The Forest Stewardship Council recently announced the winners of the fifth annual Designing & Building with FSC Awards at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Ariz.

The awards recognize and honor designers and builders who are committed to using green building architecture and construction using FSC-certified materials — those sourced from forests managed to high environmental and social standards.

In addition to first-place winners, one honorable mention was awarded in each category. In the residential category, the honorable mention was given to Allen Associates for its Victoria Garden Mews project in Santa Barbara, which used FSC-certified wood as framing lumber, sheathing, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, window benches, and in its re-creation of Victorian moulding, dentils and trim profiles. FSC lumber makes up 73 percent of the total wood used on the project.

A company’s efforts in helping to expand markets for FSC lumber was one of the award criteria considered. To that end, Allen Associates has worked together with local building supply company Hayward Lumber for more than 10 years, purchasing lumber for its projects and supporting Hayward Lumber’s efforts to promote the use of FSC lumber.

Hayward Lumber is a fourth-generation, family-owned operation. CEO Bill Hayward has actively promoted the use of FSC lumber to his clients and the community at large. He is chairman of the Forest Stewardship Council.

Allen Associates owner Dennis Allen and green resource manager Karen Feeney participated in Hayward Lumber’s educational tour of a sustainably harvested forest and lumber mill managed by Collins Lumber in Chester, Calif. The tour allowed Allen Associates to see firsthand how a sustainably harvested forest and lumber mill are managed compared with traditional lumber practices. The trip was not only educational but inspirational for Allen Associates as a company.

As a result of participating in the tour, and combined with its experience working with FSC lumber on the Victoria Garden Mews and other recent green building projects, Allen Associates has set a new company standard to use a minimum of 10 percent FSC-certified lumber on all of its projects.

Victoria Garden Mews, which is expected to be certified as a Platinum LEED for Homes project by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a showcase project with high visibility locally and nationally.

Allen, one of three partners in the Victoria Garden Mews project, will live in one of the units to be constructed during Phase 2 of the project. Because of the high level of green products and systems designed into this project, the partnership has established a project Web site — — to help educate the public about the project and to acknowledge manufacturers that have contributed green products.

In addition, the partnership has offered, and will continue to offer, educational events at the project site. These events include a groundbreaking and news conference, on-site training and “behind the walls” sessions for local architects and government officials, and sponsoring open houses, such as a green home tour for the general public once the project is complete. 

Click here for photos and more information about the winning projects.

— Karen Feeney is the green resources manager for Allen Associates.