15-0827 v3.X FSC Wood for Feature Wall


We are designing and building a custom wood wall feature that will serve as an art- and educational piece representing 19 species from native forests from the Central-Midwest Region. Due to the very small quantities that are harvested of some of the less well known species – including Burr Oak, Calico Hickory, Butternut Hickory, American Elm, Black Ash, Eastern Cottonwood, Quaking Aspen, Catalpa, Sycamore, to name a few – FSC certification or salvaged sources are not available but that does not mean that they are harvested in an irresponsible manner. Still, we have been searching for several months for compliant options of these species without success. As designed and planned, we are unable to find FSC certified wood for approximately 20% of the pieces and we are asking for an exception. We consider this piece to contribute to the Beauty Petal for its educational and artistic value. It’s really important to not reduce the variation of species because that would diminish the representation of the spectrum of species that comprise the Midwest forest ecologies. We might be able to find FSC wood in obscure locations but that is against the intent to source locally and not in line with the purpose to show the local ecology. We believe this will give us the chance to advocate to these forests for FSC as well as educate occupants on the gaps in the certification process. Finally, it’s an important tool for connecting occupants to the “place” surrounding Chicago.


All wood built into Living Building Challenge projects is required to be FSC Certified or meet an existing exception. The project team is encouraged to continue with advocacy to local forests, search for wood that will meet an I-12 Exception, and use the missing, non-virgin, or non-locally sourced wood as an educational opportunity. Note
that two Exceptions have been added since the August 2014 Materials Petal Handbook (MPH) was published: I12-E5 Donated Surplus Wood and I12-E6 Urban Salvaged Wood.

Post ID 3113

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us