Whenever possible, we chose recycled, natural, and renewable building materials.
Posts for the Thelma Babbitt Room — an octagonal, post-and-beam meeting space, pictured here — were milled from white pine grown on Harris Center lands. The knee braces were made from bent oak, maple, and birch trees, also harvested from Harris Center-managed property. The huge Douglas fir rafters and compression ring were recycled from a mill building in Massachusetts, built in the early 1900s.
The clapboard siding is made from cement, sand, and wood fibers, and is resistant to rot and insect damage.
The kitchen flooring is a resilient material made from recycled automobile tires and reprocessed commercial roofing materials.
Linoleum — made with all natural materials, including linseed oil, wood flour, rosin binders, and dry pigments, mixed and rolled onto a natural jute backing — was used for the bathroom floors.
Much of the original wood flooring was reused by patching existing rooms with flooring removed from the north wing of the old building. All new wood flooring is FSC-certified yellow birch from sustainably-managed forests.
Office carpeting consists of individual carpet tiles made with 100% recycled backing.
The planks used on all four outdoor decks were made from recycled plastic grocery bags and waste wood. Both second floor decks are surrounded by railings and balustrades made from recycled, century-old cypress salvaged from river bottoms in the southeastern U.S. In addition, all outdoor pressure-treated structural lumber was preserved using EPA-approved ACQ, a water-based formula that is arsenic- and chromium-free.
To minimize exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), we used only water-based stains and clear finishes, as well as formaldehyde-free wheat board for cabinetry.