Tag Archives: Chapter 11 – Modified Stick-Frame

Pure Wood

Instead of treating wood with arsenic, Bay Tree Technologies heat treats it. Bay Tree is located in Memphis, but their first kiln is in Terra Haute, Indiana. Right now they’re only making 1.25″x5″ decking. They say the process reduces expansion/contraction by 80%.

From EBN:

In a multistep process lasting 50–60 hours, Bay Tree first heats lumber to about 210°F (100°C) for preconditioning and drying. A second stage of heating boosts the temperature to between 370°F and 480°F (190°C–250°C), which chemically transforms sugars in the wood into forms that cannot be digested by insects or eaten by decay organisms. Then steam conditioning restores some moisture to the wood. By comparison, conventional lumber kilns operate at about 165°F (74°C)…

All PureWood boards are suitable for outdoor above ground and ground- contact applications and carry a 25-year warranty—even in ground-contact. The product can be painted, stained, and sanded just like conventional wood…

PureWood is fairly expensive, likely because of the high energy costs involved. Bay Tree Technologies is positioning PureWood as a high-end decking product, similar in price to the “tropical” composite products, such as Trex Brasilia and TimberTech Earthwood, or to clear redwood, according to Long. This price is significantly higher than that of conventional copper-treated decking. Long says that costs may come down somewhat with competition (as other thermally modified wood products enter the market), but he doesn’t think it will ever be cost-competitive with chemically infused wood.

Dealers in our area:

Mountain Lumber Company of Boone-Banner Elk, Inc.
9877 Hwy 105 South
Boone, NC 28607

Wilson Lumber
Old Hwy 64
Murphy, NC 28906

Local Wood Products




The start of  the design process

This is where our design process begins!

Our work has always taken a top down approach. From our more rustic days till now, we have always thought it important to know where your materials come from. The finished piece is more real when there is no disconnect between the cutting down of a tree and the application of the last coat of oil. Having control of every step of the process not only gives us unique design capabilities but it is almost virtually wasteless. Trees, which would normally see a quick ride through the mulcher, get whittled down in a way that allows them to recognize something more meaningful.

Embodied energy and CO2 emitted in the production of some common items and building materials

Here we have a kilogram to kilogram comparison of embodied energy and carbon dioxide emissions during the production of some common items and building materials.  (The values for gasoline are not embodied energy/CO2 emissions of production, but energy and emissions produced by burning 1 kg of gas.)

Here we move on more specifically to building materials and put them in more recognizable building units.  For comparison, the energy and CO2 emitted in the production of the average American’s weekly food consumption and the energy and CO2 emitted by burning 1 gal of gas are provided.

Next, we compare wall-building materials.  Here we see some growing trade-offs in embodied energy and CO2 emissions, although distinct advantages can be seen in some building materials over others.  (CO2 emissions for Adobe unavailable.)

Finally, some insulating materials (adjusted to different thicknesses to achieve an R value of 10).  Here there are clear winners among the alternative insulating materials.  (Also notice the CO2 emissions differences between HFC-foamed and CO2-foamed polystyrene.)

Data from: