& U N I T I N G M AT E R I A L S , T E C H N O L O G Y A N D D E S I G N
FROM START TO FINISH AT WELLBORN IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FUNGI THE CLOSET LADY LIGHTWEIGHT TO THE CORE SPECIAL SECTION:
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For the first time in its award-winning, nine-year history, the Interprint Group’s internationally renowned, immersive design workshop experience – Furniture Days – is here in North America. And you’re invited.
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Lessons from the mHouse Working with the A&D community
he panel processing industry penetrates a wide range of business sectors. You’ll find composite panel products and decorative surfaces in every imaginable environment, ranging from health care and education to residential and office furniture, store fixtures and commercial interiors. The residential sector in North America, including single-family homes and multi-family apartments and condominiums, is enormous and has great potential. It includes kitchen and bath cabinets, household furniture and closets and other home storage. Architects and interior designers will be involved at one point or another in the process – early and often in the case of a custom home such as the mHouse or in the early planning for multi-family and large condo projects. Regardless, if you want your products specified, you will have to educate and inform the
A&Ds and, in a general sense, make them feel confident in their decisions to use your products. Do they have perceptions? They certainly do, and some of them are deep seated and negative. Convince an architect to use a product that ultimately fails, and your chances at future specifications are all but gone. They are careful because they have to be. Their reputations are on the line. mHouse architect John Vetter and interior designer Amy Carman are remarkable talents. Both are highly educated and are award winners. More than that, they have been blessed with great vision. They are at the top of the food chain when it comes to selecting materials and working with fabricators.
“If you want your products specified, you will have to educate and inform the A&Ds and, in a general sense, make them feel confident in their decisions to use your products.”
When they ask for detailed shop drawings, which are likely to be modified several times, fabricators should be ready to comply. It’s a requirement, not a request. If there is a barrier to working with the A&D community, it’s that they will change their minds. In the case of the mHouse, their changes were always improvements. At times, John and Amy would not yield to quicker or cheaper routes. They would “insist” with strong convictions, at times appearing stubborn. But they put their signatures on the mHouse. It had to be right. Panel processors employ technology capable of remarkable precision. Show them what you want, and they can make it to within thousandths of an inch. Obviously, being precise is critical, but A&Ds work on “look and feel.” They need the latitude to make adjustments to achieve the look they want. They don’t want to be encumbered. Fabricators need to know this going in and must work patiently with the A&D team. Custom cabinetmakers have known this all along, which is why architects and designers gravitate to them first. High-speed, high-volume panel processors who want to do business in the A&D world must adapt. Material suppliers have a difficult but not insurmountable job ahead of them. Considering that architects and designers must be knowledgeable about all materials, getting their attention long enough to know and understand your product is not easy. But it must be done, one at a time if necessary. The mHouse experiment was all about exposing architect John Vetter and interior designer Amy Carman to all of our industry’s materials. Some they had never heard of before. Few of them have ever been used in their projects. I was not sure what to expect, but I was amazed at how they saw materials in an entirely different light and deployed them in applications none of us would have imagined. We see thermally fused laminate (TFL) and think cabinet boxes, doors and drawer fronts. John and Amy saw TFL and saw the ceiling of a kitchen. Both of them were truly interested in each and every surface material and panel product and saw opportunities beyond what our industry sees. And therein lies the value of the A&D world. In the end, it comes down to vision. John Vetter said, “The mHouse is going to surprise and delight.” Now I know what he meant. All the best,
John Aufderhaar | President | Bedford Falls Communications | email@example.com | 920-206-1766
V O L U M E
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From Start to Finish at Wellborn Vertically integrated Wellborn Cabinet likes having complete control of process and product.
14 Embossed in Register Moves from Flooring to Furniture Hueck Rheinische, Schattdecor come together to discuss development, markets. [ D E P A R T M E N T S ]
3 From the Publisher 80 Advertiser Index 82 From the Editor
18 Surface & Panel Thinks Bigger for Second Annual Symposium If you thought Surface & Panel’s first symposium in Milwaukee in 2015 was a big deal, wait for the 2016 version coming up in Austin, Texas, in November.
20 It's All About the Fungi Ecovative creates mycelium resin that it says is safer and can be cheaper than formaldehyde-based products.
30 Digital Printing with UV Inks Digital printing with UV inks has changed the world of what’s possible, offering greater speed and productivity, cost savings and many other production advantages.
P U B L IS H E R
John Aufderhaar President | Bedford Falls Communications 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094 PH: 920-206-1766 firstname.lastname@example.org
32 Doreen Tuman: The Closet Lady A New York-based closet pro designs, supplies and installs closets for the rich, famous and disorganized.
42 Lightweight to the Core
17 years after the first patent, Neucor is producing a hollow core MDF product that combines light weight with superior strength.
Scott W. Angus Editorial Director | Bedford Falls Communications 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094 PH: 920-261-1947 email@example.com
51 Tommorow's Home A tour of the mHouse, a residential research lab for tomorrow’s modern home.
A DV E R T ISI N G
Ryan Wagner VP Sales & Marketing | Bedford Falls Communications 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094 PH: 920-261-1945 firstname.lastname@example.org Shana Ollarzabal National Accounts Mgr. | Bedford Falls Communications 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094 PH: 920-261-1944 email@example.com Steven Wolf Client Services Director| Bedford Falls Communications 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094 PH: 920-261-1947 firstname.lastname@example.org
52 From Spark to Showcase 56 Mid-Modern Approach 58 The Gathering Space 62 A Place to Escape 66 Media Meets High Gloss 70 Premier Takes Quality to Another Level 74 Materials Meld Beautifully 76 Storage and More Storage 78 More than a Garage
G R A P H I C D E SI G N / P R I N T P U B L I C AT I O N S
Karen Leno Graphic Designer | KML Design, Inc. email@example.com C I R C U L AT I O N
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email@example.com C O M P O S I T E PA N E L A S S O C I AT I O N MAIN OFFICE
19465 Deerfield Avenue, Suite 306 Leesburg, VA 20176 PH: 703-724-1128 FAX: 703-724-1588 Toll Free 1-866-4COMPOSITES www.CompositePanel.org CANADIAN OFFICE
Post Office Box 747, Station B Ottawa, Ontario CANADA K1P 5P8 PH: 613-232-6782 FAX: 703-724-1588 INTERNATIONAL TESTING AND CERTIFICATION CENTER
73 Lawson Road, Leesburg, VA 20175 PH: 703-724-1128 FAX: 703-724-1588 www.itcclab.org
ON THE COVER:
The mHouse redefines what’s possible in modern residential home design, featuring cutting-edge products from the composite panel and decorative surface industries, among others, to show stunning, design-oriented applications never seen before.
Surface & Panel is published quarterly by Bedford Falls Communications, Inc., 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094, telephone 920-206-1766. John Aufderhaar, President, Christine Aufderhaar, CFO. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical without written permission from the publisher. Subscription policy: Individual subscriptions are available, without charge, to manufacturers who engage in panel processing, qualified service providers and suppliers. Publisher reserves the right to reject non-qualified subscribers. One year subscription to non-qualified individuals: U.S. $50, Canada/Mexico $75, all other countries $100, payable in U.S. funds. Single issues are $15, and must be prepaid. Bedford Falls Communications, Inc., does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the material contained herein, regardless of whether such errors result from negligence, accident, or any other cause whatsoever. Printed in the U.S.A. Postmaster: Send address changes to Surface & Panel, 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094. Please direct all subscription questions and mail to: Surface & Panel, 302 N. 3rd Street, Watertown, WI 53094.
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FROM Start TO Finish Vertically Integrated Wellborn Cabinet Likes Having Complete Control of Process and Product
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aul Wellborn would be among the first to admit that plenty of successful cabinetmakers buy most of their components from suppliers. But his family-owned Wellborn Cabinet has thrived into its third generation by making a majority of the components that go into the company’s lines of kitchen and bath cabinets. “It’s really the early DNA of this company to do manufacturing by using vertical integration,” said Stephen Wellborn, the company’s director of product research and development. “By making as many parts of the product in-house, from the sawmill to the panels, through complete doors and drawers and other parts of the product, Wellborn has complete control of the quality and the shipping lead time of the product. “If you make all the parts that make up the end product under one manufacturing roof, you have complete control over all of the outcome.” The company’s DNA can be mapped to the beginning when Paul and his brother Doug founded Wellborn Cabinet in 1961 in Ashland, Ala. The siblings started in a 3,200-square-foot building making low-cost kitchen and bath cabinets. They specialized in contract sales for government-financed housing. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 �
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“By making as many parts of the product in-house, from the sawmill to the panels, through complete doors and drawers and other parts of the product, Wellborn has complete control of the quality and the shipping lead time of the product.” STEPHEN WELLBORN, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT � CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8
In 1986, Paul Wellborn bought the company, became sole owner and changed the company’s customer base largely to residential kitchen and bath dealers. Wellborn has since increased in both size and product selection. It now has six product lines that offer a whole-home cabinetry solution. Paul Wellborn is the company’s president and chief executive officer. Five children – Tammy Padgett, Angela O’Neill, Stephen Wellborn, John Wellborn and Jason Wellborn – are board members and active in management of specific areas of the business. A third generation including several grandchildren and others work in various areas of the company. Today, Wellborn Cabinet makes cabinets from start to finish at its 2-million-square-foot facility. Stephen Wellborn said maintaining all levels of the cabinet-making process in one facility allows Wellborn to ensure the quality craftsmanship for which the company is known. “When it came to making or purchasing components, my father had a lot of knowledge and capabilities,” Wellborn said. “He tended to lean toward doing it his own way, in terms of quality and efficiency, and that has been the basis for the vertical integration we have today.”
That’s doesn’t mean Wellborn, which now employs about 950 people, is still making cabinets the same way it did in the 1960s and ’70s. Wellborn has evolved its processes to be a survivor and leader in an ever-changing industry ravaged by recession just a handful of years ago. Wellborn said today’s manufacturing strategies retain a high level of production, a quick turnaround and a strong focus on quality. The manufacturing process, he said, has changed because product diversity is much broader than it was in the company’s early years. “There is a combination of in-stock unfinished parts and a large amount of build-to-order,” he said. “This supports the mass amount of product door styles, finishes, cabinets and the ‘You Draw It’ (customization) program from Wellborn.” Just before the recession, Wellborn expanded its panel-processing plant, where the company does its own sheet stock veneer and laminates its own plywood. “This is a tough industry to compete in, and we focus more on service and quality,” Wellborn said. “Doing virtually everything ourselves gives us the ability to deliver orders on time and complete. “We believe that gives us an advantage. That said, there are lots CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 �
Reinventing TFL A new look at Thermally Fused Laminates
Arclin is reinventing its approach to decorative overlays for TFL. With more trend-forward designs — and more application opportunities. With more advancements in resin technology — for more efficiencies and better performance. With more tools and more support.
