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Posts Tagged ‘LEED points’

Selecting Sustainable Flooring That Functions Best. The Arch Can Help Guide You

The Arch has carefully considered sustainable flooring companies  to work with since opening in 2004 as we value health and our environment. We can help you select a sustainable floor that works best for you. The following discusses some considerations.  Though The Arch showroom offers only sustainable flooring selections,  what works in one home might not function as well  in a commercial setting. The first thing you want to do is to consider the function of the space when looking for a  flooring product  as well as  the durability, quality and environmental values of the company.

ECO Fusion Strandwoven engineered bamboo Sandstorm. Plant in fused dyes. All ECOfusion Flooring products exceed indoor air quality standards as tested to CARB2012 and EO thresholds.

ECO Fusion Strandwoven engineered bamboo Sandstorm. Plant in fused dyes. All ECOfusion Flooring products exceed indoor air quality standards as tested to CARB2012 and EO thresholds.

We have worked with many people that are building homes from the ground up, but also with those that are renovating an existing home or business. Basements are a popular area of the home to invest in  but a basement on a concrete slab might not accommodate your first hardwood choice for example.  A wise selection would be an engineered hardwood or engineered bamboo strandwoven floor which are both very stable selections  and can be “floated” over an underlayment.  We also work with two regional companies that offer engineered reclaimed flooring in addition to their solid products. An engineered reclaimed floor was not easily sourced in this area not too long ago so this is a tremendous new offering to the market. It may cost a little more for a reclaimed floor, but the investment and beauty of this time honored flooring with unmatched character might be what you are looking for.

Reclaimed Heart Pine with history and character

Reclaimed Heart Pine with history and character

Many new engineered floors are also warranted over certain radiant systems.  Another excellent and very affordable choice  is US floors COREtec Plus engineered vinyl. It is a natural vinyl that does not off-gas as many of the big box store sheet vinyl goods will.  COREtec Plus won’t expand or contract, does not require an underlayment (reducing material and labor costs further),  and can handle moisture without damaging the flooring.

US Floors COREtec Plus engineered luxury vinyl. Water proof!

US Floors COREtec Plus engineered luxury vinyl. Water proof!

We have a long list of testimonials of how tough this material is including success in a hot yoga center (a very high heat environment), and a COREtec Plus flooring installation that suffered no structural damage after being immersed underwater in hurricane Sandy. I recently had a conversation about a COREtec Plus installation for an animal care facility. This flooring receives a great deal of animal and public traffic and is routinely hosed down with water!

This material is an excellent choice for commercial high traffic areas and we have all the samples to choose from and one of the best prices in Asheville that we know of.

Conservation Grade white oak Asheville residence. Woodright is one of the most sustainable sources in the region.

Conservation Grade white oak Asheville residence. Woodright
is one of the most sustainable sources in the region. Designer Victoria Schomer

If you are looking at flooring for every day living in your home, the choices are many.  Cork planks are an option that provides comfort,  is quiet, and offers a warmth that ceramic tile can’t offer for example. If you spend much time in the kitchen you know how sore your leg muscles can get after standing on a very hard surface. A cork product may be the answer for your home. There are many attractive cork product selections to choose from. If a water leak  or individual cork plank were to be damaged, they can be replaced easily. The cork we offer has a commercial finish which stands up to a number of commercial settings as well.

Traditional Cork Plank floors provide uniquely beautiful, durable, comfortable, and sustainable option for even the most demanding home.

Traditional Cork Plank floors provide uniquely beautiful, durable, comfortable, and sustainable option for even the most demanding home. Shown here: USFloors Mondago

Not all cork products are the same. Look for density, a quality finish and reputation. If you are looking for a natural flooring with wood grain that only a long leaf pine can offer for example,  then you might want to consider a reclaimed heart pine floor as they are much harder than new pine material of this day and age and they are the ultimate re-use of materials. The Arch doesn’t compromise. We have never offered any flooring with added urea-formaldehyde or other toxic  chemicals.

This specie is considered rapidly renewable because the harvest cycle is less than ten years. Another benefit of eucalyptus is that the trees regenerates three times before the tree is replanted.

Another benefit of eucalyptus is that the trees regenerates three times before the tree is replanted.

Species such as Eucalyptus is new to the market and a rapidly renewable one. This specie is considered rapidly renewable because the harvest cycle is less than ten years. Because it is a strandwoven product it is about as hard as any flooring can get with a Janka rating of over 3000. The Janka Hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. The most common assumption that consumers make is that a high Janka Rating will prevent scratches on their new floor. This is not what the rating provides.

Eco Timber 7" Grey weathered white oak hardwood.

Eco Timber 7″ Grey weathered white oak hardwood.

