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Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable design’

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.

Industrial Space Provides New Possibilities For The Arch!

December 12, 2014 1 comment

The Arch has moved once again!  We’ve moved into a space that at one time was the old power house of what long ago serviced the Burlington Industries textiles manufacturing plant but is now The Riverside Business Park.  We moved just  a few hundred feet from our previous location within the park so if you’re looking  at a GPS map, that famous little red arrow marker points to the same spot!

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How many layers of paint were here?

The building definitely presented us with some huge challenges, but with all the  meandering metal pipes and metal boxes- (most of which I have no idea of their functions),  they are now part of the overall “industrial look” that we simply work with..or around.

ceiling

Reminds me of an old greasy oven

Fortunately we have maintained the same contact address   as we simply moved “Unit 10” with us.
The space was clearly in very sad condition before we moved into it as you can see from these “before” photos. The many shades of paint and crumbling ceiling raised more than one eyebrow when we considered the space originally, in fact, at first, I for one, said ” NO”!
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Doors being installed

 Then gradually, with the help of the park, and a closer look at the space, we accepted the challenge and recognized that it is going to function well for us. The high ceiling, natural light, upper loft work area and the outside awning are positive attributes of the space. Front doors were added, zero VOC paint was sprayed throughout the space, we built in some upper loft half walls and Jim wasted no time applying American Clay on a few of the walls (..there’s always more walls to cover with this amazing clay!). We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re here and we welcome everyone!

Alan Tilson with Indow Windows is in the upper loft (come in and discuss these energy efficient interior window inserts),  and Roxanne’s  “satellite” location for Amazing Capes takes up the other wing. !!! Check out her website too!
We have easy parking and the same great sustainable products and some new additions such as this sweet small portable stainless steel wood fired outdoor oven shown below.
Some of what The Arch offers: American Clay Earth Plaster and workshop offerings, Forno Bravo  ovens and outdoor fireplace units for residential and commercial locations, Bella Outdoor Living wood fired ovens,  one of Asheville’s best selections of sustainable flooring, Vermont Natural Coatings for floors, furniture, decks and exterior siding,  home accents and art tile.
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Getting things into place. More finishes to apply!

Shown here are some home accents such as doorbells, switchplates, and natural beeswax candles.

Shown here are some home accents such as doorbells, switchplates, and natural beeswax candles.

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Under the awning there’s much to do, but soon we’ll be featuring an outdoor kitchen and hold demos with our wood- fired ovens! Benches and planters will be added.

Nano C 22 full 2jpg

Come in and see our newest oven featured: Bella Outdoor Living NanoC22 wood fired premium stainless steel oven!

In our next blog post we plan to share images of The Nano C22 in action, fired up under the outside awning. We’ll be  cooking some delicious appetizers! We are taking orders ( on the ovens), so come on in and take a look! There are larger units and drop-in options. Call us for details. 828 253 5455

Visit us at our new location at The Arch, 2000 Riverside Drive  Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804    http://www.thearchnc.com  828 253 5455  cmsilver@thearchnc.com Visit our website for hours of operation.

Do You Have Beautiful Historic Older Windows? Protect them and Save Energy With Interior Window Inserts!

window imageThese photos of old windows are simply a small collection of  historic charm and in most cases  energy challenges.   Window Efficiency Works  believes that you should “Enjoy your older windows!”  Enjoy this gallery then  start thinking about how you can save energy and add comfort to  homes and buildings.

IMG_2553 (1152 x 1728) image004.11.00.16.071 Cool-Window-4x3 handmade florida-theatre-2

  • Keep the cold air outside of that oldfarmhouse window you’ve enjoyed since you were a kid.
  • Imagine the savings of a large historic building!
  • Save air conditioning dollars and  keep the oppressive Charleston summer heat out!charleston-turquoise-window-box
  • So……that art studio on the top floor CAN be more efficient?
  • Don’t hesitate to keep that hand crafted window!  You can maintain a clear view through it as well as add comfort.
  • Maintain your historic windows- save energy, add comfort, and protect them from condensation as well!

Look for a new photo gallery of images taken around Asheville. It will be a pleasant walk indeed.

For more information about what an  interior window insert can do for you read our previous  post

https://cmsilver1.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/interior-window-inserts-provide-great-benefits-for-inefficient-windows/

Call The ARCH for free consultation and information:   828 253 5455

man-shopping-historical-preservation-windows

Interior Window Inserts Provide Great Benefits For Inefficient Windows!

April 6, 2013 1 comment

bookWhether you’re reading a book or dining with friends, sitting next to a drafty window is  simply uncomfortable as well as being costly.