There’s more than meets the eye with Arclin overlays for TFL. It’s time to take another look. The Harvest Collection is here! See new designs at ArclinTFL.com
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PAUL WELLBORN IS THE COMPANY’S PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER. FIVE CHILDREN – TAMMY PADGETT, ANGELA O’NEILL, STEPHEN WELLBORN, JOHN WELLBORN AND JASON WELLBORN – ARE BOARD MEMBERS AND ACTIVE IN MANAGEMENT OF SPECIFIC AREAS OF THE BUSINESS. A THIRD GENERATION INCLUDING SEVERAL GRANDCHILDREN AND OTHERS WORK IN VARIOUS AREAS OF THE COMPANY. TODAY, WELLBORN CABINET MAKES CABINETS FROM START TO FINISH AT ITS 2-MILLIONSQUARE-FOOT FACILITY.
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of successful cabinetmakers that buy their components. It’s just what works for us.” The company’s vertical integration positions Wellborn to compete in an industry that’s becoming more and more fierce in the mid-price cabinet lines, said Angela O’Neill, Wellborn’s director of marketing. “Before the recession, things weren’t as price driven, but now we’re seeing the market is buying down price points,” she said. “Consumers are much more savvy, and thanks to sites such as Houzz and Pinterest, they have so many more choices, and they want them at lower prices.” Wellborn said his company is similar to other manufacturers: As the product mix increases, manufacturing must adapt and change.
Wellborn uses a blend of mass production with customization cells to deliver products on time and complete. “The custom cells in manufacturing help support the product mix,” he said. “With the 70/30 rule, you sell 70 percent of 30 percent of your catalog offering, and the 100 percent product mix constantly increases in the mid-price cabinet market.” Wellborn has several lead times to support the brands it manufactures. Generally, it has either a 13-day and 18-day ship lead time from the order date. Lead times are dependent on door style selection, and other lead times expand to six weeks to include inset door profiles and the company’s “ColorInspire” and “You Draw It” programs. Wellborn said the kitchen and bath industry is on a growth pace, and Wellborn is seeing a similar increase in its sales numbers. In general, that’s due to an improving economy. In specific, Wellborn said, it’s because the company is growing and has many new products to serve the changing design trends. “The kitchen and bath industry was hit hard,” he said. “We’re not back to our full capacity, but we’re certainly in a growth mode and getting aggressive in a lot of areas.” Wellborn’s Select Series, its “good” price point, had a significant launch into this year for a product that offers more selection. That supports the price conscience needs in today’s market, he said. Other new product launches include transitional door styles with clean line details, he said. Next year, Wellborn will launch Aspire Cabinetry, a full-access frameless line that will support other new trends in the kitchen and bath industry. Wellborn also introduced ColorInspire, which offers more than 1,000 paint selections. The “You Draw It” program provides most of any cabinet design not found in the company’s massive 700-page specification catalog. While Wellborn’s cabinet business has evolved over the decades, much of it is still grounded in the strategies Paul Wellborn employed while working around central Alabama in the 1960s and ’70s. “The entire Wellborn family of employees takes great pride in producing quality cabinets,” Wellborn said. “All of our kitchen and bath cabinets, including doors, drawers and face frames, are hand crafted right here in Alabama by dedicated Wellborn employees.” s&p
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EMBOSSED IN REGISTER
Moves from Flooring to Furniture Hueck Rheinische, Schattdecor COME TOGETHER TO DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT, MARKETS
“You can absolutely feel excitement in the US, and we want to take advantage of that.” THOMAS NIEDERMAIER, HUECK RHEINISCHE
“It´s not uncommon that we´re already sitting together during layout phase of a décor with the décor printer.” MARTIN MARXEN, HUECK RHEINISCHE
“The trend toward authentic, expressive and rustic decors influences the tendency toward realistic surfaces.” CHRISTIAN ZAHA, SCHATTDECOR
THE DECOR SELECTION WAS DISPLAYED IN A HONEYCOMB-SHAPED EXHIBITION STAND AT ARENA DESIGN.
mbossed-in-register surfaces are an important part of the repertoire of the big players in the wood panel industry. “Natural Touch,” “Feelwood” or simply “Embossed Structure” are a few of the words that describe the custom fit structures on melamine. With the big EIR trend of late, strong communication between décor printers and press plate manufacturers has become necessary. Market leaders in each industry, Hueck Rheinische and Schattdecor came together to talk about their development processes and future markets. What has long been part of the high standard in laminate flooring has begun to establish itself in the furniture industry. Especially in kitchens, the embossed structure is popular among customers in Germany and has become an inherent part of the product range. Besides that, the wood panel industry is able to demand higher prices for EIR products because the end customer recognizes the added value. Moreover, positioning these embossed surfaces in a superior segment seems justified when looking at the development costs, investments and challenges in production behind these surfaces. The dialog at the headquarters of Hueck Rheinische, which carefully examined processes and market developments, included Thomas Niedermaier, sales director at Hueck; Martin Marxen, head of product management for press plates at Hueck; Christian Zaha, décor manager at Schattdecor; Evelyn Gorgos, head of corporate communications at Schattdecor; and Anette Madry, marketing at Hueck. The composition of this roundtable wasn’t coincidence. Schattdecor as market leader of printed décor paper and Hueck as market leader of embossed-in-register plates have collaborated intensely for several years. Working together on developments and closely coordinating work processes are essential to create an authentic and realistic high-end melamine surface. The goal is to reduce corrections so the total development time of an EIR-décor can be kept to a minimum but still create a perfectly aligned and naturally appearing authentic décor surface with structure. In terms of case goods, embossed structures are only at the starting blocks regarding market penetration. In this market segment, as well as in the US and South American markets, there is still a significant potential for growth. Especially in the US, the pressure on local manufacturers is rising because of imports from European manufacturers. Additionally, the trend in the US is changing from glossier surfaces to high quality structured surfaces. Four years ago, high quality
surfaces from the “Glossline” product line that were introduced to the US market were well received. The next logical step is to focus on embossed in register. The success of European wood panel manufacturers is not the only reason for the embossed structure trend in the US. Due to the longer lasting economic crisis in the US, necessary investments in EIR-surface technology couldn´t be made years ago. But a change in trend became visible in 2012, when manufacturers in the US invested in new short-cycle presses with state-of-the-art technology enabling them to press contemporary synchronized structures. As these CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 �
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machines are installed and being put into operation, the demand for these upscale products is increasing. With this trend in such high demand, both Schattdecor and Hueck want to utilize and show their experience and expertise. “You can absolutely feel excitement in the US, and we want to take advantage of that,” Thomas Niedermaier said. The South American market is one step ahead already. The primary reason, among others, is an investment in modern machinery in the wood panel industry several years ago. In the US, however, the machinery hadn’t been acquired yet because of the economic situation. The EIR trend has been influencing the repurposed wood trend. “In Europe, customers are looking for authentic, expressive and rustic decors, with a tendency toward more realistic surfaces. Oak plays a very prominent role there,” Christian Zaha explained. Until recently, decors in the US have been predominantly flatter in surface texture. “An EIR oak décor minimizes the risk a little,” added Marxen, referring to several success stories worldwide. So it is no surprise that the EIR introduction into the US market will likely be made with an established décor, such as a rustic oak. The most recent decors from Schattdecor and Hueck are oak decors shown with embossed surfaces at the Interzum Fair in 2015, and they have gained a lot of popularity since. “Because of the synchronized structures, a very intense communication between the décor printer and the press plate manufacturer has become necessary, which wasn´t always the case for ‘all-over’ structures previously,” said Christian Zaha, explaining the close collaboration of Hueck and Schattdecor. The press plate manufacturer is therefore involved in the development process of a décor much earlier than in the past. “It´s not uncommon that we´re already sitting together during the layout phase of a décor with the décor printer,” Marxen confirmed. Niedermaier added: “As a press plate manufacturer, we also need to keep an eye on the technical aspects. We from Hueck are looking at the machine setup of our customer to see if our presses can
MARTIN MARXEN, HEAD OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT FOR PRESS PLATES AT HUECK, DISCUSSES SCHATTDECOR'S PRODUCTS AT A RECENT EVENT. 16
CLAUDIA KÜCHEN, HEAD OF DESIGN AND MARKETING AT SCHATTDECOR, PRESENTING SCHATTDECOR'S TREND CONCEPT.
achieve a smooth synchronized structure in the production process.” In the past, development times of about nine months from the implementation of a décor idea to embossed melamine surfaces were normal. With a larger team and optimal conditions, this implementation can be achieved, in the best case, within five to six months. The existing know-how and the resulting synergies grew significantly in the last few years, which is no surprise given that Hueck develops 50-70 synchronized structures per year and Schattdecor around 30 EIR decors. Customers like to come back to this competence team that emerged out of the collaboration of Hueck and Schattdecor. “But in general, it´s in the customers’ hand which press plate manufacturer they want to work with,” Niedermaier explained. However, this technologically sophisticated product doesn´t only need a competent collaboration between the décor printer and the press plate manufacturer. Other steps in the manufacturing chain are critical. The impregnation, for example, is an important step in which the existing size tolerances should be minimized. “For that matter, we are supporting and advising our customers with our experts from melamine application technology,” Zaha said, noting that is important for the customer to have experienced, reliable and capable partners at their side. This is also the way Schattdecor and Hueck see each other – as partners that provide a comprehensive service surrounding all synchronized surfaces. Evelyn Gorgos added: “Schattdecor begins its consultation with a trend analysis – so the customer really gets the full package of services.” Ultimately, it´s all about minimizing risk for the customer. This is why competent alliances such as the one between Schattdecor and Hueck, are so valuable. “Technology and design are linked so closely together throughout the whole value chain, and this can´t be found just anywhere in this industry,” Martin Marxen said. s&p
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Surface & Panel
Thinks Bigger FOR SECOND ANNUAL
Event planned for Nov. 6, 7 and 8 in Austin If you thought Surface & Panel’s first symposium in Milwaukee in 2015 was a big deal, wait for the 2016 version. After all, everything is bigger in Texas. Surface & Panel’s second annual symposium will be Nov. 6, 7 and 8 at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls and publisher of Surface & Panel, said the Austin symposium will build off the Milwaukee event and provide even more essential information and networking opportunities. “It truly is a one-of-a-kind event in our industry, and we are committed to making the second symposium even better than the first,” Aufderhaar said. The symposium will connect architects, interior designers, fabricators and other design specialists with material specifiers and producers for a better understanding of the industry and the innovative technologies driving it. It will serve as a platform for attendees to collaborate and learn about global design trends, value-added surface components and advances in panel-based products. The event will feature eight speakers with cutting-edge expertise in materials and how they are being used in today’s homes, stores, businesses, schools, hotels, restaurants, health care facilities and other environments. 18
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SURFACE & PANEL’S FIRST SYMPOSIUM IN SEPTEMBER 2015 ATTRACTED MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE TO THE HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM IN MILWAUKEE.