It is true that the harder the wood is the more difficult it will be for that floor to be dented, but denting and scratching are two very different things. Even the hardest woods are prone to scratches, so no matter what type of hardwood you own, you should be cautious when moving heavy objects across your floor.   All floors require maintenance and care and the buyer should know how to best take care of their investment. A number of our customers have chemical sensitivities looking specifically for products that will not off-gass. Several have tested our products in labs or even slept with them before buying. It is a serious health consideration to purchase healthy materials that you live with every day.  Not only is the flooring choice a health decision but so is the finish.

Vermont Natural Coatings patented PolyWhey® technology has emerged as a new category of wood finish; delivering easy-to-use products that have established the highest performance and environmental standards. We use whey protein, a byproduct of cheese making, to displace toxic ingredients found in traditional finishes. Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey floor and furniture finishes and our new Exterior Penetrating Stain and Water Proofer Infused with Juniper, are the choice of professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike.

Vermont Natural Coatings patented PolyWhey® technology has emerged as a new category of wood finish; delivering easy-to-use products that have established the highest performance and environmental standards. A whey protein, a byproduct of cheese making, to displace toxic ingredients found in traditional finishes. Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey floor and furniture finishes and our new Exterior Penetrating Stain and Water Proofer Infused with Juniper, are the choice of professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike.

We offer Vermont Natural Coatings for unfinished wood, furniture, trim, and outside decking or siding. It offers a beautiful, healthy, durable finish and is easier to apply than many other sustainable choices. Most builders or home owners do not want to be out of their homes for a week or more waiting for a finish to cure so this is something to consider if finishing woodwork. Vermont Natural Coatings dries very quickly and offers one of the most durable finishes on the market. It will outlast a Bona finish and the coverage is greater. Timing is also something that needs to be considered when purchasing flooring. Though many of flooring products can be shipped within a few days, a floor that is specially selected from the Appalachian region that benefits our local economy  may take a few more weeks. Not always, but often. The wait is worth it though, so plan ahead!

Barn Doors. Reclaimed and popular in rustic as well as contemporary settings.

Barn Doors. Reclaimed and popular in rustic as well as contemporary settings.

For more information give The ARCH a call at 828 253 5455 or visit our showroom at 2000 Riverside Drive Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804.

OR Complete our Flooring Contact Form online!

We can have samples and  flooring shipped anywhere in the country.

EcoTimber’s New Engineered Woven Bamboo Escape and Silver Lining Compliments Decor

Beautiful and contemporary Bamboo Engineered  Silver Lining and Escape  are  perfect for those looking for that slightly subdued bamboo texture with either a cast of  Silver Brown/Gray or  a distant wheat field under their feet. They are not strong  colors nor are the patterns overwhelming, but instead will blend with many color schemes.  The strands of bamboo are seriously compressed  into long blocks using a “cold press” method for optimum stability . “The unique engineered construction provides the most stable platform in the industry while maintaining the status of a completely renewable resource since each layer is composed of 100% Moso bamboo”. All Eco Timber flooring is free from added urea-formaldehyde and other harmful VOC’s and contribute to LEED points.

For more information on specifications of these products:

Silver Lining

Escape

EcoTimber Woven Engineered Bamboo- Silver Lining

Designers have taken an interest in the soft tones of these two new products. There are a number of dyed bamboo floors on the market that are so busy that  they are not of interest for the larger living areas.  Silver Lining and Escape are two selections that work beautifully with so many settings. Drop by The ARCH to see the larger 17″x17″ samples.

Remember- The ARCH can have an order drop shipped anywhere. Give us a call 828 253 5455

Taking a Closer Look At Selecting Healthy Flooring and Finishes

How intentional are your choices these days? What kind of building and finish materials do you live with? I watched a little girl  say “yes” to the CVS clerk when asked if she wanted a bag for her purchase the other day. The little girl had purchased a single pack of  (already) packaged gum. Out she ran with the bag around that oh so heavy and certainly awkward pack of gum. The store clerk didn’t get it and the little girl was taught absolutely nothing about conservation. From small purchases to larger ones the “compromise meter” should be leaning more towards “smart” than “stupid”  by now. Take the flooring industry for example.  By now most everyone knows that  toxic chemicals are present in many flooring products and finishes  on the market,  or perhaps we don’t want to wrap our minds around the fact that that “steal of a deal”  floor we’re interested in may have been manufactured where unjust labor practices take place, or perhaps lurking behind that “green” label is a company that is  wasteful and compromising on every other level. The ARCH chooses to work with companies with the highest environmental standards.   For more information about the companies and products we work with we invite you to check them out or give us a call and we will share what we know about sustainable practices. Whether you’re looking for a floor that is FSC- certified, LEED compliant, reclaimed or recycled,  whether the company maintains high standards for fair labor practices, high quality control, The ARCH has made an intentional choice to work with reputable flooring and finish companies.