There are many ways that we can make our homes and businesses more energy efficient as well as comfortable.

Acupuncture Clinic in Historic Montford Asheville. Window insert adds comfort in treatment rooms.
Acupuncture Clinic in Historic Montford Asheville. Window insert adds comfort in treatment rooms.

If you have inefficient windows one place to start is to install Window Efficiency Works interior window inserts. They are visually hardly noticeable, yet they will provide significant energy savings.

If you install these inserts you will immediately feel the added comfort during the coldest winter days, windy days, or during the hot summer days when you’re running an air conditioner.They also reduce outside noise by approximately 60%.

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Get started!

Though your home improvement list may be a long one, it’ll pay off not only in comfort and energy savings but in dollars and cents! Whether you begin with a dining area or a covered porch, you will experience that cozy comfort which will feel like you’ve added square footage to your living space that might have otherwise been avoided!

Have you lived in or visited a home  that you chose one room to relax in over another simply because one of them is delivering an Arctic blast or the traffic noise outside is annoying? Interior window inserts will remedy these concerns.

Window inserts add to dining comfort at the Corner Kitchen

Window inserts add to dining comfort at the Corner Kitchen

Customers that have  had the inserts installed continue to share positive experiences with us.   Window Efficiency Works  offers a variety of interior window inserts that you can see are simple to handle and the benefits are many.

Window inserts are easy to place into frame as they are magnetic.

Window inserts are easy to place into frame as they are magnetic.

Available  through The ARCH, we can help you customize the inserts that work best for you.  Whether you want to preserve the original appearance of  the windows in a historic home or you simply want to keep the windows you have, these inserts are placed on the interior of your windows and they are discreet in design. IMG_2593 (1152 x 1728)

The window inserts attach to a magnetic frame (which stops the drafts) within your window frame, they are lightweight, the acrylic glazing provides 2.5 times the insulation of most glass,  and they perform beautifully.  Shown here are several Asheville area installations that demonstrate the process, design simplicity and noted feedback that we are getting.

 
 One homeowner’s response: The rooms are definitely holding heat better and feel way less drafty.  One surprise that I hadn’t expected is that the inserts have also decreased the noise from the street, which is really nice.  It will be a little tricky working with controlling the temperature in the rooms in the spring as we have extreme changes in high and low temperatures, but the ease of taking the inserts on and off should help with that.  I assume that we will want to keep them in through the Summer too because they will help keep the cool air in too.  I’m interested to see how it effects the utility bills in the long run.  I suspect it will have a dramatic effect.
The insert is installed on the left section and not on the right. Notice the condensation problems on the right side!

The insert is installed on the left section and not on the right. Notice the condensation problems on the right side!

Call us today for free estimates and consultation. Visit us at our new location to see a showroom model and discuss your project. The ARCH has  recently moved to: The Riverside Business Park, Unit 10, Asheville, NC. http://www.thearchnc.com  828 253 5455  Email: cmsilver@thearchnc.com Hours:  T-F 9:30-5:30, Sat 10-3

Mosaic Artistic Tile Adds Art to Forno Bravo Wood-Fired Oven Arch

Tiled arch of Forno Bravo wood-fired oven utilizing local art tile and simple stones

The flame is being fanned all across the country for Wood-Fired Ovens and the delicious food and entertainment they provide. We’re fanning the fire for exciting tile installations! We recently installed the tiles shown here on the arch of our own oven at our home.  There are so many ways to use tiles on an oven installation but I suggest including something creative into your oven design whatever you do. Break the boredom and drop the minimalist look from time to time!

You can choose tiles that are colorful, whimsical, classic, craftsman,  Latin, glass, stone; the possibilities are endless. Mosaics flow nicely and so believing I could work with the pieces we decided to combine these classic handmade decorative  art tiles with a simple grey stone, both of which are available through our showroom The ARCH. Just give us a call and we can discuss creative ideas with you. I selected a grey grout which still allows for the various stone colors to pop out. Over the years the dark grout color won’t get dirty in appearance and it tones down the brighter tiles to blend with the earthy primitive nature of wood-fire cooking.

Sketch, plan, let it evolve.

Move the pieces around until they work. It changed from this initial plan but was part of the process.

I started with a cardboard template of the arch and some paper cut outs of the tile pieces and stone shapes to see how it would flow.

After sketching and playing with some layouts, I attached the template to an arch on one of our showroom Forno Bravo models. (The oven shown below is the Casa2G80 32″ interior diameter which happens to have the same arch size as our Casa2G90 36″ interior diameter oven).

