Hammer & Hand adds Forest Stewardship Council® certified furniture and millwork to its portfolio

H&H joins Sustainable NW’s FSC® group.

Anybody who has spent much time remodeling old houses respects the integrity of wood.  As you peel away the layers you might uncover a forgotten fir floor or a hidden timber beam or framing that’s hardened so much over the decades that it’s virtually petrified.  It’s valuable stuff, irreplaceable, really.  Some of the old wood comes from forests long gone or old growth trees long ago cut.  And there’s no substitute for decades of aging and curing.

So salvaging and “upcycling” have always been no-brainers for us.  It started with reusing whatever we could from our remodeling job sites.  Now we also source salvaged wood, actively seeking out materials from dismantled barns, retired gym bleachers, and even decommissioned pickle barrels.

This wood finds its way into our remodeling projects, new homes, and commercial construction. We also use it in our shop, crafting tables, desks, doors and other upcycled millwork from it.

Now, thanks to our membership in a group license (FSC-C041262) through Sustainable NW, that millwork can earn Forest Stewardship Council certification.

FSC is the world leader in certifying sustainably harvested “good wood.”  We’ve used FSC wood in projects like the Karuna House, of course, but our licensure means that we can now create and sell FSC-certified products in our shop.

This stamp of approval not only recognizes our shop’s green chops, it also aligns what we build with the sustainable construction certifications (like Living Building Challenge and LEED) that require or encourage the use of such products.

The first FSC-certified millwork built by Hammer & Hand are the desks and conference room table that grace our new Seattle office at the Bullitt Center  (Opening Party is scheduled for Thursday, April 10…stay tuned!).  Because they are made of upcycled bleacher stock, the desks and table are certified FSC Recycled.

fsc-certified-wood-desk-hammer-and-handH&H’s Nick Meyer readies one of the FSC-certified tabletops for installation at our Seattle office.

But FSC is perhaps better known for its certification of sustainably produced virgin wood, FSC 100%.  The key to that certification is the Chain of Custody that starts at forest, continues to mill, to shop, and then to end user.  Careful tracking, documentation, and third-party verification ensure that every piece of furniture or board of lumber labeled as FSC 100% is truly sourced from a sustainably managed forest.  If any link in that chain is not properly managed, then the end product can’t be FSC-certified, no matter how “good” the wood.  The responsibility of safeguarding the FSC Chain of Custody at Hammer & Hand is in the skilled hands of shop manager and master jointer Dan Palmer.

It’s exciting stuff.  Anything our shop builds can now be FSC-certified if built with the right wood.  That includes our upcycled furniture as well as our high performance, super-insulated Passive House doors.

Our advocacy for “good wood” takes the next step.

– Zack (Connect with me at +ZacharySemke)


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