Tournesol Siteworks

Thermally Modified Wood at McMullen Museum of Art

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Have you ever seen a piece of art that stops you in your tracks? Sometimes a peaceful feeling washes over you, or maybe you’re drawn to a memory of another place or experience. Per Pablo Picasso, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” and I tend to agree. Speaking of art, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, houses amazing works of art and also offers distinctive exhibitions, gallery talks and other events which bring the public to the museum.

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McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College

Last fall, the McMullen Museum of Art moved to a new location on the university’s Brighton Campus located in the former residence of Boston’s Cardinal Archbishop. The building, originally designed by Boston architects Maginnis and Walsh, was built in 1927 in the Roman Renaissance Revival Style. Modern architects DiMella Shaffer Associates out of Boston, collaborated with landscape architects from Carol R. Johnson Associates (CRJA) on the redesign.

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Side Balcony

For the remodel, CRJA specified Tournesol Siteworks’ products for a beautiful new 7’W x 20’L balcony and a 1,400 sq.ft amenity deck. Consigli Construction Co., out of Milford, MA, completed the installation. CRJA specified our Boulevard Structural Wood Tiles along with our Sliding Wood Tile Fasteners to connect the tiles in place. The wood tiles are 24″ x 24″ and are produced from Boulevard thermally-modified wood which goes through a process that changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly.

The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Boston’s winter weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement. Over time, weathering will reveal the wood’s natural patina to a silver, grayish color.

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Amenity Deck

Along with our wood tiles, they selected our VersiJack support pedestals in various sizes. VersiJack are twist-to-adjust height pedestals, needed to accommodate this project for heights from 1-1/2″ up to 11″. The pedestals create a broad, stable base that can support more weight than any other pedestal system. Due to unevenness and slope of the deck base, they required our Platform Slope Correctors which can correct from 0% to 5% slope at 1% increments. Because this type of corrector sits on top of the pedestal, it is faster and easier to adjust to the correct slope, as well as being less expensive than a bottom slope corrector.

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VersiJack Adjustable Pedestals

This installation also required our low-raised decking product,  SpiraPave Adjustable Deck & Paver Support Jacks. This raised podium floor allows for rapid drainage, concealed services below, and reduced the installation cost compared to any other material.

We were excited to be part of the McMullen Museum of Art’s historic transformation and relocation – congratulations on their new digs!

TWIGs Enhance Portland’s Courtyard at One North

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Portland, Oregon, is a beautiful city which sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, is surrounded by lush greenery and has a view of Mt. Hood. One installation completed in spring this year is the One North office complex in the North Williams Avenue area in northeast Portland. The One North project consists of three buildings, surrounding a spacious courtyard that can be rented for public or private events by either tenants or the community.

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TWIG Bench at Courtyard at One North, Portland, OR

Architects from Holst Architecture and Path Architecture (both from Portland) designed both the East and the West Buildings (two out of three) at One North for developers Karuna Properties II, LLC. Landscape architects and designers from Lango Hansen Landscape Architects, out of Portland, specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ TWIG benches to create seating opportunities in the courtyard.

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The TWIG benches help create a highly configurable, modular seating system which promotes social interaction and a casual environment. TWIG originated with Street and Garden Furniture, our partner down under, in a design by Alexander Lotersztain. We make the TWIG bench from lightweight GFRC concrete; with each bench weighing only 700 lbs., this contributes to a low environmental footprint, both in terms of material content and shipping.

Another interesting feature of the TWIG benches is that they were used as retaining planting walls for the soil behind them, eliminating the need to pour concrete to hold the increased depth of soil for the landscaping. We helped with installation and design guidance, explaining how to waterproof the back of the benches and how to properly anchor the benches to the ground.

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A concealed mount bracket keeps the bench in place with epoxy anchors. The 11 on-grade TWIG benches create a more dynamic space by enhancing the straight horizontal and vertical lines of other features in the courtyard. There are many color options for the TWIG, but Lango Hansen picked a custom color shade of white for this project. They also installed skate stops, which help to deter skaters from doing ollies off the edges of the benches.