Roundtable sessions moderated by industry leaders will provide forums for more informal discussions, and the schedule will leave ample time for casual networking among attendees and visiting the many vendor booths displaying the latest materials. Ryan Wagner, vice president of sales and marketing for Bedford Falls and Surface & Panel, emphasized that the symposium will challenge attendees to think in new ways about specifying materials. “We want to push the panel-processing envelope,” Wagner said. “What makes specifiers choose processed-panel goods? How can we inform and educate so those people truly understand the latest and greatest materials available to them. How do we move the industry forward?” The symposium is especially targeted to architects, interior designers, fabricators, students and design industry professionals. Admission is free to qualified industry professionals and students. Austin is the perfect location for the second symposium. The city loves to celebrate and bills itself as “the live music capital of world.” With 300 days of sunshine, abundant urban parks and legendary Texas pride, it’s a popular spot for conferences and a great place to throw a party. The JW Marriott Austin is a leader among luxury hotels in the city, with 1,012 guest rooms and suites. The hotel is in the heart of downtown, just a 15-minute
drive from Austin International Airport and within walking distance of restaurants and bars, the state Capitol and other attractions. Austin is defined by stunning growth, low business and living costs, and a youthful, well-educated population. The city’s thriving business base includes technology, digital media, clean energy, advanced manufacturing and data centers, and its business environment has helped nurture such world leaders as Dell, Whole Foods, Facebook, EBay/PayPal, GM and Samsung. The Surface & Panel Symposium is North America’s premier event focused exclusively on the decorative surface and panel processing industry, Aufderhaar stressed. “This will be a stimulating, high-energy event, and it’s a unique opportunity for those in the business to learn and network with people who are as passionate about this industry as they are,” he said. Surface & Panel’s first symposium in September 2015 attracted more than 200 people to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. The symposium was part of a two-day package that included the grand opening of the mHouse, a demonstration home built by Bedford Falls Communications, which publishes Surface & Panel, to showcase innovations in the decorative surfaces and composite panels industries. For more on the mHouse, see the Tomorrow’s Home section beginning on page 51. s&p
THE JW MARRIOTT AUSTIN IS IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN, JUST A 15-MINUTE DRIVE FROM AUSTIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF RESTAURANTS AND BARS, THE STATE CAPITOL AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS..
For more about the Austin symposium and registration information, visit sandpsymposium.com.
AUSTIN LOVES TO CELEBRATE AND BILLS ITSELF AS “THE LIVE MUSIC CAPITAL OF WORLD.” WITH 300 DAYS OF SUNSHINE, ABUNDANT URBAN PARKS AND LEGENDARY TEXAS PRIDE, IT’S A POPULAR SPOT FOR CONFERENCES AND A GREAT PLACE TO THROW A PARTY. © I STO C K .C O M / RO S C H E T Z K Y I STO C K P H OTO
GAVIN MCINTYRE AND EBEN BAYER, ECOVATIVE'S CO-FOUNDERS
It’s all about the FUNGI Ecovative creates mycelium resin that it says is safer and can be cheaper than formaldehyde-based products. B Y
S C O T T
ustomer demand and government regulation are driving the pursuit of innovative resins that reduce the level of formaldehyde and other potentially toxic materials in engineered wood. Believe it or not, the solution for mill owners and the manufacturers they supply may be found in mushrooms. Ecovative, a New York-based biomaterials company that creates environmentally friendly products to compete with conventional plastic and resin materials, is marketing a natural resin it believes will significantly change the composite panel industry for the better. Ecovative’s formula involves using mycelium from fungi to create the resin that binds the fiber to make engineered wood product they call MycoBoard. The company is producing and selling particleboard and is working on versions of medium-density and high-density fiberboard. The best part? It's all natural, with no added formaldehyde. With the health concerns and negative publicity surrounding formaldehyde, Ecovative’s owners believe producers and consumers will welcome their products.
A N G U S
They know going green is good business, but it is not enough. They must compete from quality and cost standpoints, as well. So far, they like what they see. “We’re looking at performance, health and cost,” said Gavin McIntyre, one of Ecovative’s two founders. “It’s not just about being green. We believe our other values will allow us to compete.”
The company’s roots go back to the college days of McIntyre and co-founder Eben Bayer, who were mechanical engineering students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 2006. One program required them to solve a pressing problem, and they focused on finding materials that were compatible with nature and biodegradable to replace plastics and existing resins. They were inspired by seeing mycelium growing naturally in wood chips and binding them together. They wondered how that natural process would translate to a production environment, so they began growing fungi under their beds and in their closet. They started testing, and their success led them to invent an insulation material using agricultural waste and mycelium. A professor encouraged them to turn their technology into a company, and they soon began making an alternative to plastic packaging foam. The packaging business sustained them in the early years. Through their packaging contact with the furniture industry, however, they learned more about formaldehyde concerns with processedpanel products, so they launched the MycoBoard engineered wood alternative and began selling molded products, including seat backs, to customers such as Gunlocke. Ecovative began producing board stock in 2015. Roy Green, director of stewardship and sustainability at Gunlocke, said his company and others in the industry have been impressed by Ecovative’s innovative products and commitment to the environment. “The A&D community greeted the molded MycoBoard seatbacks
GUNLOCKE'S SAVOR CHAIR USES MYCOBOARD FOR ITS SEAT BACK, HELPING IT BECOME ONE OF THE TOP 10 GREEN BUILDING PRODUCTS FOR 2016. HERE, THE SEAT BACKS ARE SHOWN, READY FOR PRODUCTION.
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While molded shapes remain Ecovative’s core product, it is moving aggressively into boards.
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Vintage Oak Natural
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in our Savor chair with immense and ongoing enthusiasm,” Green said. “We have built a productive partnership with Ecovative through this breakthrough design and believe it will endure as we seek new ways to incorporate more sustainable features into our present and future furniture offerings.” Ecovative now has more than 80 employees, manufacturing facilities in Troy and Green Island, and big plans. Those plans are based on a process that starts with fungi that Ecovative grows at its Green Island facility. The fungi produce mycelium, which some call the fungi root but really is the exploratory phase of the mushroom. In simple terms, McIntyre, the company’s chief scientist, explained the process this way: Through an auger-like process, mycelium is introduced to fiber from wood or other substrate materials, such as flax, canola, hemp and corn. The mix then sits for four to six days, allowing the mycelium to grow from .1 percent of the mass to 16 to 20 percent. The fiber mix is then put in a press and heated to anywhere from 280 to 400 degrees, and the mycelium liquefies and flows like resin, coating the material evenly and thoroughly. When it cools and cures, the MycoBoard is solid and ready for market.
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“From my 30 years of experience, it seems every decade or so a significant technology advancement comes along that transforms the composite panel industry, and MycoBoard is one for the history books.” CHRIS LEFFEL, TRINIT Y INNOVATIONS, FORMER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COMPOSITE PANEL ASSOCIATION
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Beauty doesn’t have to remain on the sample chain...
Testing is ongoing, but McIntyre said MycoBoard is holding up well. “We can’t say specifically that it’s better in mechanical properties. If you look at plywood, it’s stronger than any engineered wood material. But we have tested parts at third party forestry labs to be sure they have sufficient strength to meet all industry requirements,” he said. “As a new product, we’re doing more quality assurance than the industry does today.” MycoBoard is naturally fire resistant due to intrinsic qualities of the fungus, and that adds to its competitive qualities, McIntyre noted, adding that the material is inert and unable to grow by the time it leaves Ecovative. Ecovative prefers to work with hardwood, but the mycelium grows well on the softwood preferred in panel processing, and the company has had success with an “eclectic mix of everything from Ponderosa pine to southern yellow pine to Douglas fir,” he said. While molded shapes remain Ecovative’s core product, it is moving aggressively into boards and bought a 3-foot-by-6-foot press to produce its own. That machine is smaller than the industry’s standard 4x8, 5x9 or 5x10 presses, but it’s a logical step. McIntyre said. “We like to grow conscientiously. We want to make sure we’re spending our money wisely. It’s a nice intermediary scale for us,” he said. Ecovative plans to demonstrate its flat-panel process on the smaller press and then partner with established companies, McIntyre explained. “Ecovative is a material design company, so we look to be a resin supplier for plants and mills,” he said. The company is partnering with two companies to pilot its resin CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 �
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Fun, Fun, Fun with Fungi There’s a fun side to fungi, as well. MycoBoard is used by Ed Lewis of Enjoy Handplanes in southern California to make boards used by bodysurfers to glide through the water. According to its website, Ecovative worked closely with Ed to develop the right shape and density for the product. Today, Lewis sells Funguy Handplanes made from MycoBoard that the site says “perform great, look awesome and, best yet, are Earth compatible.” And if you want to grow your own ED LEWIS OF ENJOY HANDPLANES Mushroom Material, Ecovative has a USES MYCOBOARD TO CREATE FUNGUY HANDPLANES. product ready to be shipped to your door. GIY Mushroom Material is a mixture of mycelium and corn stalks and husks. It just needs water and flour to come back to life, and then you can grow it into a form. The bag contains about 0.2 cubic feet of material. Innovative and enterprising growers have created everything from lamps to a wedding gown from Mushroom Material. n
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process. One is in North America, and the second is in Europe, where initial testing should start this year. Eventually, Ecovative hopes to locate “mycelium facilities” next to existing panel-processing plants and supply resin for those companies, and it is confident that it can scale up production to meet demand, McIntyre explained. “Ecovative is leveraging biology to upgrade, in a sense, existing plant infrastructure without changing current operations,” he said. The private company is raising capital to fund its growth, and it has hooked up with Chris Leffel and his Trinity Innovations to help with connections and distribution. Leffel is the former senior vice president of the Composite Panel Association and was a vice president for SierraPine. Trinity specializes in sourcing and providing high-end building products to both commercial and residential segments that maximize sustainability and environmental stewardship. Leffel is passionate about Ecovative’s technology. “From my 30 years of experience, it seems every decade or so a significant technology advancement comes along that transforms the composite panel industry, and MycoBoard is one for the history books,” he said. “As the market continues to place a premium on highly sustainable building products, we believe that MycoBoard will raise the bar to a new level of environmental performance for composite panels, and we are excited to be involved at the introduction CONTINUED ON PAGE 28 �
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phase,” Leffel said, adding that Trinity has customers that are ready to use MycoBoard as their substrate of choice. Though the Ecovative production process does not add formaldehyde, not all of MycoBoard is formaldehyde free. Boards made from wood fiber have small amounts of natural formaldehyde, but those made from non-wood materials have none, McIntyre said. Traditional panels made from formaldehyde -based resin are safer than they were years ago, but that required more chemicals be added to the mix, creating an increasingly more expensive “chemical cocktail” of sorts, McIntyre said. MycoBoard’s natural myceliumbased resin is pure and cost-effective by comparison, he stressed. “We can promote the health aspect, but we know the importance of cost,” McIntyre said. “Right now, we’re competing on a cost basis with premium
MYCOBOARD IS FOUND IN THE COMAPNY'S NEW LINE OF FURNITURE AND ACOUSTIC TILES, CALLED ECOVATIVE INTERIORS
panels, and we will be lower cost than traditional resin systems.” Besides being used by furniture makers such as Gunlocke, MycoBoard is found in the company’s new line of furniture and acoustic tiles, called Ecovative Interiors. s&p To learn more, go to ecovativedesign.com.
