Our flooring throughout the house is local 2 x 6 tongue and groove lumber, sitting on 4 x 8 joists at 32”o/c, rather than 2x8 at 16”o/c. This allowed us to use the underside of our flooring as a beautiful tongue and groove ceiling with joists becoming a feature. This flooring system avoids using plywood (which off-gasses) and drywall on the underside. Using this system, we used fewer materials since we avoided finish flooring and drywall on the ceiling below. This results in a huge savings both economically, reduces our carbon footprint and eliminates harmful off-gassing that comes with typical building. There is a slight increase in noise level with just one floor but the environmental and financial benefits outweighed any concern regarding this.
We also used lumber locally from the Harrop Procter Community Forest, (http://www.hpcommunityforest.org) on the interior of the house and for our exterior fence. The community forest is FSC certified and has gone two steps past the typical community forest by implementing an ecosystem-based plan as well as value-added strategies to expand local employment. The goal of ecosystem-based planning is to leave a fully functioning forest after logging takes place.
For health and environmental reasons, we used blown in cellulose for our roof. It is a natural wood product, and is made from recycled newspaper. Blowing in the cellulose insulation allows it to densely penetrate, allowing it to act as an effective air stop and essentially fill all gaps in the framing. It has a higher R-rating than many other insulation products because of its density and doesn't contain formaldehyde, or cause itching like fibreglass.
We have installed kitchen countertops, backsplashes as well as all bathroom vanity surfaces using a product called Paperstone. This product is made from cellulose fiber (100% post consumer recycled paper) and a non-petroleum phenolic resin derived in part from a natural phenolic oil in the shells of cashews. It is certified by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance to Forest Stewardship Council standards and can contribute to multiple LEED points. The counters are beautiful to look at, durable and easy to maintain. www.paperstoneproducts.com