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Our TWIG benches are excellent for this environment as they offer ample seating, yet leave room for mingling and movement in the courtyard as well. We are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in this installation. The community has already held multiple events and we hope the rentals of the space continue.

It’s a Jungle out There!

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A few weeks ago, Tournesol Siteworks was invited to an open house hosted by our partners Instant Jungle International out of Santa Ana, California. Instant Jungle invited many architects and landscape architects to gather, and to present our green wall and living wall products. A couple of our sales people attended and had a great time!

Instant Jungle Open House

Photos courtesy of Instant Jungle

After enjoying an amazing BBQ lunch from TK Burgers, Greg Wallace (IJ) showed the attendees the displays their team created featuring our VGM Modular Living Wall, with plant growth in process. IJ also showed examples of our VGP Tray-based Living Wall System and TerraScreen Interior GreenWall.

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Our VGM system modules attach to stainless steel hanging rails and when mounted to a structurally sound wall, require minimal penetrations. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 4″ or 8” soil profile. Because root growth isn’t limited to small cells or baffles like in other systems, plants grow healthier and stronger, which means lower maintenance yet more spectacular results.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGM Modular Living Wall System – click here to watch the video.

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Photo courtesy of Instant Jungle

They explained how the VGP system offers versatility and easy installation desired by light commercial applications. The trays may be hung on a VGP mounting panel, standard 2″ x 3″ welded mesh or wire, or along rods or stainless steel rope. Each tray incorporates an anti-lift arm to prevent unwanted removal, but requires no other bolts or clips. Trays are hung at either 6″ or 9″ intervals, depending on the plant size and the project budget.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation also produced a video displaying the mounting and installation of our VGP Living Wall System – click here to watch the video.

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Instant Jungle also presented the attendees with our TerraScreen Green wall, describing how it offers more flexibility than any other green wall system; designed so that the planting may be easily updated so the installation is appropriate to the style, season and environment. TerraScreen panels are made of powder-coated galvanized steel wire, with removable brackets to fasten the panel to the wall. Plants are placed in their 6” grow pot directly into the black no-hole cachepot. It is the solution to the challenge of installing a living wall that is instantly lush, and easy to refresh and maintain.

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Thank you, Instant Jungle International, for the open house and for inviting key players in the industry to show how magically to use our products to beautify their applications and projects. We are thrilled to be working with such a fabulous company and great partners.

 

 

 

Just Like in the Amazon – a Green Wall!

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The South Lake Union district of Seattle, WA, is a popping neighborhood being the “7th most walk-able” in Seattle and housing the headquarters of Amazon. All around the neighborhood there are beautiful spaces, restaurants and areas to build community and just hang out.  About four years ago the Amazon block building at 207 Boren Avenue in Seattle was completed with one of our very early VGM Modular living walls. We revisited the site recently, and thought we’d share what a green wall looks like after a few years.

Just after installation

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Revisit this year

 

Tournesol SiteworksVGM3 Modular Living Wall was specified by Callison RTKL Architects in collaboration with landscape architects from Walter Macy to be installed on an Amazon building wall that faces an open plaza. They created an immense green wall design that was expertly installed by landscape contractors from Teufel Landscape. Teufel was also responsible for pre-growing the plants, and installing the living wall modules once the plants had taken root.

Interestingly, the green wall has been through a few plant replacements, due to the placement of the wall to the sun, and a few plant types that were unhappy with their environment. Due to an irrigation issue, the entire wall needed to be replaced once- the maintenance crew discovered a leak in the irrigation and the building manager turned off the water to the entire green wall. The issue was with one of the modules and not the entire wall. Unfortunately, the wall failed without water to irrigate the plants, and the plants had to be replaced.  The replacements are fairly easy, but maintenance is key to the life of the green wall – after all it is a “living” wall.

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The green wall contains VGM3 modules, 6 rows high by 23 rows wide, with each module requiring two left and two right mounting brackets. The brackets attach the VGM3 system modules to stainless steel hanging rails which require minimal penetrations and mount to the structurally sound wall. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 8” (in this project) soil profile. Because root growth isn’t limited to small cells or baffles like in other systems, plants grow healthier and stronger, which means lower maintenance yet more spectacular results.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGM Modular Living Wall System  – click here to watch the video.

