Bear Creek Lumber

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Volume 16 Number 5 May 2002

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Hawaiian Yoga Studio
Last year, builder and wood craftsman David V. ( pictured below right) built a stunning yoga studio on a cliff overlooking the Hana Coast of Maui, with Bear Creek Lumber yellow cedar. The AYC is visible inside and out.
Yellow cedar is preferred in Hawaii because of its weather and bug resistance. Even the doors and cabinets were made of yellow cedar. The post ( as seen on right), supporting the outside soffit, is koa, a native Hawaiian wood. The studio owners wanted a light and reflective wood to contrast with dark cliffs and lush tropical landscaping. David’s son, and nephew, work with him on his projects, learning skills that David learned from his father.
Bear Creek Lumber projects can be seen on all the Hawaiian islands where Bear Creek’s cedar, teak, mahogany, and Ipe are popular with architects and builders.

Customer Pictures

Dear Merle,
I enclosed a few pictures (on right) of our new house in Byram, New Jersey. Jackie and I are nearly finished with the siding and interior wrapping, having made optimal use of the red cedar that we purchased from Bear Creek. We are pleased with the results. We also write to order some additional cedar.
Sincerely, Don C.

Saving $$ With Trees
Money doesn't grow on trees but trees can help save money
Every house is a solar home to some extent. The sun can provide much of the energy for heating, even without special features such as solar panels. Properly located trees can cut a home’s annual heating and cooling bill by as much as 25%. Trees can cut wind speed, provide shade and act as a barrier for unwanted winds.
High wind speeds have a pronounced effect on infiltration of indoor heat. The wind exchanges heat with a house by drawing convection heat away from the outside surface of the windows and walls when outside temperatures are cool, and transfers it to the house when the weather is warm. The convected heat first goes through the walls or windows by conduction (The movement of the heat through the material in response to the temperature difference between the two sides). The value of insulation in reducing conduction is measured in units called R-values. Convection of heat away from a wall or roof with a high R-value is small. However, windows have generally low R-values. A two thirds reduction in wind speed, which could be accomplished by trees, would reduce heat loss by about 9 % for double-pane windows and 13 % for single-pane windows.

The key to planting, and managing trees for shading, is to keep in mind the path of the sun across the sky throughout the year. In mid-summer, the sun shines on the northeastern and eastern sides of buildings in the morning, passes overhead near midday, then shines on the west and northwest sides in the afternoon. Trees near the south side of the house can offer shade all year long, while trees too far from the south side of the house provide shade only in the winter. It is also important to consider the type of tree you are planting. A deciduous tree, that is green in the summer will provide more shade but will be bare in the winter.
In mid-winter, the sun rises in the southeast ,goes low across the sky and sets in the southwest. The low winter sun shines nearly perpendicular to a south-facing wall, so that energy on the wall, and through the window, is greater in the winter that in mid-summer. A tree south of a house may block more of the sun’s energy to a south-facing wall in the mid-winter than is does in the mid summer. If your house is exposed to high winds because it is on a large lot in a neighborhood with few trees, or if it's in an open, rural area, it may be a good candidate for windbreak trees. With windbreaks on the north and west side of a simple single-story house, simulations predicted annual heating and cooling energy savings that range from 14 % in Wichita Falls, T X to 19% in Minot, N.D. compared to houses fully exposed to the wind.
For a single home, a line of dense conifers, planted close together within a row, can provide good wind protection. In selecting trees for windbreaks, choose varieties that will be dense and relatively fast growing. Tree management is not a substitution for good energy-efficient construction, but it can contribute to comfort and unnecessary heating and cooling bills.

Industry News

Why Stand In Line When You Can File Online?

Canadian lumber producers have waited in vain for American and Canadian trade negotiators to act. Instead, the Bush administration, who call themselves leaders in free trade, slapped a 29% tariff on all Canadian lumber imports, effective the middle of this month. This replaces a tariff that had been as high as 32%. No other countries face a similar lumber tariff on their products. This is the second major tariff the current administration has imposed ( imported steel was the first). The issue is still being reviewed by the International Trade Commission who can agree to the tariffs or can eliminate them altogether. Costs to consumers building a new home are expected to be between $1,000 and $2,000.
Another example of building inflation can be found in Washington State. New energy codes signed into law in 2002 will add about $2,600 in costs to new home buyers, a huge blow to affordable housing in this state. The legislation was in reaction to the energy crisis in 2001, which was mostly caused by once-in -forty-year drought. The legislation, however, is permanent.
Getting building permits can be a long and tedious job. It requires standing in line to file for several application and permits. Now an internet company, NetClerk, has developed a way to cut time in line by filing for your permits online.
According to NetClerk, a contractor can complete, and submit, a permit in about five to ten minutes whereas it takes anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours to file in the traditional way. NetClerk presently handles permits for a wide variety of subcontractors.
There is a monthly subscription-based fee, which starts at around $100 per month, but depending upon the number of permits filed the cost per permit decreases. Some companies submit 200-300 permits a month, and pay less than $5 per permit. Online filing translates into an enormous saving in time, money, and hassle, states John Heineman, NetClerks director of marketing.
Using the system is simple; you log-on, select the appropriate city application and the system automatically fills in much of the repetitive information into the application. The user fills out the specific project information in the application, and simply hits the submit button.
The service does not cost the taxpayer a dime, it reduces counter
traffic, and it increases contractor compliance.
For more information about NetClerk call (888) 882-5375 or log on to

Southern Forests in U.S. Face A Dilemma

The South is expected to lose more than 30 million acres of prime forestland to urban development over the next four decades, increasing the threat to wildlife and water quality, according to a federal study that takes the first national look at the forest resources of an entire region. The two-year study of 13 southeastern states by the U.S. Forest Service also predicts a steady increase in timber harvesting in the region, a particular concern to environmental groups in recent years dismayed by the proliferation of cultivated pine plantations that have been replacing depleted natural woodlands.
       The South contains the most intensely managed forests in the world, now producing more wood products than any single nation, according to the report. “We think our southern forests are still sustainable, but there are several parts of our forests that are vulnerable,” said David Wear, co-author of the study. “We need to move forward with great care, in monitoring, and stewardship.”
       Much of the loss from development, he said, is likely to occur in the Appalachian Mountains, the foothills stretching from Georgia to Virginia, and in the Florida Panhandle. Environmental groups have targeted chip mills as a large part of the problem, which churn trees like giant pencil sharpeners in a process that eats up timber faster than other logging operations. Since the 1990s, the groups said, more than 150 chip mills have been built in the South, consuming about 1.2 million acres of trees each year, equivalent to the combined size of the South’s nine national forests. Ultimately, they said, the future of the southern forests is in the hands of about 5 million private landowners, who own about 90 percent of the region’s woodlands. “They hold the key to the future,” Greis said. “They are the decision-makers.”
Four million acres of forest land are sold each year to pay estate taxes, according to presenters at the Forest Fragmentation Conference. Of these, 350,000 acres are converted into new developments, further fragmenting American woodlands. The overall effect of fragmentation is a reduction in air and water quality, loss of future wood products, and less diversity of wildlife.

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick