Category Archives: LEED Certification

Deck Design – Green Building with Ipe Decking – Part 1

Deck Design of the Week

Green Building in Michigan

Today’s Deck Design of the week is a two-parter. We’re going to look at the before and after phases of building a green home that has some wonderful sustainable and eco-friendly features.

The mind behind this home’s beauty is Danny Forster, host of Extreme Engineering and Build it Bigger on the Discovery Channel. He’s also a Harvard grad and, as evidenced by the lake front home in Michigan, a heck of an architect.

Today, we’re going to see Danny take you through a behind the scenes look at how a Green home is constructed. This Omena Lake front home is also going for either Gold or Platinum LEED certification, so you can tell that there are some serious and revolutionary design and architectural elements being used for this home.

As you can also see, there is no shortage of ipe being used in this home. Danny Forster has used both ipe decking and ipe siding in ways that are, at once beautiful, but also eco-friendly.

Tomorrow, we’ll see the finished product. If you’re planning to build a green home or are curious about LEED for homes, you’ll definitely want to take notes. You’ll also get some wonderful design and energy-saving ideas that are truly unique.

Buy Ipe Responsibly

If you’re in the market to buy ipe and are scrambling to find out if the ipe you’re purchasing has been cultivated through eco-friendly means, don’t worry, once you read this, you’ll be able to make your purchase with peace of mind.

Here’s a guide to buying ipe decking responsibly:

    • Make sure the supplier is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
      • This is critical since many ipe dealers choose to simply slap a sticker or banner on their site saying that their decking is environmentally safe.
    • If you’re trying to get your building or deck LEED certified, then make sure you get the FSC certificate right away. Any company that fails to provide this should be questioned.
    • Ask if the ipe supplier has an environmental policy that you can read and research.

    These tips will take contacting the suppliers directly. And, if you end up getting your answers right away and in a respectful manner, then you can rest assured that you’ve really chosen the right company.

    When you contact us for ipe decking, you’ll get all of your questions answered as well as the best ipe prices in the market today.

      LEED Requirements & Ipe Wood

      There are many different LEED requirements that builders and architects can take advantage of. One particular credit is the MRc7 credit.

      If a green building project uses a certain percentage of FSC wood, they can qualify for this LEED credit. If you want to qualify for this LEED credit, your project must have installed at least 50% of FSC wood. An exemplary performance Innovation in Design credit can be attained if you use 95% FSC certified wood.

      There are many different kinds of FSC wood available including:

      • FSC Ipe
      • FSC Cumaru
      • FSC Tigerwood
      • FSC Garapa

      The great thing about building green and LEED construction projects is that they are extremely creative. The green building revolution is certainly pushing the envelope when it comes to how hardwoods like ipe wood can be utilized. One such example that I recently found was the recently opened Eco Park in the Discovery Green Conservancy project in Houston, Texas. 60% of the wood used throughout the whole park used ipe hardwood. Using ipe hardwood helped the Discovery Green park project earn a Gold level LEED certification.

      The designers and planners of Discovery Green chose ipe for the following reasons: Continue reading

      LEED Certification – The Basics of This Green Building Initiative

      The LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide the construction and building industries with a verifiable system to define exactly what a green building is. Using a point system, an eco-friendly building can achieve LEED certification. The more points a green building accumulates, the more prestigious the LEED Certification. If you think all it takes to get LEED Certified is screwing in a couple of compact fluorescent light bulbs, think again.  The USGBC has put in place a set of strict policies and procedures that must be followed. The good news is that there are various ways that a building project can earn LEED certified.

      Here are the various LEED Certification levels:

      • LEED Certified – 40-49 points
      • LEED Silver – 50-59 points
      • LEED Gold – 60-79 points
      • LEED Platinum – 80 points & over

      The Materials Resource Credit 7 (MRc7) is a great LEED credit to plan for. Continue reading