StoryWood: How to use urban wood, reclaimed wood & locally harvested wood for design
In any home or interior space, often the most treasured pieces are those that have a story connected to them, like a family heirloom or an historic artifact. These stories add character and carry value – personally and often financially.
It’s this sense of history and character that has brought reclaimed wood from the dusty shelves of reuse warehouses into the mainstream marketplace as a material of choice for national furniture retailers. Reclaimed wood also has the added element of sustainability, i.e., the reuse or reimagining of that material, which is highly valued by conscious consumers.
At Delta Institute, we see reclaimed wood as just one option within a larger universe of wood with different stories, benefits, and challenges, and we use the term “StoryWood” to describe the types of wood that fall within that universe.
Whether it’s urban wood felled in a neighborhood park or lumber reclaimed from a local church, using StoryWood is a conscious choice to prioritize materials that have a unique, place-based story to tell. That story can appeal to developers, architects, designers, and home rehabbers who seek to add unique value to their products and spaces.
In an effort to help those users navigate the universe of wood products available, Delta Institute developed a StoryWood Toolkit.
Created for architects, designers, and developers, the StoryWood Toolkit offers a lexicon with a clear description of seven types of StoryWood that can be used in design plans, and it helps users identify, evaluate, and share the most interesting parts of a certain type of StoryWood’s back story. To create additional value in using StoryWood, the toolkit also helps designers align their material choices to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.