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Digital Printing with UV Inks
Re-Imagines the Possibilities for Decorative Surfaces
he beauty, versatility and durability of decorative surfaces have made dramatic impacts on newly built and renovated residences and commercial buildings for decades. They’ve created nearly unlimited design options in a wide variety of wood-based applications, cabinets, molding, flooring, furniture, countertops, store fixtures, doors and shelving. Today’s innovative approaches to processing technologies are opening up even more ways to customize surfaces and panels to meet the aesthetic expectations of architects and designers. Digital printing with UV inks in particular has changed the world of what’s possible, offering greater speed and productivity, cost savings and many other production advantages. The finishing required to decorate a wide variety of substrates demands extremely accurate solutions. Companies such as Cefla Finishing are embracing the challenge of precision with leading-edge machines capable of printing on any surface. “No one is more focused on supporting trends and innovations in surface and panel processing than we are,” said Roy Pagan, business development manager at Cefla North America’s Finishing Division. “Though we are at the forefront of digital technology,
we are not solely a digital printing company. We are a true finishing company. “If a surface needs a creative solution using any sort of paint, we have the means and technology to apply it. Whether an application requires roll coating, spraying, robotics, manual or semi-manual processing, you name it, we have the decades of experience and technical expertise to achieve exceptional results.” PERSONALIZATION ON DEMAND
Today, digital printing with UV inks enables Cefla to help its customers achieve great personalization on any material in a wide range of sizes. High optical resolution and a wide color gamut guarantee maximum flexibility and realization of even the most complex projects. With virtually unlimited decoration range, a plethora of colors, and simple operator interfaces with touchscreen panels, service providers can always be up and running to meet changing consumer demand. The wider color gamut UV inks offer means architects gain the flexibility to match existing swatches, achieving more vibrant hues and pattern accuracy. “If a project involves a UV pigmented ink, whether it’s a UV clear coating, white, waterbased or solvent, Cefla has the technology to apply it,” Pagan said.
Combining technologies and using digital scanning are also refining the art of creating beautiful surfaces. For example, when rotogravure printing is used to create traditional laminates that mimic natural materials, the result is often a repetitive pattern without much dimension. In contrast, digital scanning technology makes it possible to take images of samples of a wood species and manipulate the files to capture characteristics such as light-play and shadow. Pagan and his colleagues also are working to advance direct digital printing technology even further with innovations that involve inert coating. For example, to create the look of rosewood, inert coating can be applied to impart texture before the printing process, rather than embossing afterward. A BRIGHT FUTURE
Digital printing with vibrant UV inks is helping to create a bright and vivid future for anyone in the business of creating beautiful surfaces and panels. The ability to reproduce images on virtually any substrate is giving design architects and fabricators a growing number of ways to make the world much more visually interesting. ABOUT CEFLA FINISHING
Cefla and its subsidiaries have more than a half-century of experience in creating and refining processes to advance the industry’s technological innovation. In the 1960s, the company began manufacturing the first spray booths and linear ovens for drying lacquer on panels. In the 1980s, Cefla designed, manufactured and sold the first carousel spraying machine. In the 1990s, it developed a spraying machine with a patented belt conveying system that challenged the conventions of the finishing world. The 21st century has brought continuous product and technological innovation, including Pixart digital printing and patented Inert Coating 3D Technology by Sorbini, the combined technologies that create any 3D effect for surface and edge preparation for all panel types, including MDF, HDF, raw chipboard and honeycomb.
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The Closet Lady B Y
“The trick is to use every inch of accessible space. In 18 inches, I can put 72 pairs of shoes. In 10 inches, I can fit 30 pairs of pants.” DOREEN TUMAN
L E A H
W H E E L E R
closet is more than a place to store your stuff. It is a reflection of your personality and a repository of special memories, hopes, aspirations and dreams. Often, when you can get a grip on the chaos in your closet, you can begin to bring order and serenity back into your life. Doreen Tuman, aka “The Closet Lady,” is a New York-based closet pro who designs, supplies and installs closets for the rich, famous and disorganized. Her many clients have included international models, talk show hosts, race car drivers and actors. A pundit once described Tuman as having “the brain of an engineer and the soul of a psychologist.” From a young age, she demonstrated a propensity for organization, and she has worked with clients for more than 30 years helping them make over their closets. Tuman is renowned for her ability to optimize space, an ability critical to New Yorkers. “The trick is to use every inch of accessible space,” she said. “In 18 inches, I can put 72 pairs of shoes. In 10 inches, I can fit 30 pairs of pants.” The Closet Lady begins every project by having her clients take an inventory. “People often have no idea what they have or how much of it they have,” she said. “As a first step, I have clients inventory everything – and I mean everything, including clothes, bags, accessories, shoes, jewelry, hats, underwear, eyeglasses and anything else that might be lurking in their drawers and closets.”
Tuman then has her clients go through a deliberate process of sorting and classifying their stuff into categories: never worn, rarely used, outdated, ugly, doesn’t fit, never liked, etc. “The inventorying and purging process can be very emotional, and it calls for a sense of humor, plenty of TLC and a little bit of tough love.” Throughout the years, Tuman has dealt with just about every type of closet hang-up. There are the shopaholics, who derive comfort and satisfaction from buying clothes, particularly shoes; the designer divas, who love couture labels; the risk averse, who fear to part with anything they might possibly ever need again; the packrats; the collectors; and CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 �
DOREEN TUMAN, AKA "THE CLOSET LADY"
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those who are OCD or just plain lazy. “I try to encourage clients to focus on living in the present and not in the past.” she said. “My goal is to give each client an organized space that works for their particular needs, desires, lifestyle and budget.” Tuman emphasizes the importance of using quality materials even on relatively modest closet makeovers. She favors a thoughtful, well-planned design that features high quality, pristine materials and flawless installation. When these elements come together, the result is an integrated system that is beautiful, functional and flexible. A solid, well-designed and well-made closet system will last 20 years or more. “If a hinge breaks after 18 years, that’s okay; we’re here to fix it. If a closet system starts to fall apart because of poor workmanship or shoddy material, that’s not acceptable,” she said. Tuman’s planning involves attention to every component, including lighting, mirrors, fixtures, drawers, hampers and cabinetry. Doors are particularly important. Careful
TUMAN SPECIFIES SPACE SAVING ACCESSORES AND ORGANIZING DEVICES SUCH AS THESE FROM HÄFELE.
consideration is given to the type of door and the swing arc so that the doors do not impede access to the closet or its contents. In addition, Tuman incorporates data about her client’s height, whether the person is right-handed or left-handed, and specific characteristics that might affect visibility, accessibility and convenience. To maximize accessible space, Tuman triple hangs pants, short skirts and vests on short neck hangers. She uses spacesaving accessories and organizing devices
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Certified. Sustainable. Eco-Certified Composites are Among the Greenest on Earth.
What are Eco-Certified Composites? ECC stands for Eco-CertifiedTM Composite, as defined in the stringent ECC Sustainability Standard and Certification Program for composite panel products – specifically particleboard, MDF, hardboard and engineered wood siding and trim.
What makes a composite panel Eco-Certified? Wood panels that carry the ECC mark are manufactured in facilities that are certified to meet the stringent requirements of the ECC Sustainability Standard. ECC panel manufacturing facilities meet rigorous environmental requirements utilizing objective-based criteria and annual on-site audits. Each must ensure that its composite panels meet the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde emissions regulations AND achieve at least three of the following requirements:
• Demonstrate a Carbon Footprint Offset • Use Local Wood Fiber Resources • Use Recycled/Recovered Wood Fiber • Minimize Wood Waste in Manufacturing • Hold a Valid Wood Sourcing Assessment or Certificate
What about LEED v4 Credit?
• MATERIALS AND RESOURCE (MR) CREDIT:
Building Product Disclosure Optimization – Environmental Product Declaration
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• MR CREDIT: Furniture and Medical Furnishings • INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (EQ) CREDIT: Low-emitting materials
Who sponsors ECC Certification? The Composite Panel Association (CPA) developed the ECC Sustainability Standard, including its pioneering Carbon Calculator. CPA administers the ECC Certification Program in North America as a third party certification agency accredited to ISO/ IEC 17065 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The Composite Panel Association is committed to advancing and certifying the sustainability of industry products for residential, commercial and industrial uses.
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CLOSET ORGANIZATION SYSTEM BY REV-A-SHELF
such as wardrobe lifts, valet rods, tie and belt racks, shoe ports, decorative hooks, and shelf dividers. She favors Häfele closet hardware for a clean, elegant look and recommends acrylic shelf dividers, custom jewelry inserts and drawer divider inserts, which she gets from Clear Systems, a maker of custom acrylic closet accessories. Other suppliers, including Rev-A-Shelf and Sidelines, provide a range of innovative storage and organizing accessories. Shoe ports and swing units are made to order based on the heal heights of her client’s shoes. For moderate budgets, Tuman may recommend white laminate systems. Higher-end closet systems feature textured laminates with real wood doors and drawer fronts in pre-finished wood veneer, custom-finished wood veneer or customized millwork. These materials are versatile and can be individualized using an endless combination of colors, textures and surfacing treatments, as well as adjustable shelves and panels, swing units, adaptable poles and configurable top-shelf storage applications.
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One of Tuman’s primary paneling suppliers is KML, a leading designer and producer of composite panels. “I’ve worked with Leta for many years,” she said, referring to Leta Falk, KML’s marketing manager. “KML’s products are CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 �
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gorgeous, very boutique-y. They have a huge selection of finishes, including textures, woodgrains and specialty finishes that are visually elegant and wonderfully tactile.” With the addition of a few designer touches such as crown molding, sculpted baseboards, fluting, pilasters or rosettes, even a simple furniture-quality laminate system with well-made edgebanding can look fabulous, Tuman said. As far as trends, Tuman finds that white, cream and beige are still favored colors for closet interiors. Boutique finishes such as lattice or linen canvas textures that add character and style are increasingly popular. And mirrors strategically placed on cabinet and door facings are also trending. LED lights by the foot, known as tube lights or rope lights, are hot closet accessories. They are thin, bright and flexible and can add extra light around door jams, under shelves or in recessed nooks and crannies. Occasionally, Tuman designs top-of-theline closets using solid wood, granite, marble or onyx. The interiors of these closets often feature fine custom cabinetry, which millworkers construct, stain and hand-finish onsite. These exclusive closets frequently incorporate special lighting, glass shelving, a dressing table, a TV, lounge chairs, exercise equipment, hydraulically adjustable shelves and other amenities. Everyone’s dream closet is Carrie Bradshaw’s closet from the HBO series “Sex and the City,” Tuman said. Bradshaw once famously said, “I like my money right where I can see it – hanging in my closet,” and her closet reflects that attitude with thick 1.5-inch vertical panels, pilasters, crown moldings, overlaid base kicks, storage compartments for jewelry, shoes and handbags, and lots of high-end accessories. “It doesn’t matter what materials you use or what you put in a closet. Organization is the key,” Tuman said. “’I have nothing to wear.’ I have heard this from people whose closets are literally overflowing. They just don’t know what they have. They can’t see it, and they can’t get to it. “I understand that people are attached to their stuff, and that’s OK. But your closet is not a museum, and when it starts taking over your life and sapping your energy, it’s time to take stock and make room for your active life.” s&p SEE RELATED SIDEBAR ON PAGE 44 �
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Today’s Closets are Larger and Store More Stuff than Ever
TODAY'S CLOSETS ARE LARGER AND STORE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE. BY COMPARISON, CLOSETS IN OLDER HOMES TEND TO BE SMALL AND NARROW.
Doreen Tuman has worked on closets in some of New York City’s oldest luxury apartment buildings, including the famous Gothic-Victorian Dakota, which opened in 1884; the Beaux Arts Ansonia, which was finished in 1904; and the Apthorp, which opened in 1908. When these ornate buildings were constructed, little thought was given to storage. Interestingly, the foyers in individual apartments were often the size of a large room, but there were hardly any closets. In those days, people just didn’t have that much to put away. One or two narrow closets were the norm, and most of the time people hung their garments on hooks on the walls. They had armoires and trunks for additional storage, and these tended to focus more on beauty than on maximizing space and functionality. People just did not have the volume of clothing and stuff that made custom closet design and professional organization a necessity. n
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17 years after the first patent, Neucor is producing a hollow core MDF product that combines light weight with superior strength
TO THE CORE
R I C H
C H R I S T I A N S O N
ighty light yet mighty strong: That’s the value proposition Neucor brings to market as it revs up production of corrugated MDF cores at its facility in White Swan, Wash., purchased from Jeld-Wen in November 2014.
The molded 3D cores are the framework for Neucor customers to construct lightweight panels tailored to their products. Just lay up a substrate to each side of the core, such as a 3mm sheet of MDF, and edgeband any or all sides as needed. Neucor literature claims the resulting panels have performance characteristics similar to traditional MDF but at about half the weight. “The concept is simple,” explained John Fujii, founder, chairman and CEO of Neucor. “We’ve used proven engineering designs to produce a lightweight panel that is also strong. It’s basically a wood analog of corrugated paper. In other words, it’s corrugated wood.” Being less hefty has many advantages. For one, the panels are far less arduous to handle by workers on the shop floor, installers at the jobsite and consumers in the home. The lighter weight also translates into lower transportation costs. Additional cost savings on shipping are realized because the 3D cores’ uniform furrows and ridges allow them to be neatly stacked up to seven deep for each MDF panel. In terms of strength, compared to traditional paper honeycomb core panels such as those used in some IKEA furnishings, panels made with Neucor can handle more weight without buckling. This makes them better suited for more expansive weight-bearing horizontal surfaces, including countertops. Neucor also can play the “green” card because the panels are made with 100 percent recycled wood residuals and bound by MDI, a no-added formaldehyde resin. Despite these attributes, Fujii said, Neucor will not compete head on with honeycomb or traditional MDF panels. Instead, Fujii said, the product will cater to wood product manufacturers seeking a “strong, lightweight specialty wood composite panel at a moderate price.” Potential uses of Neucor range from countertops and residential furniture to store fixtures and acoustical wall panels. CONTINUED ON PAGE 44 �
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AS PART OF NEUCOR'S PRODUCT LAUNCH, "TEST SAMPLES" WERE SHIPPED TO INITIAL CUSTOMERS AND DISPLAYED AT RECENT INDUSTRY TRADESHOWS.
After clearing the EPA permit process without a hitch, the first batches of Neucor, dubbed “test samples” by Fujii, shipped at the start of May. The first customers included those who examined samples of Neucor displayed at the last two NeoCons and at GlobalShop this spring. Others received a Neucor sample in the “box of innovation” shipped to 100 Material ConneXion members. Neucor was named one of Material ConneXion’s top 15 products recently added to its material library. “Our initial volume will not be large, but it will be critical,” he said. “Our first customers essentially are buying our product to see how it works. A lot of improvements and innovations will come from what they tell us.” Neucor’s launch comes 17 years after the first of 14 U.S. and foreign patents were issued. While the fundamental concept for Neucor described in the original patent is the same, the technical process for making the product captured in newer patents is significantly different. “The original 1999 patent was based on a wet-formed fiber process which has been superseded by dry-forming in practically every major wood products sector except for paper making,” Fujii said. “It was less efficient energy-wise and has greater pollution potential than the dryprocess Neucor method. Also, we can produce a precise and flexible range of Neucor products that is not matched by wet processes.” Research and development of Neucor was aided by a pair of Small Business Innovation Research grants totaling $366,000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2002 and 2003. Those early R&D efforts led to process improvements using the dryformed TrussCore process. Fujii called Neucor manufacturing a “straight-forward process.” Preparation of the wood fiber obtained from local sawmill and veneer operations is similar to the filtering and drying methods used to make MDF panels. The processed fibers are placed in a rigid mold and subjected to heat and pressure to form a 3-D truss. Production of 97-inch-by-49-inch Neucor products is initially being limited to two core thicknesses: 0.514 inch for making ¾-inch panels and 0.889 inch for making 1 1/8-inch panels. Ultimately, Fujii said, CONTINUED ON PAGE 46 �
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the plant will offer everything from core thicknesses to make a “compressed” ½-inch MDF panel to 3 inches or more. “Our ability to offer customers a lightweight core to make a 7/8 inch panel or one that is 3 1/2 inches is what will make us very competitive in the specialty panel market,” Fujii said. FICKLE FINGER OF FATE
“Our initial volume will not be large, but it will be critical. Our first customers essentially are buying our product to see how it works. A lot of improvements and innovations will come from what they tell us.” JOHN FUJII, FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF NEUCOR.
“It really wasn’t my plan to buy the Jeld-Wen plant,” said Fujii, a retired technical director of the paper industry. In 2008, he approached Jeld-Wen with the opportunity to “toll manufacture” Neucor panels at the MDF door skin plant located in the heart of the Yakama Nation. Then the Great Recession reared its ugly head, prompting JeldWen to shut down the White Swan plant in 2009. By 2011, after Jeld-Wen had opened a much larger capacity door skin plant in Winn Parrish, La., the moth-balled plant became expendable. Jeld-Wen asked Fujii if he would like to buy it. Three years later, Fujii took ownership of the 174,000-square-foot plant, 114 acres of land and all of the equipment for $2.86 million. Included were a pair of Washington Iron Works short cycle presses modified to press Neucor products. Shifting the plant from making MDF door skins to Neucor was made all the easier because Fujii was able to assemble a team of experienced professionals, including many with backgrounds in wood composite manufacturing and one with 15 years working for JeldWen at the White Swan facility. In addition, Evergreen Engineering, an CONTINUED ON PAGE 48 �
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FUJII TOOK OWNERSHIP OF THE 174,000-SQUARE-FOOT FORMER JELDWEN WHITE SWAN PLANT, 114 ACRES OF LAND AND ALL OF THE EQUIPMENT FOR $2.86 MILLION. INCLUDED WERE A PAIR OF WASHINGTON IRON WORKS SHORT CYCLE PRESSES MODIFIED TO PRESS NEUCOR PRODUCTS.
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industrial consulting company based in Eugene, Ore., helped expand and modernize the plant to produce up to 140 million square feet of the lightweight 3D cores per year. Fujii said he intends for the plant to create at least 200 jobs and still be going strong 30 years or more down the road, shipping Neucor products for a wide range of end users, some of which he admitted he can’t even imagine. “I believe that the wood products industry is in need of a renaissance,” Fujii said. “You have all of the major producers of wood products struggling to make a go of it. The industry in North America is contracting at the very time it should be growing. “I’m committed to help build what I would call an advanced wood products industry built for the future and that is good for the environment, efficient in the use of resources and energy and that will create jobs.” s&p
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TOMORROWâ€™S Uniting materials, technology and design to show whatâ€™s possible
from spark to showcase | mid-modern approach | the gathering space | a place to escape | media meets high gloss | high gloss, textured TFL dominate second floor | materials meld beautifully | storage and more storage | more than a garage
FROM SPARK TO
Showcase B Y
J O H N
A U F D E R H A A R
mHouse sprung from idea first imagined at CPA marketing meeting John Aufderhaar is president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel magazine. The mHouse is in Watertown, Wis., the home of Bedford Falls. The grand opening Sept. 30, 2015, was attended by more than 200 members of the industry, architects and interior designers. The mHouse is available for tours and industry-related events. For more information, contact Aufderhaar at email@example.com.
he mHouse is a residential research lab for tomorrow’s modern home. Surface and panel products from around the world were used in its construction, and the finished product truly represents the decorative surface and composite panel industry.
How did this project begin? It involved a bit of serendipity, but first, a little background. The Composite Panel Association (CPA) represents the North American composite panel industry, including makers of particleboard, medium density fiberboard, hardboard and other composite panel products. In addition, CPA represents the surface material suppliers from around the globe. After all, more than 95 percent of panel products are surfaced in one way or another. As the publisher of Surface & Panel magazine, I’ve had a seat on the CPA’s marketing committee for many years. The committee’s sole purpose is to educate and promote the value of surface and panel products to an industry that uses them and to the specifiers – architects and interior designers – who select them. Manufacturers of kitchen cabinets, store fixtures, office and residential furniture, health care and school environments and more are familiar with and are frequent users of these products. Reaching out to and educating the architect and design community was always a challenge. We struggled with the best way to reach them in attention grabbing ways. The subject of “how” was always on the agenda.
