WFA 2016 vol 1 – Environmental Focus

Wood Flooring from Safe Sources

With some of the recent concerns about flooring from illegal and unsustainable sources, there are many options available around the world to secure certified flooring products:

Parqueterie Beau Soleil – France 

A French flooring manufacturer demonstrates the benefits of using PEFC certified material and Chain of Custody in selling flooring to high profile projects. For 150 years, Parqueterie Beau Soleil (PBS) in France has made upmarket solid wood flooring.  Certified by PEFC, they recently explained how they work with PEFC certified material:

Ancient craft skills:  Parquet flooring has been around for centuries.  It first appeared in the Middle Ages and was developed in the 19th Century, notably in the huge projects of Haussmann which transformed Paris.  Since the company was founded in 1850, PBS has made flooring for great monuments such as the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre Museum and also the Musee D’Orsay, formerly a station and now a famous gallery.  The Elysee Palace (official residence of the French President) is also furnished with their PEFC certified solid flooring.

One of PBS’s skills is to produce “Versailles panels”.  Each ‘Versailles’ herringbone design panel takes four hours to produce.  Destined for luxury hotels and historic monuments, these panels are truly works of art, taking 4 hours to assemble.

Choosing PEFC certification: PBS produces between 600-1,000m2 of solid flooring daily, which is about 200,000m2 per year.  Over 90% of the wood purchased is PEFC certified, almost exclusively oak.  Right through the chain of production, the PEFC certified supply is identified and followed.  Situated in Nievre in Burgundy, France, in the heart of the great oak forest, PBS is also able to source local wood. The company’s public and private clients and consumers know that to choose PEFC- certified products is to choose to respect the forest.

Production standards are as strict as the material sourcing discipline and focus on the drying of the wood to a maximum of 10% moisture content – down from 80% green lumber.  This allows accurate machining and finishing and ensures stability and performance of the flooring. Power for the drying is produce from the sawmill waste. Only this way can such specialized production be truly said to be sustainable.

Boral Timber – Australia

Another PEFC-certified supplier is Boral Timber, selling certified flooring from Australia, marketing in Asia through SE International Flooring. From its headquarters in Sydney, Boral coordinates production and distribution of solid and engineered flooring products from uniquely Australian hardwood species.

Boral Timber has been developing timber for well over a century and has become one of the largest suppliers of hardwood and softwood in Australia. The company has a wide range of flooring products including solid strip flooring, engineered, parquetry and decking suitable for new homes, renovations and commercial projects. It also produces for the wider construction industry doing everything from structural timber to wall cladding.

Australian timber is a success story in sustainable management, after the land clearing since European settlement over 200 years ago. Today, Australia’s native forests make up 1.2 million sq km (double the size of France), of this, 29% (0.36 million sq km) is suitable and available for commercial wood production and only 3% is actually harvested per year (source: Australia’s forests at a glance 2015). This leaves plenty of leeway for the forests to replenish.

Boral offers over 20 Australian hardwoods which are sustainably sourced from responsible managed regrowth forestry. Boral Timber’s chain of custody meets certification from the Australian Forestry Standard which in turn has mutual recognition by the Programme of the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme (PEFC) – and is the only scheme with Australian Standard-AS 4708-2007.