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Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

I am a big fan of FSC Certified wood and wood products.  The Forest Stewardship Council oversees the management and production of wood, ensures that forests are not clear cut, that the rights of indigenous people are respected, that proper forest management protocols are observed, and that the wood that you buy has not been swapped out with other, poorly sourced product.  The FSC has a chain of custody process that is in my opinion a model for other sustainable building materials.

Here are some highlights(Taken from the FSC Site):

  • More than 100 million ha forest worldwide were certified to FSC standards in April 2008, distributed over 79 countries.
  • FSC certified forests represent the equivalent of 7% of the world’s productive forests.
  • FSC is the fastest growing forest certification system in the world (UN FAO, 2007)
  • With over 7’500 certificates, the number of companies along the forest product supply chain committing to FSC certification peaked at 40% in 2007.
  • The value of FSC labeled sales is estimated at over 20 billion USD.


“The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization that brings people together to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world’s forests.”

The FSC follows wood from the forest to the mill to the dealer. When you use FSC wood you can be assured that no ecosystems were wiped out making that 2X4.

Another type of FSC Certified product: reclaimed wood. This is tropical hardwood packing crate material used in global industrial shipping that has been re-milled by TerraMai. Wood that would have previously been thrown out has many uses. In our case, we used it to build a beautiful deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Paralam Beam – Funky Looking but Necessary

Holding up the roof is a 16 inch think 20 foot long Paralam Beam.It is and engineered piece of wood – a lot of smaller diameter strips of wood mashed together with glue to make one giant, ultra strong beam. There are many benefits to using one of these: reducing demand for big solid beams decreases the pressure to cut down old growth forests; Engineered lumber uses wood fiber more efficiently than conventional lumber; and it prevents big beautiful old growth trees from being chopped down.