Several years ago during a marketing committee meeting, I mentioned that we always talked about “how” but seemed to fall short of our goal. Meeting twice each year just didn’t allow for anything dramatic. In a moment of courage – or maybe weakness – I stood and said, “What if I hire a nationally recognized architect and a talented interior designer and build a modern home that contains all of our industry’s materials. It would give us a chance to determine the degree of understanding of our industry materials among the design team, educate them and task them with integrating surface and panel products throughout the home.” Before I sat down, I looked around the room to the major suppliers of these products and said: “And if we are going to take on a project of this size, I need your support.” To my surprise, many of them stood up and said, “I love the idea. Our company wants in.” While I was excited to hear that the idea had merit, I was also terrified that I had to execute the plan. My father used to say, “Do that which you are afraid to do. Only then can you overcome fear and regret.” The concept of the mHouse was born. We named the project the materialicious house (mHouse for short) after our design website www.materialicious.com. After all, the home would be a showcase for the world’s most intriguing interior materials.
not set in his ways and adventurous enough to employ the materials in new and unique ways. We also needed an interior designer, and Vetter suggested Amy Carman from Amy Carman Design. Carman is accomplished in creating contemporary interiors and has a warm and sophisticated sensibility. Carman is also a registered general contractor – a welcome talent in a project as unique as the mHouse. Vetter’s concept for the structure was based on a 3-bedroom, 2 ½-bath home that harkened back to mid-century but with a more modern, updated twist. Like most architects, Vetter included features to support the design that he just had to have to make the architecture complete. We didn’t plan on a Marvin Lift and Slide – a 12-foot-by-24-foot sliding glass door – in the center of the home, but in the end, Vetter was right. It is the focal point of the house and highlights everything inside. CONTINUED ON PAGE54 �
A MARVIN LIFT AND SLIDE 12-FOOT-BY-24-FOOT SLIDING GLASS DOOR IS THE FOCAL POINT OF THE HOUSE AND HIGHLIGHTS EVERYTHING INSIDE.
THE DESIGN TE AM
I’ve always had an affinity for modern architecture. I was fortunate to have been raised in a home designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students. The mHouse’s architect needed to have the same affinity for contemporary design and appreciate the beauty and simplicity of European interior design. Selecting the architect was easy. John Vetter of Vetter Denk Architects was top on the list. We featured one of his properties, the Aperture House, in Surface & Panel magazine many years ago. It was revolutionary at the time and the first to use raw MDF as a decorative interior material. All cabinets and interior walls were fabricated from MDF and lightly sealed to maintain the beautiful golden brown color we all know is a hallmark of the material. Even the bed was fabricated from MDF. Vetter clearly understood the latest in building materials and was not afraid to use them. He would be perfect for the mHouse. Stretching the limits on “what’s possible” was the project’s overriding theme. Nothing was sacred. If we were going to demonstrate the versatility of our industry’s best materials, it would take an architect JOHN AUFDERHAAR MEETS WITH ARCHITECT JOHN VETTER (LEFT) DURING EARLY PLANNING OF THE MHOUSE IN 2013.
D L E V EL
L E V EL
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Carman’s role as interior designer was just as much about integration. Carman has a wonderful sense of style and visualizes the completed project in detail. She could see the art on the walls long before the sheet rock was installed. The selection of materials was initially a team approach with Carman, Vetter and their associates. Carman’s vision and confidence prevailed in any tie-breaking decisions, although Vetter INTERIOR DESIGNER AMY CARMAN frequently challenged. The home’s silhouette, architectural details, windows and doors, interior site lines and lighting were purely Vetter’s domain. Together, the Vetter-Carman team was perfect. They understood the challenge and embraced it. The result? The mHouse is truly a residential research lab for tomorrow’s modern home. Vetter once said, “This home must surprise and delight.” It certainly does. SELECTION, APPLICATION, USE
Carman’s material selections were well reasoned and carefully planned. Everything had to work together like a living organism. And it did. Rather than discuss the process, let’s take a look at the result in a tour of the mHouse through words and pictures. TH
SHELL, CORE ARE ROSEBURG ENGINEERED WOOD
he mHouse’s shell and core were constructed entirely from Roseburg’s engineered wood products, including RFPI I-joists, RigidLam LVL, RigidCoat subfloor underlayment and RidigRim rim board. “There is nearly three-quarters of a mile of LVL in the mHouse,” said John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications, which built the mHouse. “Structurally, the house is like a fortress. I am thankful we used RigidCoat for the subfloor. We had a great deal of rain during this critical construction phase. Any other subfloor would have been ruined and replaced.” The RFPI I-joists were specified with the help of a construction engineer and the architect, Aufderhaar said. “We had some spans over 20 feet where it had to be clear with no additional support,” he said. “We also engineered the roof structure to handle the weight of a future green roof system.” Tim Thorison, Roseburg's territory sales manager, provided valuable assistance. For example, the 24-foot span above the Marvin Lift and Slide door in the back of the house called for minimal deflection. Thorison and the Roseburg team helped select the proper configuration to meet the required specification, Aufderhaar noted. Roseburg also provided the walnut-faced hardwood plywood and white thermally fused laminate used to construct the cabinets in the home’s office. TH MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 56 �
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MID MODERN APPROACH
Exterior’s stark lines, complementary materials set stage for what’s inside one-of-a-kind mHouse
pproaching the mHouse, you are taken by the stark horizontal lines of its mid-modern design; the complementary look of its terracotta-colored compact laminate against the black and gray fascia and chimney; and the floor-to-ceiling windows that seem to invite visitors inside. Compact laminate, sometimes referred to as solid phenolic, is a nearly indestructible siding product. Often used as rain screen in commercial applications, Fiberesin Industries’ Stonewood Architectural Panels were perfect for the mHouse’s modern design. The 8mm-thick panels were fused with a walnut décor and a UV resistant layer.
FIBERESIN INDUSTRIES’ STONEWOOD ARCHITECTURAL 8MM-THICK PANELS WERE FUSED WITH A WALNUT DÉCOR AND A UV RESISTANT LAYER. THE FASCIA, CHIMNEY AND KITCHEN SIDING WERE PRODUCED FROM SIMOWOOD, A PRODUCT FROM SIMONA AG. 56
The fascia, chimney and kitchen siding were produced from SIMOWOOD, a product from SIMONA AG. Made from recycled rice hull and Resysta technology, SIMOWOOD panels are rendered water resistant. Accelerated testing confirms that moisture has no discernable effect. The panels were produced in SIMONA’S facility in Kirn, Germany, and shipped to Stiles Machinery’s processing facility in High Point, N.C. The panels needed to be cut to size and sanded to 8 mm to match the thickness of Fiberesin’s Stonewood panels and to create a wood grain effect. Homag’s Intellistore, Holzma’s panel saw and Butfering sanders were all employed to efficiently create the required sizes. (For more on this process, go to www.facebook. com/StilesMachinery/posts/10154133440145663 for a video.) You approach the house on a driveway and walk made of Aggretex decorative concrete from Decorative Surface Solutions Group in Livermore, Calif. Aggretex is a cementitious slurry matrix to which a wide variety of aggregates can be added for unlimited design possibilities. For the mHouse, architect John Vetter selected silica carbide as the aggregate for a subtle, yet beautiful finished look. “It’s a refined look not seen in traditional concrete products,” Vetter said. “To complete the look, we used sawn relief joints to match the geometry of the home. It’s a beautiful product.” Aggretex was used on the back patio, front walkway and garage entry. TH
AGGRETEX DECORATIVE CONCRETE FROM DECORATIVE SURFACE SOLUTIONS GROUP, SHOWN WHERE IT ABUTS LANDSCAPE STONES, WAS USED ON THE BACK PATIO, FRONT WALKWAY AND GARAGE ENTRY.
MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 58 �
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THE GATHERING SPACE
he stunning exterior of the mHouse raises your expectations, and a tour of this home of what’s possible reinforces the notion that this house is unlike any other, using cutting-edge materials and technology in the most innovative ways. At the main entry, the vertical reveals on the mahogany privacy screen and the front door by Archispec set the stage for a pattern seen throughout the house. As you enter the house, you turn into the kitchen and main living area, and you can see why this is the natural gathering space of this three-level, multi-dimensional home. To the right is the kitchen, which was designed by architect John Vetter to be a warm alcove that opens up to the 12-foot ceiling and open space of the main living area. “The 12-foot ceiling could have overwhelmed the main living space if some seclusion was not created as a counterbalance,” Vetter said, noting that the kitchen’s ceiling is 8 feet. “It provides intimacy and is perfect for gatherings.”
Warm kitchen alcove flows into open living area
All of the kitchen’s cabinet doors and drawer fronts feature Uniboard’s embossed-in-register Brushed Elm, a high-end woodprint finish on thermally fused laminate (TFL) with décor compliments of Interprint. The ceiling is also made of Brushed Elm and ties the alcove together with its 6-inch-by-3/4-inch edgebanded boards separated by three-quarter-inch reveals, creating a feeling of unification. The front edges of the counters are flush with the fronts of the cabinet doors and drawers to maintain the home’s contemporary feel. The cabinet’s TFL interiors are also Uniboard in its Sheer Linen pattern, selected by the architect for its complementary color and to provide a more finished and interesting look. The refrigerator, dishwasher and other appliances were built-in and panel ready to be flush with surrounding cabinets. Pantry hardware from Kesseböhmer of Germany is built into many of the kitchen’s cabinets. Häfele provided the decorative hardware. The kitchen’s centerpiece is a 12-foot-by-4-foot island with Wilsonart Solid Surface in the Coconut Oil pattern, which also tops the room’s 22-foot countertop. Vetter and interior designer Amy Carman selected the surface for its simplicity and durability and because they didn’t want the material to overpower the environment. “They wanted everything to work in harmony,” said John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel. “This surface is designed to be beautiful and functional in a simple way.” The kitchen, including all of the cabinets and island, was fabricated by Quest Engineering, a company of some 32 workers located in Richfield, Wisconsin, about 15 miles northwest of Milwaukee. MORE ABOUT THE GATHERING SPACE IN TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 60 �
ALL OF THE KITCHEN’S CABINET DOORS AND DRAWER FRONTS FEATURE UNIBOARD’S EMBOSSED-IN-REGISTER BRUSHED ELM, A HIGH-END WOODPRINT FINISH ON THERMALLY FUSED LAMINATE (TFL) WITH DÉCOR COMPLIMENTS OF INTERPRINT. THE KITCHEN’S CENTERPIECE IS A 12-FOOT-BY-4-FOOT ISLAND WITH WILSONART SOLID SURFACE IN THE COCONUT OIL PATTERN. PANTRY HARDWARE FROM KESSEBÖHMER OF GERMANY IS BUILT INTO MANY OF THE KITCHEN’S CABINETS. HÄFELE PROVIDED THE DECORATIVE HARDWARE.
HOME THE LUXURY VINYL TILE THAT IS THE DOMINANT FLOORING THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE IS METROFLOR’S ASPECTA BRAND IN 18-INCH-BY-18-INCH TILES. THE PATTERN IS WASHED CONCRETE, AND THE COLOR IS CARBON.
A TWO-STORY SHOWPIECE FIREPLACE BY COLUMBIA FOREST PRODUCTS FEATURES DESIGNEDGE, ONE OF COLUMBIA’S MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS. THE DECORATIVE FACE OF THE MATERIAL IS SAPELE.
