confident. Beautifully patterned textiles mixed in, metal Moroccan style lanterns, and hand painted Moroccan tile flooring. No Moroccan garden is complete without some super-sized palms or heat-loving exotics. Not only do these architectural plants create cool, shaded areas, they also form beautiful shadows on smooth pools of water, they also create a year-round lush garden. Evergreens contrast with richly painted walls too; a common colour scheme used is a deep raspberry pink plaster and aqua-green tiled floor which blends beautifully with the foliage of towering banana plants. Plant them in enormous terra-cotta pots for added impact.

Turkey

 

A Turkish patio might be constructed with local marble, accented with brass details, and finished with a terrazzo flooring. Iroko wood is a teak-like material used. Gorgeous Turkish lanterns add warmth and exoticism to the space.

     

Travel lovers can find all sorts of inspiration observing patio designs. Fortunately, Longhouse is Vancouver Island’s source for amazing outdoor deck design and can bring your exotic patio dreams to fruition.

Manufacturer of the Year

Longhouse is happy to announce that it recently won the award for Manufacturer of the Year. Longhouse received the award from the Vancouver Construction Association. There were many factors that led to Longhouse receiving the award. The project that received the recognition was the Pacific Centre Family Services Association. Longhouse is excited about the recent award and is looking forward to more projects in the future. View some of our past projects here or give us a call to inquire about starting a project of your own with us today.