Eco Timber Recycled Woven Poplar Flooring

Here are a few of the companies and their environmental standards that The ARCH is proud to be working with:

Eco Timber

Merida Meridan Natural Fiber Rugs

Vermont Natural Coatings

American Clay

January is a good month to think about detoxing your home. As noted in a LOHAS blog (Lifestyles of health and sustainability) the average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals resulting in indoor air quality that is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air

How about inviting more positive intentional changes into our environment?

The ARCH Introduces Award-Winning Vermont Natural Coatings

PRESS RELEASE

The Arch

Introduces Award-Winning Vermont Natural Coatings®


September 28, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Asheville, NC- Today The Arch announced the introduction of Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey® wood finishes.  An environmentally safe alternative to traditional polyurethane, Vermont Natural Coatings is a high-performance, natural finish available in Floor, Furniture and Exterior formulations.

We are excited to have Vermont Natural Coating wood finish products in our showroom. We were drawn to the high safety standards, coverage, and love the fact that the use of a whey by-product has proven to provide impressive results. We have experienced other finishes not drying properly due to touchy humidity conditions or other environmental factors, so the quick drying quality and easy application of the VNC is critical to us. We are confident that professional finishers as well as homeowners will be impressed with the Vermont Natural Coatings products.

In development since 2001 and in collaboration with the University of Vermont, Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey gets its name and performance from whey protein, a renewable resource rescued from the waste stream that improves building air quality without compromising quality.  It offers twice the cured hardness and greater per-gallon square footage coverage of typical water-based finishes.  Contractors who have worked with PolyWhey have universally praised the quality of the finish, its workability and the absence of fumes during application and curing. The entire product line is safe for children and pets.

Vermont Natural Coatings is nationally acclaimed as the only wood finish named to the Top-10 Green Building Product List by Environmental Building News and its specification guide GreenSpec

“Vermont Natural Coatings is pleased to provide a high quality product to the green market through The Arch,” said Andrew Meyer, founder of Vermont Natural Coatings.

Vermont Natural Coatings products can be purchased from The Arch Tuesday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

The Arch

171 Weaverville Hwy

Suite 103

Asheville, NC 28804

828-253-5455

Fax: 919-640-8580

http://www.thearchnc.com

http://www.vermontnaturalcoatings.com


Lime Gauging and Lime Washes over American Clay: More than Just a New Palette

Have you ever noticed how just a couple of new ingredients changes everything exponentially?  We’re hard at work introducing a variety of finishes, experimenting, and developing a new palette of options.  One of the finish options  we work with is American Clay Lime Putty.  The focus here is lime gauging and lime wash effects that you can create used in conjunction with the already beautiful  American Clay’s  line of award-winning earth plasters- Loma, Porcelina, Maritimo and Enjarre. It is a pure high-calcium lime putty mixed with  the clay itself (lime gauging) or diluted with water and pigment if desired you create a lime wash by brushing over a previously earth clay troweled wall surfaces. The lime will continue to harden over the days and months ahead creating a harder finish. Benefits include breathability, mold and mildew resistance, and humidity buffering qualities.

Wall example with American Clay earth plaster- Lime gauged and Lime washed Enjarre, 1/3 wild horse smoke, skip troweled

The amazing part of it all is that the more we work with the lime effects (along with all the other finishes we have worked with) it continues to teach us something historically, architecturally, and artistically.

Burnished lime gauged Porcelina wall with Lake Tahoe

This example along the stairwell shows a porcelina clay which is lime gauged. When burnished it highlights  the lime and polishes nicely.

This yellow wall  has a lime wash. On Loma, Maritimo or Enjarre, the lime wash will be more matte. It can be uniformly applied or more random as in this detail image.

Lime washed Loma random application, Tuscan gold pigment, skip troweled and burnished

For more information on how to gauge lime putty and lime wash click here to learn more. This is great tutorial on American Clay’s website that will discuss techniques.

Below is a sample board that shows the  Chesapeake Bay Porcelina clay hard troweled with two lime washes applied and burnished. The right white lime wash is pure with no pigment, the left green is the snake river pigment with the lime wash and you can see  how quickly the green takes over the underlying clay yet it peaks through. Both create interesting effects. Varying degrees of lime wash with or without pigment can be applied.

We welcome and encourage conversation regarding lime gauging and lime washes.
We will soon have some workshops for Lime Putty exploration for those that have taken a previous American Clay workshop.
Looking forward to having more fun with our artistic fellow clay friends.
Varying degrees of lime wash with or without pigment can be applied

EcoTimber News Release from The ARCH

Sampling of new flooring

 

Eco Timber News Release

We’ve just received at least ten new woven bamboo and poplar samples utilizing patented dyes (not stains). More domestic engineered products have been introduced. Ecotimber has show continued growth as a company during tough times and it is no wonder with the quality they provide and their continuous committment to the environment.. 
Open house February 17th,18th, and 19th at The ARCH. Please join us.