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The entryway and kitchen also introduce visitors to the luxury vinyl tile that is the dominant flooring throughout the house. It’s Metroflor’s Aspecta brand in 18-inch-by-18-inch tiles. The pattern is Washed Concrete, and the color is Carbon. Vetter and Carman wanted a consistent feel from room to room without transitions and didn’t want flooring that chopped the house into separate areas. The 3mm Aspecta is thicker than most residential flooring and has tremendous durability. Materials throughout the house were selected to match the flooring’s color. As is most of the house, the kitchen is lighted by LED recessed lights from Eaton that were chosen for the way their simplicity and design enhance the home’s contemporary look. The mHouse has 110 Eaton fixtures. As you move into the main living area, a two-story showpiece fireplace by Columbia Forest Products commands your attention. It features DesignEdge, one of Columbia’s most innovative products. DesignEdge is a high-quality plywood panel that can be carved, routed, beveled and laser-cut to showcase the thick and thin layers of alternating core material beneath the surface, with the edge left exposed as a decorative element. The decorative face of the material is Sapele. The panels are cut into strips of varying widths and applied vertically to the fireplace wall, leaving three-quarter inch gaps that mirror the reveals elsewhere. The wood is finished in a rich mahogany stain, and the exposed edges are subtly visible. “I love using materials in their natural state,” Vetter said. “Producers of plywood panel products should never apologize for an exposed core
MARVIN’S 12-BY-24-FOOT LIFT AND SLIDE DOOR OPENS THE MAIN LIVING AREA TO THE OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE AND THE GOLF COURSE BEYOND.
or feel that it must be edgebanded to conceal it. Columbia’s Design Edge was perfect for the fireplace facade.” As you look to the back of the house, a massive Marvin Lift and Slide Door affords an uninterrupted view of the outdoor living space and the beautiful 16th green of the adjoining country club. The 12-foot-by-24-foot door is one of the largest in North America. The Lift and Slide is an engineering marvel. It was produced and erected in Marvin Windows and Doors Tennessee facility before being shipped. Made from four 12-foot-by-6-foot panels, each exceeding 600 pounds, the Lift and Slide opens 12 feet wide and creates a seamless transition from the exterior to the interior. The hardware virtually disappears for an incredibly clean and unobstructed view. The huge panels slide effortlessly. That 600 pounds can be moved with two fingers is a testament to Marvin’s engineers. In addition to the Lift and Slide, Marvin windows were used exclusively throughout the home. More than 60 windows and 1,600 square feet of glass were required to reveal architect Vetter’s vision. Vetter insisted on using Weather-Tec Design Center of Brookfield, Wis. “I’ve worked with Mark Edberg (president) for many years, and he and his team are the only ones I trust to handle a job this complicated,” Vetter said. Aufderhaar couldn’t be more pleased with the process from beginning to end. “Mark Edberg, Renee Milbridge and the rest of Weather-Tek’s team were a pleasure to work with,” Aufderhaar said. “They’ve been a trusted supplier of Marvin for many years and were with us every step of the way, including design, engineering, production, delivery and installation. Every window and door fit like a glove. Vetter was right. Weather-Tek was the best choice.” Not surprisingly, every room in the home has a wide view of the private golf course and surrounding rural environment. Rooms are bathed in natural light during the day, and stars are visible at night. TH MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 62 �
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A PLACE TO ESCAPE Master suite includes private office, art on display and sleeping space that flows into bath and closet areas
REGINALD BAYLOR’S RENOWNED “LEFT RIGHT AND LEFT AGAIN,” THE ORIGINAL OF WHICH IS OWNED BY A PRIVATE COLLECTOR IN CALIFORNIA, FILLS THE HALLWAY WALL OF THE MASTER SUITE. THIS VERSION WAS MADE FROM WILSONART’S CUSTOM DIGITAL LAMINATE, ALSO KNOWN AS WILSONARTXYOU. 62
THE MASTER SUITE’S CLOSETS AND DRAWERS FEATURE TOKAJ ALDER FROM STEVENSWOOD’S LEGNO COLLECTION, AN EMBOSSED-IN-REGISTER TFL. WILSONART’S SOLID SURFACE IN COCONUT OIL WAS USED FOR THE LARGE VANITY TOP WITH A 3-INCH EDGE FLUSH TO THE CABINETRY.
ust inside the front entry and off the main living area is the beginning of the mHouse’s master suite in the form of the owner’s cozy private office. It includes two highlights: elegant walnut cabinets and a formidable and beautiful desk by Fiberesin. The horizontal surface and doors of the cabinets are made from Roseburg’s walnut veneer-faced hardwood plywood. The interiors of the cabinet boxes contrast beautifully with Roseburg’s white TFL. The cabinet doors’ functional hardware is a custom-designed flushmounted pull in a steel-graphite finish from Contemporary Pull. Artist Pamela Anderson, owner of Contemporary Pull, designed and manufactures these and other unique cabinet door hardware. The 800-pound desk is made of compact laminate from Fiberesin Industries, the same company that provided phenolic panels for the home’s exterior. It consists of two 1 ½-inch panels – each made of multiple sheets of phenolic resin-saturated kraft paper – that are fused in a hot press under high heat and pressure. Fiberesin used bleached and black kraft paper from Kapstone to create an alternating edge design pattern. Both 1 ½-inch panels were then laminated to create the 3-inch thick work surface. Fiberesin fabricated the work surface with a 45-degree angle waterfall edge that drops straight to the floor. Interior designer Amy Carman saw the beauty in the material as much as its functionality and durability. “I absolutely love the design possibilities with the thick phenolic material,” Carman said. “I’ve never seen a material like this before MORE ABOUT A PLACE TO ESCAPE IN TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 64 �
THE 800-POUND DESK IN THE OFFICE IS MADE OF COMPACT LAMINATE FROM FIBERESIN INDUSTRIES. FIBERESIN USED BLEACHED AND BLACK KRAFT PAPER FROM KAPSTONE TO CREATE AN ALTERNATING EDGE DESIGN PATTERN.
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and couldn’t wait to employ it in the mHouse. I’m already using the material in other residential interiors, as well.” As you leave the office and head down the long hall toward the sleeping and bath areas, your eyes are drawn to the 8-foot-by-20foot artwork on the wall to your left. The piece is Reginald Baylor’s renowned “Left Right and Left Again,” the original of which is owned by a private collector in California. This version is made from Wilsonart’s custom digital laminate, also known as WilsonartXYOU. The art was digitized and re-colored to avoid infringing on Baylor’s original. The digital file was provided to Wilsonart, which re-sized it to match the dimensions of the art wall. Wilsonart produced five 4-foot-by-8-foot HPL sheets. The process was easy and accurate. Because of the piece’s size and prestige, not just any hanging system would do. This art demands the best, and that’s Panel Specialists Inc., or PSI, of Temple, Texas. PSI’s System 310 is engineered to handle large HPL panels. Each HPL sheet is first laminated to 3/8-inch particleboard, then cut to size and grooved on all vertical edges to accommodate the mounting system. All materials expand and contract with temperature and moisture, and particleboard and HPL are no different. PSI engineers its wall mounting systems to allow for such variability. The 4'-x-8' sheets are cut strategically into six ready-tomount panels. Each cut creates a 1/16-inch gap between panels into which a very thin and elegant extrusion connects one to the next. The gaps are nearly invisible, yet necessary. All outer edges are capped with anodized aluminum caps to finish and encapsulate the art. In the sleeping, bath and closet areas, the space has few of the traditional distinctions. “Living spaces today tend to be more hybrids, with the sleeping area flowing naturally into the bathing and closet area, which are no longer separate,” said John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel. The master bath and closet storage area was created in a more European sense, designed for custom wardrobes and eliminating the traditional walk-in closets. “The thinking today is that you don’t have a separate room to hang clothes but instead you have storage to conceal it,” Aufderhaar said. The closets are built into the spacious bath and dressing area,
THE HORIZONTAL SURFACE AND DOORS OF THE CABINET IN THE OFFICE ARE MADE FROM ROSEBURG’S WALNUT VENEERFACED HARDWOOD PLYWOOD. THE INTERIORS OF THE CABINET BOXES ARE ROSEBURG’S WHITE TFL. THE HARDWARE IS A CUSTOM-DESIGNED FLUSH-MOUNTED PULL IN A STEEL-GRAPHITE FINISH FROM CONTEMPORARY PULL.
which features luxurious plumbing fixtures from Kohler that include a DTV+ shower system with touchscreen interface. The center of the space features a his-and-her island with sinks, mirrors and lighting on opposite sides. Interior designer Amy Carman selected Tokaj Alder from StevensWood’s Legno collection, an embossed-in-register TFL, for the master suite’s closets and drawers. An Italian porcelain tile installed in running bond on the wall and continuing across the floor was selected to match the Tokaj Alder pattern. Stevens’ Tokaj Alder TFL incorporates an original Schattdecor design. Creating the perfect textured TFL requires close coordination between the décor printer, plate maker and TFL producer. “The soft look and feel of Stevens’ TFL is much like the supermatte finishes so popular in Europe,” Carman said. “Normally, we would match cabinetry to the hard surfaces in a space like this, but I fell in love with the Stevens design and used it as the central color from which we selected the other surfaces.” Wilsonart’s Solid Surface in Coconut Oil was used for the large vanity top with a 3-inch edge flush to the cabinetry, matching the theme throughout the home. The storage and vanity cabinets were fabricated by Quest Engineering of Richfield, Wis. All Solid Surface fabrication and installation was done by Neumann Cabinets of Oconomowoc, Wis., a certified Wilsonart fabricator. TH MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 66 �
THE CLOSETS ARE BUILT INTO THE SPACIOUS BATH AND DRESSING AREA, WHICH FEATURES LUXURIOUS PLUMBING FIXTURES FROM KOHLER THAT INCLUDE A DTV+ SHOWER SYSTEM WITH TOUCHSCREEN INTERFACE. THE CENTER OF THE SPACE FEATURES A HIS-AND-HER ISLAND WITH SINKS, MIRRORS AND LIGHTING ON OPPOSITE SIDES. 64
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MEDIA MEETS HIGH GLOSS Dramatic wall unit highlights room for watching, reading
cross the main living area from the mHouse’s entry and master suite sits a room designed for watching television, settling in with a good book or gathering with a few friends for quiet conversation. The media room features the flip side of the impressive Columbia Forest Products fireplace, which includes built-in space for a flatpanel TV, along with another marvelous floor-to-ceiling Marvin doorand-window combination with views of the back patio and golf course. Without a doubt, however, the room’s showstopper is the big bookcase unit and media console shell built by Premier Eurocase in its Reflect high-gloss acrylic. The unit itself is made of Reflekt White, while the back panel is Reflekt Metallic Gray. The material is durable, beautiful and contemporary, making it the perfect fit for the mHouse, said John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel. Premier is more vertically integrated than most panel companies in that it produces acrylic high gloss, TFL panels and 3DL laminated components and can fabricate anything panel-based. Premier has become one of the largest store fixture manufacturers in the country. “Andy Wilzoch is one of my heroes in this industry,” Aufderhaar said of Premier Eurocase’s president. MORE ABOUT MEDIA MEETS HIGH GLOSS IN TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 68 �
THE MEDIA ROOM FEATURES THE FLIP SIDE OF THE IMPRESSIVE COLUMBIA FOREST PRODUCTS FIREPLACE, WHICH INCLUDES BUILT-IN SPACE FOR A FLAT-PANEL TV.
