Archive for the 'Green Building' Category

Green Basics & Blogs From Green Building Advisor

Green Building Advisor logo has a free email newsletter that has some excellent information on Green Basics, Green Homes, Strategies & Tips, and Q&A, as well as some excellent blogs. You don’t need to be a GBAPro member to access this wide array of materials, with the exception of the individual product reviews in their Product Guide.

Their latest feature is a great piece called “Ten Green Building Myths” that also has links to a related article for each of those myths. Check it out!

National Lumber is a Certified Green Dealer and an FSC Certified lumberyard who can serve you with all your green building materials and other needs. Check out the Green Initiatives page on our website!

Navigating the Road to Green Building

Our seminar, Navigating the Road to Green Building, drew a full house

Our seminar, Navigating the Road to Green Building, drew a full house

National Lumber is a Certified Green Dealer, an FSC Certified lumberyard, and an EPA Lead-Safe certified firm. Through our Professional Remodelers Organization (PRO Force) program we provide various training seminars to our members and customers.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 was National Lumber’s first ever green building seminar, Navigating the Road to Green Building. The keynote speaker was Peter Yost, Technical Director of Green Building Advisor, who gave a riveting presentation on how green building, building science, quality, and durability all go hand-in-hand. The image below was just one example given by Peter Yost of how ignoring building science results in failed structures. Peter explained how the various elements combined to cause this failure.

Rotted roof in the Northeast, caused by ignoring building science

Rotted roof in the Northeast, caused by ignoring building science

Next, construction law attorney Andrea Goldman discussed legal issues of green construction and how to protect yourself from the additional risks involved with proper contracts. She also touched on the new EPA lead law.

After a scrumptious dinner buffet feast, the seminar continued with Daniel Glickman of Sustainable Construction Services. He covered how to schedule and run green certified jobs through programs such as NAHB Green, LEED, and Energy Star. Daniel also discussed the importance of controlling your subcontractors. Some attendees expressed the difficulty of obtaining cooperation for the new requirements, such as documentation that must be completed and that waste must be properly sorted. Daniel said that compliance for these green programs can be attained by tying results to the subcontractors’ payment. Once everyone gets used to the new way of doing things, it will become standard.

Afterward, Greg Krantz of Massachusetts New Homes with ENERGY STAR® ( exhaustively covered the existing programs, rebates and incentives, as well as looking at the future of homes and energy codes.

National Lumber hopes to hold more of these seminar events in the future at minimal cost to contractors. Through these seminars you will be able to have the information you need to serve your customers better and apply building science principles for the long-term quality results that will bring your business continual referrals and repeat business.

To learn about National Lumber’s upcoming events, visit

Enlarge Your Bottom Line by Reducing Your Waste Line

Going, going, gone green? Not if you are still framing your projects the way your daddy did. Green means more than using sustainable sources of materials or hyper–insulating your projects. The three “R’s” of the green movement are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. There should be a fourth “R”, Rethink. Rethink your processes and how you have built in the past and where your profits are coming from in the future. Material used wisely is money. To be truly green, you must reduce the amount of material going into your project and at the same time reduce, reuse or recycle the waste (trash) coming out. Advanced framing techniques (a.k.a. Optimum Value Engineering and Value Engineered) focus on reducing the amount of material used in a home as well as reducing the waste.

Some advanced framing techniques include:

  • Inline framing – Stacking rafters over studs over floor joists
  • Increasing on center spacing of framing members – 19.2” and 24”
  • Using the “right size” headers and eliminating headers in non-load bearing walls
  • Utilizing Engineered Wood Products in floors, walls and roofs
  • Prefabricated wall panels
  • Designing with roof and floor trusses
  • Purchasing pre-cut, ready to install framing components.
  • Purchasing prefabricated components, such as, stairs, dormers, etc.
  • Designing the project to dimensions of framing materials (2’ increments)

The quickest, most cost effective way of going green without breaking the budget on redesign or re-engineering is to make the most of pre-cut and ready to install framing components. Providing materials in a “ready to install” state is a growing trend in the building materials supply industry. Panelizing, componentizing and prefabrication can be applied to almost every project. The advantages include:

  • Little or no on-site waste
  • Faster construction cycle
  • No on-site loss of material
  • Purchasing only the correct amount of material
  • Limited installation errors

Some suppliers add a minimal charge for pre-cutting materials; however, when compared to the cost of dumpsters, wasted material, lost time, lost material and lower labor costs, the savings can be significant. Recently, at an active adult project in Lexington, MA the framing contractor decided to use a pre-cut engineered I-Joist floor system from National Lumber. He claims his time to build has been reduced by one day over the previous duplex with the same floor plan built using nominal length I-joists. The savings came from the floor system only — the pre-cut I-joists were labeled to correspond to the full color layout provided by National Lumber’s Engineering Department to speed up installation and ensure proper placement. Imagine the possibilities of using a total ready-to-install package of wall panels, roof trusses and precision end trimmed components.