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Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

The green wall on the Amazon block hopefully will continue to be enjoyed by those walking, riding their bikes, resting in this plaza, working near this building, or just strolling by for years to come!

Rockin’ the Rooftops in Emeryville!

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Along the San Francisco Bay, sits the small city of EmeryvilIe, squeezed between Oakland and Berkeley. The city has risen from an industrial wasteland to a city encompassing major retailers, life science companies, fine dining, shopping, theaters, and pleasant neighborhoods. Emeryville’s economic growth has increased the need for multi-family development. One recently developed apartment community is located at the corner of 64th Street and Christie Avenue. The 190-unit, 5-story residential  complex was completed in 2014. We visited the project two years later to show you Tournesol Siteworks’ pots and planters highlighted on the rooftop, amenity deck and entrance to the building.

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The property was creatively designed by Steinberg Architects, who collaborated with landscape architects from The Guzzardo Partnership, both San Francisco-based firms. Guzzardo specified Tournesol Siteworks products for the project which required multiple planters from a few of our collections. Golden State Landscaping installed the planters and filled them with lush greenery and succulents for the tenants to enjoy.

From our Wilshire Collection, Guzzardo used 51 FRP fiberglass square planters – 24 in the color Royalty, 13 in Ivory and 14 in a custom color “Oxide Red.” For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of T-0. The red planters gracefully enhance (as shown below) the space on the rooftop.

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Also from our Wilshire Collection, they specified 38 of our Fiberglass FRP rectangular planters – 12 in the color Pitch (texture T-0) and 26 in Shadow. The rectangles in Shadow were placed along the perimeter of the roof deck and produced in the T-1 finish, which enhances the durability of the planter and helps to resist scratching.

From our Urban Collection, Guzzardo chose 17 square planters – eight in the color Pitch and nine in a custom color “Traffic Yellow.” The yellow planters have a T-0 smooth finish and were placed at the building’s entrance, offering a bright, colorful entry (as shown below).

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Our Downtown Collection FRP Fiberglass round planters, displayed in the photo below, were also ordered in “Oxide Red” (the same color used above) and Shadow with the T-1 texture (33 and 13, respectively).  The distinctive shapes were placed along the amenity deck and walls of the complex.

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Emeryville is rocking with this creatively designed, multi-family residential apartment building and we were thrilled to be part of such a large installation. It’s nice to revisit this project after a few years, to know the tenants are happy and to see that everything still looks great!

VGP Climbing up the Wall in Houston

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Houston, Texas, is one of the largest cities in the country, with an amazing mix of pro-sports, world-class restaurants, arts, and booming business. In the heart of Houston is the Westchase District, a prime business area known for the wide array of small, medium and large businesses located in the area. One office building with property management company Crimson Services, LLC, is located at 2500 Citywest Boulevard and recently desired a fresh green wall on an exterior section of the 25-story building.

Designer Lisa Taul, and Sales Consultant Jana Swatloski, both with Silversand Services out of Houston, coordinated with Crimson Services on this green wall project design. Our partner from Ewing Irrigation, Luis Andrade, was contacted by Lisa for his technical expertise and product knowledge of Tournesol Siteworks‘ green wall options for design possibilities, and project requirements.

Our VGP Tray-Based Living Wall System was chosen to create the “living art” design for the green wall. The VGP system offered versatility and easy installation, desired by this light commercial application, and a lush, rich-looking living wall at a price significantly lower than our VGM modular living wall.

The total dimensions of the living wall measure a whopping 9 feet high by 40 feet long! The green wall consists of over 1,000 VGP-01 trays, with each tray incorporating an anti-lift arm to prevent the trays from being “accidentally” removed, but requiring no other bolts or clips. For the plant sizes and the project budget, 90 of the VGP-1636 Mounting Panels were required to hang the VGP trays at standard 6″ intervals. The generously-sized pot will allow for long term growing, and easy replacement or change-out as desired.

