Sustainable Wood Products

Sustainability in our roots

In the early 1980’s, Delta Millworks founder Bob Davis helped pioneer a trend in reclaiming wood for restoration millwork, establishing strong roots in sustainably-sourced wood products and innovative approaches to the industry.

In the early days of reclaiming wood for reuse as architectural millwork items, the materials used were predominantly sourced from buildings predating 1920. Consisting primarily of longleaf pine, the reclaimed materials were originally used for structural support beams along the East Coast and throughout both the Midwest and Southern states.

Longleaf pine (also referred to as ‘Heart Pine’) was first lauded for its strength and straightness, and was used for structural members in multi-story commercial buildings.

However, by the 1920’s, most of the old-growth longleaf pine trees of the South had been depleted. In lieu of the pine, steel I-beams were rapidly replacing the use of timber. Today, the wood once used for structural purposes is now being repurposed for its history, beautiful old-growth aesthetic, and properties that make it a higher performing wood than that of newer trees.

We believe in the future of wood, preserving the forests of our world, and providing pristine products.

With over three decades of experimentation and innovation, Delta has gone from simply reclaiming wood to now using some of the best technologies in wood modification and tree farming practices. We believe in the future of wood, preserving the forests of our world, and providing pristine products to our clients. Sustainability in production is as equally valuable to us as the beauty and performance of our designs.

Tropical hardwoods (specifically, Ipe), are popular for their performance in exterior applications, but are sourced from highly sensitive regions such as the Brazilian rainforest. A large contingent of the material coming from those areas of the world are not only farmed under environmentally-damaging methods, but are sourced through illegal and or controversial means. It is against our fundamental beliefs to work with timbers like these, as there are numerous sustainable and higher-performing alternatives on the market. Tree farming and wood modification have made a historical shift in the availability of products that can perform for decades, and cause no harm to the environment in the process.

The Sustainability of Wood

In regard to toxicity levels, carbon footprint, and overall environmental impact, wood is one of the most environmentally sustainable building product on earth. Technological advances in the wood industry have now allowed wood to compete with other building material in terms of durability, strength, fire resistance and overall performance, all while offering the beauty and allure of a natural product. Forestry techniques have greatly contributed to the wood industry’s positive environmental impact with the use and expansion of tree plantation technologies. Tree plantations, or tree farms, have minimal pollution, and utilize genetic engineering and fast-growing wood species to produce renewable wood sources that do not deplete existing forests. Renewable wood sources combined with technologies in wood modification and engineering are creating an opportunity for the design and construction world to use more wood in today’s markets. With regard to performance, cost, sustainability, and beauty, wood is a smart building product with an exciting future.

Sustainable Engineered Wood

Delta’s Mission in Sustainable Wood Practices

+ Reclaimed

With our origins in reclaimed wood, we offer a several reclaimed wood options from Barnwood cladding to longleaf pine flooring.

+ Repurposed

Our Char Beetle line repurposes dead-standing Beetle Kill Pine trees that have been ravished by the mountain pine beetle. The issue of Beetle Kill Pine trees in the Rockies has a major environmental impact in regards to the increased risk of forest fires and utilizing these trees for design and construction elements ultimately reduces the area of dead trees and lowers the risk of major fires.

+ FSC

Delta carries an FSC chain-of-custody certificate and offer any of our products as FSC-certified.

+ Cradle-2-Cradle Gold certified

Our Accoya products use more than 50% renewable energy and are 100% non-toxic. Accoya is a “food-grade” product in terms of its lack of toxicity. When compared to other building materials such as concrete, steel and plastics, a wood like Accoya often meets and surpasses performance and sustainability standards.

+ Modified Woods

Our Accoya and Kebony products are considered to be “modified” wood; meaning they utilize fast-growing softwoods (plantation-grown) and treat them with non-toxic compounds that change the wood at the cellular level. Where once old-growth or treated (high toxicity levels) woods were the only option for long lasting woods, modified woods can now offer as-good or better performing options with a fraction of the environmental impact.

+ Sustainably-sourced North American Softwoods

All of our softwoods such at Cypress, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Redwood are all available FSC-certified and are sourced from highly managed forests in North America.

+ Operational Waste

Delta is committed to minimizing our ecological footprint and divert all of our sawdust and wood scrap into repurposed products for the landscaping industry.

The Future of Wood & the Mass Timber Movement

We at Delta are thrilled to be a part of continual evolution of the wood industry’s innovation in the next few decades. We are witnessing a shift in how building materials are perceived in both performance and sustainability, and do not foresee any decline in momentum. Engineering, wood modification, cross lamination, and the use of panelized systems are all creating opportunities to build structures more quickly, potentially more cost-effective, and will maintain equal or better performance than inorganic materials like steel and concrete. The environmental impact of steel and concrete is far more severe than sustainable timber, and is surprisingly less ideal in terms of strength and fire-resistance. Although steel and concrete will have their uses in construction for the foreseeable future, there are now organic alternatives allowing architects to introduce more wood to more projects.