The benefits are easy to see: lower construction costs, lower disposal costs and smaller environmental impact =  a smaller Waste Line and an Enlarged Bottom Line.

Phill Barrett, National Lumber Engineered Wood Products Division

To discuss planning your next project with National Lumber, contact Phill at 508-509-9310 or email

Green Growth Seen in Multifamily Building

Lexington Place at the Center - Lexington, MA

Lexington Place at the Center - Lexington, MA - From the Nauset Construction website (

This Lexington, Massachusetts project was featured in the June 2010 issue of Construction Executive Magazine. You can read the full article about this project here: Saving Green

Excerpted from Construction Executive Magazine, June 2010:

“Multifamily project developers nationwide are seeking contractors that can deliver projects quickly—and without a significant learning curve—to meet consumer demands for energy savings and sustainable features.

In Lexington, Mass., Oaktree Development partnered with a green-savvy design and construction team to deliver a project that would provide a healthy environment and convenient city access for the building’s occupants. Lexington Place at the Center, a luxury, 30-unit mixed-use project in Lexington, MA was completed last June and officially designated as LEED Silver in the fall.

Oaktree and the project team as a whole have been ahead of the sustainability curve, and it became evident that a lot of the green practices outlined by the owner would work well toward the marketability of the project and its LEED certification,” says Benjamin Goldfarb, vice president of Nauset Construction, Needham, Mass., which acted as construction manager at-risk for the job. Nauset met with the development and consultation team early in the game—attending several pre-construction meetings, town meetings and group discussions on green building system options.

The subcontracting team also guided materials selection and helped improve project efficiency, Goldfarb says. National Lumber, for example, produced wall panels offsite, leading to efficient delivery and no excess wood on the jobsite.

Workers installing the wood wall panels manufactured by Reliable Truss. Picture from Nauset Construction (

Workers installing the wood wall panels manufactured by Reliable Truss. Picture from Nauset Construction (

Reliable Truss, the wall panel and truss design & manufacturing division of National Lumber, manufactured the wall panels at their state-of-the-art facilities in New Bedford, MA. If you want to learn more about National Lumber’s green expertise and manufacturing capabilities, visit our Green Initiatives page or call 1-800-370-WOOD (9663).

Certified Green Dealer Program Launches New Website

The Certified Green Dealer Program, of which National Lumber is proudly a part, has this past week launched a brand new website. If you have any questions about green building, the certified experts at National Lumber can answer all your questions and provide you with the green building materials you need to meet LEED requirements.

But there is also a great page of green building links on the website that will be helpful to both contractors and homeowners.

Visit the Green Initiatives section of the National Lumber website for more information.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Pros and Cons of Deconstruction

Have you ever considered that the old kitchen cabinets you are removing could be used by someone else? While it might seem to be easier to demolish everything, reusing materials is environmentally friendly and reduces your waste removal costs. Plus, there can be other surprising economic benefits. Here is some more really great remodeling information for contractors and homeowners alike from Remodeling Magazine. It has to do with “deconstruction,” which involves carefully taking apart old construction and donating components to be reused. By donating to charities, you can get tax deductions to keep you in budget and add things to a job that otherwise would not have been possible.

Read more about the process and its pros and cons in this article, which also has information about the importance of home energy audits and other great ways to save money and materials by being “green.”

Home Energy Audits Really Save Money

Now that the cold weather has arrived, we’re all more aware of drafts in our homes. If you’ve recently received an outrageous home heating bill, you will really appreciate this information from Remodeling magazine:


Some clients may balk at paying for the audit, which usually costs between $300 and $500, but as Paul Eldrenkamp, who owns Byggmeister in the Boston metro area, says, “If they won’t spend $450 on an audit prior to us doing a significant amount of insulation work, then we feel it’s a good gauging device for their seriousness.” In other words, it’s a good way to ferret out clients — early in the process — who may not be a good fit. Eldrenkamp focuses on larger sustainability projects with clients who are mostly “true believers.”

What are the reasons that a proper home energy audit is necessary?

“The priorities of applied building science are health and safety, number one; comfort, number two; and energy efficiency, number three,” says Ed Voytovich, a former remodeling company owner and insulation contractor and now executive director of the Building Performance Contractors Association of New York State. Changing one part of the system will affect another, and remodelers need to learn how to avoid changes that could make a home unhealthy or dangerous. For example, air sealing and attic insulation may greatly improve energy efficiency in a leaky house and show the quickest return on investment, but without also providing for proper ventilation, tightening the envelope could trap noxious gases in the living space.”

Read the rest of the article above at

After a proper home energy audit, you will know just what will improve your home’s atmosphere and energy efficiency. When you’re ready to insulate, contact Chris Kirouac at Pro Insulators for all your insulation needs. You can call him directly at 978-423-6051 or visit for more information.