Once all the selections were made I special ordered the metallic glaze beauties from a local artist whose work we display at The ARCH, and the stone tiles that come on a mesh material.

Continue to experiment with the arch

I hand picked the most workable stones, placed them on the template and played and played with them until they were working with the tiles.

I had to keep in mind that I would apply extra adhesive to the backs of some pieces.

Working with the pieces

Pressing tiles and stones into tile adhesive.

A few modifications from the original layout so I recommend careful measuring of the template.  The process installing the mosaic was more enjoyable than I predicted as I had not completed a mosaic before.

Applying tile adhesive with a putty knife

It was a very sculptural feeling when it came to moving the grout throughout the mosaic.  I used a grout bag to squirt the grout around all the pieces given there was so much variation in sizes and heights.  The highs and lows of tiles and stones all connected as I smoothed the grout between the pieces.

Sponging off excess grout and cleaning.

Finally, the arch was complete!

The counter surface will meet up with the oven floor entry for easy use when cooking.

It was a pleasure to finally relax and see the fire nestled in the oven with the tiled arch surrounding it.

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

American Clay’s Humidity Buffering Qualities Contributes to Healthy Air Quality From Bathrooms to Wine Cellars

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

The growing interest and importance of air quality continues to reinforce  our great feeling about American Clay Earth Plaster. We are confident that it is good for us and the air we breathe!  There are some interesting advantages that American Clay offers to those wanting  more consistent humidity levels and the reduction of potential mold and mildew, as well as a quieter space.

Arlington VA Clay application by Roxanne. A welcoming American Clay finish provides benefits for humidity control or "buffering".

From personal experience we have lived with clay plaster in our own home and have experience with a broad variety of applications and placement of clay.  We have American Clay plaster in a kitchen/dining area, sun room, bedroom and in two bathrooms.  We’ve enjoyed the benefits the clay provides in every space and have witnessed, felt, and breathed in it’s  ability to absorb  and release water vapor when high levels of humidity are present without a spec of mildew appearing anywhere -EVER! What might seem to be a vulnerable location is where we applied clay along the top 18″ above the tiled walls in two shower areas but absolutely no problems have resulted- instead it benefits these areas.  In contrast,  if a  painted wall experiences high levels of humidity such as in a bathroom the surface will eventually develop condensation from water vapor creating an environment favorable for mold and mildew growth.  Another more extreme experience that we had was with several large3’x6′ foot display panels we made and applied with clay plaster for an expo.  After a three day event we drove home and with the onset of a rain storm we rushed the panels into our (less than perfect) garage several years ago.  We had an unfortunate heavy rain that evening that ultimately flowed into the area where these panels were situated.The panels were trimmed  with wood for presentation purposes. After about a week we noticed a mold made its way up the wood strips  but did not touch the clay. Not a spec!  The mildew completely avoided the clay.  If ever conditions were ripe for mildew this was it.  We cleaned up the wood and put them in dry storage and years later they still have no mold on them. (I wish I had taken a photo).    The following diagrams portray how American Clay provides humidity buffering in your home or business.  (Click on diagrams to enlarge text).

Powder Room at CIEL with American Clay, Porcelina, Chesapeake Bay, Designer Talli Roberts

As noted in this last image, the more clay there is in a given space the greater the humidity buffering. We called a few customers that have applied the clay in wine cellars  as this is an excellent application choice to assist in maintaining a consistent humidity so critical in a wine cellar.

Beautiful wine cellar with American Clay walls

In reading about climate control in wine cellars, efforts must be made to maintain a certain temperature as well as humidity level.

Hey, where's the wine? Jim- applied clay in wine cellar in CIEL residence

If the humidity rises above 70% I have read that this is when the potential for mildew on the corks can develop which may create a problem for the wine.

Prevent mold on corks with proper humidity control

There are several benefits when using the American Clay plaster- it assists in maintaining consistent humidity levels, assists in preventing mold and mildew, helps purify the air which is also important, and it is beautiful!  We asked several customers how their wine cellars are doing after the applying the clay years earlier.

One of our customers shared that he has had no problems and added that he also selected the clay for the old world look. Shown here are two other wine cellars.  Most of the wine cellars include applications on the ceiling contributing to humidity buffering benefits.

Mica Village open-air lobby with American Clay. A welcoming finish for a welcoming lobby

Lastly, I  have shared this open-air  lobby area before, but is a true testament that the humidity does not bother it. The benefits of American Clay go well beyond those mentioned here; in fact they are nothing short of amazing!

Give us a call anytime to discuss your project.

Interesting article: The 10 Most Common Wine Cellar Problems and How to Overcome Them

Click here for a  humidity demonstration done by American Clay.