April Newsletter: Wood, Windows, and Biomimicry

Howdy Folks,

I hope April’s newsletter finds you well. Although the effects of Covid-19 have been evident throughout our valley, we are very grateful that we have been busy through the month of April. We finished up some pretty neat projects that you will get to see in the next newsletter, but for now, enjoy a few updates on what we’ve been up to and my hot take on biomimicry.

Wood Processing

On our website under the about us section you can learn a little more about what we do. If you’ve ever looked there you can see that we offer “Processing” as a part of our service package. That is pretty vague, but I wanted to give a great example so you can 1) understand what processing means, and 2) show you the possible value it can bring.
A screenshot of our site
This example comes from the deconstruction space, although we can work with many different materials. Pictured below is Douglas fir tongue and groove flooring that we removed from a deconstruction project. The contractor on this remodel job wanted to utilize the wood in the project, but it needed to be removed to fit the new design of the house. In order to capture the value already in the wood, we worked with the contractor to remove this wood, de-nail every piece, and plane the wood down to a smooth natural finish. It’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day the wood is able to be preserved, and the process is comparable in cost to purchasing new wood, with a higher quality product. This wood is especially valuable because it is milled from old growth lumber which is much stronger and durable than most woods we have today. Being able to reuse a material like this saves tons of embodied energy, supports a local business, and preserves the character of the house. Our processing helps change a material in some fashion so it will fit into a project for reuse. Keep your eyes peeled in the next few months for some pictures of this wood reinstalled!


Nature deserves more credit. Through the years nature has developed the most impressive feats of design, engineering, adaptation, and systematic synergy. Biomimicry is when we take these concepts from nature and mimic their properties in our human developed world. Examples are all around us when we start to look, but one of my favorites is one of Japan’s bullet trains. Japan developed a new sires of of bullet trains for their country and soon started to have lots of issues with noise created as the train exited tunnels, creating thunderous booms around the cities. The lead engineer of the new trains was a bird watcher and took note of a spectacular bird, the Kingfisher. The Kingfisher is notorious for flying from air to water at full speed to kill it’s prey. The pinnacle of this behavior is the Kingfisher’s very special beak. After some testing the engineer redeveloped the nose cone of this train to mimic the beak of the kingfisher. Immediately, the train was much quieter and the redesign was considered a great success. The redesign brought other unexpected benefits. After redesigning the nose cone the train was able to run on 15% less electricity and reach speeds 10% fast due to it’s new aerodynamics.
This example shows the immediate benefits that are available when we follow nature’s lead. Plants and animals have developed unbelievable systems and adaptations that allow them to live symbiotically with each other and our planet. If we model our built world after these naturally occurring principles there are countless opportunities to create a strong, innovative, more dependable, lasting world that is in harmony with the planet. We just need to follow nature’s lead.

Product Highlight – Old Single Pane Windows

Fresh from the early 1900’s these windows bring a life of character and charm with them. Consistency wasn’t a sticking point when the original homeowner was building. Just about every window is a different size, pane count, and style. I’ll let the windows talk for themselves…pictures below.
This morning Waste Equals and Warm Springs Consulting tuned into this Free Webinar. There was lot’s of great information, if you’re interested, you can find the recorded webinar here.

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