Leading the Way in Green Building

National Lumber is pleased to be involved with Green Life Smart Life in pioneering efforts to produce LEED-approved housing in New England. The innovative home featured shows how a real family can build in a smarter way that brings together green living, high-tech, and style.

Mike McDole, VP of Sales for National Lumber, points out that contrary to what most people think, the upfront costs added to a structure to make it more energy efficient and environmentally sound are actually minimal compared to the realized savings as soon as the home is occupied. For example, a 5% upcharge in the project can produce cost savings of up to 20% in annual energy savings or an average payback in 10 years while living in a quieter, more comfortable, healthier home.

The biggest challenge to suppliers such as National Lumber is “green-washing,” which is what corporations do to make themselves and their products look more environmentally-friendly than they really are. National Lumber has done the work to become FSC certified and a Certified Green Dealer. This means the staff is specially trained in green products, in addition to supplying them. Homeowners need to research their suppliers to be certain they are actually qualified to provide truly green products. The construction industry is still developing standards that must be met before a company can call its products “green”.  However, a few strong certification organizations such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), US Green Building Council, and NAHB’s (National Association of Home Builders) Green Building Program are making a difference.

Read Mike McDole’s complete interview at the link below, and look through the whole Green Life Smart Life website to see examples of how beautiful green living can be.

Green Building Advisor

As far as sustainable construction issues, a long ago quote from H.G. Wells seems to apply: “we are drowning in information, but starving for knowledge.

National Lumber wants to help you gain the valuable knowledge you need in the most efficient and effective way possible. To make these valuable resources more affordable for you, customers of the National Lumber Family of Companies are eligible for a 33% discount off the price of GBA Pro membership when you use our special link to the Green Building Advisor website to join.

In the opinion of Steve Linsky, National Lumber’s Green Building Coordinator, is “the best website in the building industry for a combination of pure construction detail info and sustainable construction programs and ideas.” is a comprehensive encyclopedia on the topic from two of the most respected names in the business: Taunton Press, publisher of Fine Homebuilding and Building Green, publisher Environmental Building News and the GreenSpec Directory of green building products.

This special offer puts all of at your finger tips.

  • Complete Access. A GBA Pro membership gives you complete access to, the online depth resource for builders, remodelers, architects and homeowners interested in building and remodeling high-quality, healthy, energy-efficient homes.
  • Wealth of Information. contains a wealth of green building information: over 1000 downloadable construction details, a green building encyclopedia full of how-to and why information, product listings and reviews, helpful building strategies, green home case studies, the latest news, a community of construction experts, opinions from our advisory staff and a content management tool to save items to your personal account. Access to all this is available to GBA Pro members.

We believe that you will find this to be invaluable information that will help your business to grow more prosperously in 2010. is the most comprehensive source for green building information available. Features include a Green Building Encyclopedia, a Construction Detail library with over 1,000 details, Green Building Strategies, help with codes, business advice and more.

You’ll find everything from technical articles to background info on LEED-Homes and the NAHB Green Building Standard. General information is free, but the most valuable resources are in a subscriber-only section called GBA Pro:

  • Over 1,500 reviews of products in 23 categories from the GreenSpec Guide to Residential Building Materials;
  • Over 1,000 construction details you can download as DWG files and import into your CAD system, or as PDFs to print and give to customers;
  • A project management tool called My GBA that lets you compile and save information on specific topics

Builders, architects, and trades people usually pay $149.95 for membership, but you only pay $99.95. Better yet, membership is risk free – your credit card will not be charged until after the 10-day trial period has expired. It’s easy to join. Just follow the link below and try it out for 10 days.

Start your 10-day trial period now and get started on your next green building project armed with the knowledge you need to be successful.

Click here to get started

Being Green Begins With the Three “R’s”

As an FSC certified lumberyard, National Lumber is a leader in the green building materials industry. However, while green materials are a hot market right now, being built into a large percentage of new homes, the three “R’s” are as important as ever: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

While we are creating new materials that last longer and are made with significant amounts of pre-consumer recycled material, it is especially important that in our own lives that we strive to reduce waste, reuse whatever we can, and recycle whatever we can. Rather than buy new, whenever possible repair things that you have already. Buy locally whenever possible, since it reduces fuel and shipping costs. Our habits can be just as beneficial to the environment as new materials can be. Every little thing we do to be less wasteful and as efficient as possible will help.

The National Lumber website has a bevy of green information, including our specific green initiatives, our green manufacturing processes and operating methods. Our kitchen design division, Kitchen Views, has several green cabinetry lines and countertop materials, as well. With all these green initiatives, National Lumber is your New England source for green practices and building materials.

National Lumber Partnership for Green Initiatives

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