Viridian makes 100% FSC-certified wood flooring from reclaimed wood using renewable wind energy.
Viridian Reclaimed Wood, based in Portland, thrives on its guiding principles: sustain, innovate and create. The venture grew from a couple of hobbyists who began salvaging dockside discards from the Port of Portland. When Viridian’s founders saw the amount of recyclables the port was sending to the landfill, they felt it was their social and moral responsibility to do something about the waste.
The project grew into a full-time passion, and they opened a warehouse to gather recycled wood from various sources. Through trial and error, Viridian pioneered a process to upcycle this wood to create FSC-certified wood flooring, tabletops, panels, furniture and other building design products.
In 2011, 941,000 tons of break-bulk was unloaded at the Port of Portland’s marine terminal. And, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, demolished buildings produce 1 billion feet of perfectly reusable lumber each year. While Viridian cannot save all the discarded lumber in the world, the amount of wood it reclaimed in 2011 equals 9,500 Douglas fir trees measuring 40 feet in height. Additionally, making floors with recycled wood uses 13 times less energy than using virgin wood.
Recycled wood: Viridian’s process
Reclaimed floors start out as lumber that served a different purpose in a past life — as an old barn, gym bleachers, warehouse beams or shipping crates. At the Port of Portland, for example, the experts at Viridian divert dumpster after dumpster of crating waste so they can pick out viable pieces of lumber to reclaim and recycle. And the process is surprisingly efficient: 99% of the former landfill-bound waste Viridian processes is now recycled.
The goal of material recovery is to make every stick of wood count. Wood that Viridian cannot use to make reclaimed floors is burned as firewood, turned into biofuel or repurposed as utility-grade lumber suitable for shipping pallets and similar items.
After Viridian grades and separates the wood it wants to use for reclaimed floors and other products, the workers kiln dry the lumber and mill it to create beautiful products for both local and national clients. To help offset the carbon used to ship the FSC-certified wood flooring, Viridian utilizes renewable wind energy.
Benefits of Viridian Reclaimed Wood
Viridian is proud to boast that all of its products are 100% FSC certified. This means Viridian used only sustainable and humane methods to harvest the products it sells. Because the company uses the highest-quality recycled wood for flooring, furniture and design materials, the stocks of wood are always stable, consistent and repeatable. Furthermore, Viridian reclaims all of its exotic hardwoods locally; as of 2012, no other company in the U.S. can make this claim.
Contractors love Viridian’s FSC-certified wood flooring not just because of the quality, but also because of the LEED points that they can earn. Using Viridian’s recycled wood can help a contractor earn the Materials Reuse (#3), Recycled Content (#4), Regional Materials (#5) and Certified Wood (#7) credits.
Reclaimed wood has several benefits over virgin wood. For example, it is more durable and stable, it is less prone to warping and it is harder. With Viridian’s green mission to conserve the earth’s natural resources, sustainability never looked so beautiful.
This post was contributed byViridian Reclaimed Wood, a reclaimed wood flooring, paneling and furniture salvaging and materials company based in Portland.