Our partners at Ewing Irrigation have produced a video displaying the ease of mounting and installing our VGP Living Wall System  – click here to watch the video.

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Silversand Services took great care choosing the appropriate plants for the environment and style of the green wall. Plants types included Bugleweed ‘Burgundy Glow’, Variegated Greater Periwinkle, Holly Fern, Aztec Grass, and Foxtail Fern.

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What an amazing green wall with lush plants that will fully grow in beautifully within a few months! The tenants of 2500 Citywest Blvd. will be able to enjoy the green wall for a long time to come.

Cambridge’s Custom Benches & Planters

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In the heart of Cambridge, MA (formerly Newtowne from 1630-1703), is Kendall Square – an exciting place for the expanding Technology/Biotechnology market. The neighborhood is full of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters rubbing elbows with institutions and corporations including MIT, Google, Amazon, and Twitter, among others. In the heart of Kendall Square is 50 Hampshire Street, holding the largest block of adjacent space in the square. Recently, 50 Hampshire Street underwent a fabulous lobby renovation and new exterior landscape design.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

Local firm CBT Architects collaborated with Boston landscape architect Copley Wolff Design Group to create an extraordinary design which included custom made wooden benches and planters. Copley Wolff specified Tournesol Siteworks for the construction of the planters and 20 custom Boulevard thermally-modified wood benches. The benches were fabricated in Tournesol Siteworks‘ Northern California facility and locally installed by landscape contractors  Brightview (formerly Valleycrest) of Boston.

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The custom dimensions of the Boulevard wood are 72″L x 24″W x 18″H with the wood running the length of both bench sides and tops. Our Boulevard Wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Cambridge’s varying weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

Along with the custom benches, we created 11 custom FRP Fiberglass Wilshire Collection planters in rectangular dimensions of 72″L x 24″W x 36″H, and 2 tall square Wilshire collection planters sized 24″Sq. x 48″H. Copley Wolff required that the planters be anchored to the ground, so they specified the reinforced bottom option and pre-drilled drain holes. A planter with a reinforced bottom contains a strong piece of plywood between layers of the fiberglass on the base, which provides a solid panel to anchor to the ground and spreads the load should the planter move.

All of the planters are outfitted with our CWM Modular Container Irrigation to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

Photo Courtesy of Copley Wolff Design Group

We’re thrilled to take part in this project, just down the street from the 200 Sidney project. The Boulevard wood is coming to Boston!

 

 

Pre-fabricated Wooden Benches for Cast-in-Place in Cambridge

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Cambridge Massachusetts is famous for being the home of two of the world’s top universities – Harvard University and MIT – and the home of many brilliant minds. However, in the same town, there are other brilliant minds at the Sidney Research Center, at 200 Sidney Street in the Fort Washington Research Center. Currently under renovation, the building was newly rebranded the Sidney Research Campus by  owner BioMed Realty Trust. The space is designed for smaller companies in the biotechnology industry, committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases.

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Architects at Arrowstreet Architecture and Design of Boston, collaborated with general contractors from The Richmond Group, out of Hopkinton, MA, on the beautiful building entrance. Arrowstreet designed cool, custom wood benches over cast-in-place concrete and specified Tournesol Siteworks for the custom bench construction.

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New England Finish Systems, based in Salem, NH, installed the Boulevard thermally-modified wood  on powder-coated steel furring strips. Certain benches required backs and others were left backless. The dimensions of the Boulevard Wood were custom, either 2 &1/4″W or 2 & 1/2”W and custom lengths varied. The units were assembled completely at the Tournesol Siteworks facility in Hayward, and shipped ready to be installed on site.

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Our Boulevard Wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly. The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for Cambridge’s varying weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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The project turned out beautifully, and seems to be a welcoming and relaxing rest area for the brilliant minds at work inside the building. We are excited to be part of such an amazing structure. Hopefully, those who come outside to rest will be able to work inside to bring good news of hope to those who are suffering and who may benefit from their research.

Urban on Oak in Walnut?

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Small or large businesses can always use an update to their landscape design. Just 16 miles east of Oakland, CA, lies a cool town named Walnut Creek in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a quaint feeling yet is a modern city with lots of shopping, fine restaurants and family-oriented neighborhoods.

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At 2999 Oak Road, near the Contra Costa Transit Center in Walnut Creek, a new look has emerged. Cleary Brothers Landscape Company, Inc. contacted our partner distributors Imperial Sprinkler Supply, out of Livermore, CA.  Cleary installed Tournesol Siteworks’ Fiberglass FRP Urban Collection planters in the front plaza of the main entrance to the building.

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The sleek, modern and elegantly proportioned lightweight FRP Urban Collection pots and planters add a touch of style to this large plaza. Cleary requested our Urban Collection in square (48″Sq x 42″H), tall (24″Sq x 48″H) and rectangular (48″L x 24″W x 24″H) shapes. Inside the planters, they also installed our CWM Modular Container Irrigation Systems to fit the shape and size of each planter. The CWM system gives the ability to store incredible amounts of water and reduce maintenance.

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For the texture, they chose the smooth, conventional finish of  T-0 with a Metal Matched Paint (MMP) Iron color. Tournesol’s MMP Iron color mimics the look of the more expensive metal-infused iron finish and, unlike the real metals, won’t change over time – it will continue to provide predictability and stability.

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Under each Urban Collection planter, they placed our matching (depending on the size of the base ) Fiberglass Skirted Saucers in the MMP Iron color and smooth T-0 texture. We are happy this project requested our products and hope the public as well as the building occupants continue to enjoy the new planters.

 

 

Fresh, Cool Style at Hotel Zephyr

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San Francisco is a city that is alive, constantly morphing and changing. The breeze from the bay brings the sounds of the waterfront to the courtyard of the Hotel Zephyr, close to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA. The hotel has recently refurbished the exterior decor and has created a uniquely different environment for hotel guests, including a fire pit and a large, 40 foot periscope with views of the water and Alcatraz.

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Being close to the bay, Jett Landscape Architecture + Design wanted to bring port and shipping elements of the wharf into the Hotel Zephyr project design. Using large segments of metal shipping containers, they created walls surrounding the courtyard of the hotel. Jett Landscape specified Tournesol Siteworks‘ VGM Modular Living Wall System on one wall of the courtyard, which was installed by Eggli Landscape Contractors, out of Redwood City, CA.

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The VGM Living Wall system consists of 100% recycled plastic planting modules attached to stainless steel hanging rails. Each planting module, made of 100% recycled polypropylene, has a generous 4” or 8” soil profile. Because root growth isn’t limited to small cells or baffles like in other systems, plants grow healthier and stronger, which means lower maintenance yet more amazing results. Eggli also installed our stabilized Media Block, an organic base material stabilized into a sponge-like block that fits perfectly in the VGM module. The media block absorbs up to five times its weight in water, but only weighs 40 lbs./pcf, facilitating even irrigation, faster grow in and optimal plant health.

Zephyr 5For a rustic effect, they used steel sheet pilings (also used on the waterfront) for decoration in the northeast corner of the courtyard. Inside the pilings, we created custom trapezoid-shaped Welded Planter Liners that are 34″ wide in back, 15″ wide in front, 48″ tall, and 18″ deep. The welded planter liners were inserted into the steel pilings and used as planters.

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At the front of the stylish Hotel Zephyr, Patrick Lamar from RHI Construction out of Santa Rosa, installed our Boulevard Wood Decking, which compliments the entrance (as shown in the photo below). Our Boulevard thermally-modified wood goes through a process which changes the chemical make-up and cell structure of the wood. The process creates lumber with exceptional resistance to rot, pest, and decay. Technically, it shares a 25-year preserved-wood-like durability level similar to South American hardwoods, but is ecologically-friendly.

The thermal-modification process also prevents moisture absorption (which is great for San Francisco’s wind, rain and bay weather) and makes Boulevard wood resistant to warp, twist and other movement.

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We are thrilled to have been part of the redesign of Hotel Zephyr and to be part of this cool stylish, trendy installation – right in our own backyard (well, across the bay at least).