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THE MEDIA ROOM IS GRACED WITH ANOTHER MARVELOUS FLOOR-TO-CEILING MARVIN DOOR-AND-WINDOW COMBINATION WITH VIEWS OF THE BACK PATIO AND GOLF COURSE. � CONTINUED FROM PAGE 66
“Wilzoch built a company that has end-to end capability as a TFL producer, a laminator of 3DL, acrylic high gloss and HPL, and a fabricator with the finest processing technology in the world,” Aufderhaar said. “His design and engineering teams are top notch, which I can personally attest to.” Wilzoch’s team was able to take sketches and turn them into reality with remarkable precision and speed, a process made more difficult by the fact that Premier was producing floor-to-ceiling units with tight tolerances and little room for error. The floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall bookcase unit was built with 3-inch-thick vertical and horizontal components to match an Amy Carman design theme seen throughout the home. Similar 3-inch reveals are seen on the kitchen counter and island, on the vanity in the master suite, on the counter in the guest bath and on the solid phenolic work surface in the private office. While massive (and heavy), the design theme comes off as elegant and simplistic. Wilzoch specifies only Plum Creek MDF because of its smooth face, machinability and quality. A smooth, defect-free face is imperative when laminating Reflekt high gloss. Any foreign particle or void in the MDF face can telegraph in the laminating process. Premier built a state-of-the-art clean room to ensure a perfect laminating process. All of the drawers in the bookcase were produced with soft-close hardware from Häfele. TH
ALL OF THE DRAWERS IN THE BOOKCASE WERE PRODUCED WITH SOFT-CLOSE HARDWARE FROM HÄFELE.
PREMIER USES A STATE-OF-THE-ART CLEAN ROOM TO ENSURE A PERFECT LAMINATING PROCESS FOR PRODUCING THE FLAWLESS SMOOTH FINISH OF REFLECT HIGH GLOSS. MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 70 � 68
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SECOND FLOOR Premier Eurocase takes quality to another level.
t should come as no surprise that even the stairs in the mHouse are special. As you ascend from the main floor to the second level – or descend to the lower level – you do so on steps made of sapele mahogany supplied by Sierra Forest Products. The stairs are substantial and impressive, with each tread weighing about 50 pounds. The stringers, too, are of sapele mahogany, as are the railings, and the intricate assembly required slotting and sliding the steps carefully into the stringers. The result is a two-story staircase that is heavy and durable while offering a simple, clean and contemporary look from any angle that fits perfectly in the house. Once upstairs, you immediately see more of Premier Eurocase’s significant involvement in the mHouse and its influence over the interior’s look. Simply stated, Premier dominates the top level. It starts in the east bedroom – a quick turn left from the stairs – where a floor-to-ceiling armoire and dresser unit covers an entire wall. The armoire doors feature Premier’s Reflekt high-gloss acrylic in white, while the interior is done in Premier’s Roücke HD textured TFL in Cortez. The drawers in the middle are also in the Roücke HD Cortez, while the top of the drawer unit is 3DL with a continuous front edge and edgebanding by Rehau. All of the decorative and functional hardware on the unit is from Häfele. As it did throughout the house, Premier once again showed its skill at producing quality furniture to exacting standards, noted John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel.
ON THE LANDING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS IS A WINDOW SEAT/STORAGE BENCH WITH 3DL ON TOP AND PREMIER’S ROÜCKE HD TEXTURED TFL IN THE VAIL PATTERN ON THE STORAGE BOX. JUST DOWN THE HALL IS A BUILT-IN, FLOOR-TO-CEILING STORAGE UNIT WITH THE SAME ROÜCKE HD TEXTURED TFL AND HÄFELE HARDWARE.
TOMORROW’S A FLOOR-TO-CEILING ARMOIRE AND DRESSER UNIT COVERS AN ENTIRE WALL IN THE EAST BEDROOM. THE ARMOIRE DOORS FEATURE PREMIER’S REFLEKT HIGH-GLOSS ACRYLIC IN WHITE, WHILE THE INTERIOR IS DONE IN PREMIER’S ROÜCKE HD TEXTURED TFL IN CORTEZ. THE DRAWERS IN THE MIDDLE ARE ALSO IN THE ROÜCKE HD CORTEZ, WHILE THE TOP OF THE DRAWER UNIT IS 3DL WITH A CONTINUOUS FRONT EDGE AND EDGEBANDING BY REHAU. THE HARDWARE ON THE UNIT IS FROM HÄFELE.
“Everything they did, we pretty much just gave them the dimensions of the open space. Their ability to create the product and make it fit – especially in a floor-to-ceiling unit like this – is remarkable,” he said. Premier’s level of automation with equipment largely provided by the Homag Group is among the world’s best, and the clean room in which it produces its high-gloss acrylic surfaces sets the industry standard, Aufderhaar said. On the landing at the top of the stairs is a window seat/storage bench with 3DL on top and Premier’s Roücke HD textured TFL in the Vail pattern on the storage box. The inside is white melamine. Just down the hall is a built-in, floor-to-ceiling storage unit with the same Roücke HD textured TFL and Häfele hardware. The second-floor bathroom also has the Vail pattern on the textured TFL on the vanity doors, with white melamine inside. The west bedroom, which boasts a balcony overlooking the yard and golf course, is decorated in Premier’s Reflekt high gloss in gray. An armoire/storage unit fills one wall, while a combination shelving and Murphy bed unit fills another. When the bed is closed, that entire piece is gray high gloss. When it’s open, Premier’s Roücke HD TFL in Silverton is seen on the back wall above the bed. MORE ABOUT THE UPPER LEVEL IN TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 72 �
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THE WEST BEDROOM BOASTS A BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE YARD AND GOLF COURSE. IT IS DECORATED IN PREMIER’S REFLEKT HIGH GLOSS IN GRAY. A COMBINATION SHELVING AND MURPHY BED UNIT FILLS ONE WALL. WHEN THE BED IS OPEN, PREMIER’S ROÜCKE HD TFL IN SILVERTON IS SEEN ON THE BACK WALL ABOVE THE BED. AN ARMOIRE/ STORAGE UNIT FILLS THE FACING WALL � CONTINUED FROM PAGE 71
“The west bedroom’s importance capitalizes on the original site selection,” architect John Vetter said. “The concept from the very beginning was to take advantage of the elevated position and views of the 16th green of the private golf course.” Calling this space a bedroom doesn’t do it justice. Considering the room opens in the back to a 16-foot-by-16-foot upper deck with access via a spiral staircase to the lower patio, the west bedroom was designed to serve multiple purposes. Marvin’s custom sliding doors allow for easy access to the outside and afford spectacular views. The flexibility of the Murphy bed inside allows the space to be transformed from a bedroom to an office or an indoor-outdoor gathering space for parties. The 20-foot elevated position looking down on the golf course makes for a natural gathering space for guests. “Nearly every home on the golf course was built in proximity to the road,” Vetter said. “We decided early on to push the home as close to the golf course as possible. By doing so, we enhanced the golf course views and eliminated views of the neighboring homes and back yards. “From any vantage point in the home, all you see is a beautiful park-like setting. Once we had the vision, the design of the home could begin,” Vetter said. The Murphy bed was supplied by Häfele, which also provided the decorative and functional hardware for the cabinets and drawers for the upper level. TH MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 74� 72
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Materials Meld Beautifully IN LOWER LEVEL’S THEATER, WINE ROOM
Area shows off variety, versatility of panel processing
merging into the lower level of the mHouse, visitors immediately see the impressive bottom half of the Columbia Forest Products fireplace facade, featuring Columbia’s DesignEdge. The fireplace with its sapele veneer and 1-inch reveals provides continuity between the two floors. The lower level is the mHouse’s theater, and the main element to support that is a huge entertainment and storage center that takes up all of one long wall. It runs floor to ceiling with room for a widescreen television in the middle. Premier Eurocase built this unit, as well, and its doors and drawer fronts are all made of Roücke HD textured TFL in the Basalt design. Once again, Häfele provided the decorative hardware, which includes soft-close hinges and drawer slides.
The drawers in the unit were provided by Olon and are unlike any other in the house. Made of 5/8-inch solid birch with traditional dovetail construction, they give a nod to traditional cabinet making and the detail associated with it. Each drawer is also branded with the mHouse logo on the inside. “These are absolutely beautiful hardwood drawers of the highest quality,” said John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel. “Olon’s laseretched logo service is a very nice touch and an excellent way for cabinet makers to distinguish themselves.” The theater’s sofa, chaise, tables and accessories are from Ashley Furniture. Ashley is a global brand and the largest furniture manufacturer and retailer in North America. One notable aspect, Aufderhaar said, is the way interior designer Amy Carman’s selection of hardwood tables from Ashley and Roucke HD TFL cabinets from Premier Eurocase coexist beautifully in the space. The deep texture in the Roucke TFL matches the purposeful textures in the solid table tops. Another example of how manufacturers draw inspiration from different surfaces is the Ashley table separating the upholstery. The table is hardwood, but the deep-textured top was finished in silver metallic. It is an excellent look and one that impressed the designers. The average consumer would be hard-pressed to identify the material. It could be HPL, TFL or decorative metal. Regardless, everything melds together beautifully in the space. PREMIER EUROCASE BUILT THE ENTERTAINMENT/STORAGE UNIT. DOORS AND DRAWER FRONTS ARE MADE OF ROÜCKE HD TEXTURED TFL IN THE BASALT DESIGN. HÄFELE PROVIDED THE DECORATIVE HARDWARE. THE DRAWERS, MADE OF 5/8-INCH SOLID BIRCH WITH TRADITIONAL DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION, WERE PROVIDED BY OLON.
NORTHERN CONTOURS DESIGNED AND FABRICATED THE WINE ROOM. ITS MATERIAL OF CHOICE WAS 3DL FROM OMNOVA SOLUTIONS FOR THE CENTRAL ISLAND, BACK COUNTER AND STORAGE BENCH LAMINATED IN EARTHEN BRONZE. THE WALL-MOUNTED HIGH-TOP COCKTAIL TABLES WERE LAMINATED IN OMNOVA’S CAST-IN-BRONZE 3DL. THE SAME MATERIAL WAS MEMBRANE PRESSED ON THE MINI-TILT TABLES, MADE WITH RETRACTABLE HARDWARE FROM HÄFELE. BUBBLE GLASS WINDOWS FROM DECOTONE SURFACES EVOKE THE MID-CENTURY MODERN DESIGN THAT HELPS DEFINE THE MHOUSE.
In the back sits a 6-foot desk made by Premier Eurocase of white Reflekt high gloss with Häfele hardware and legs. It sits in contrast to the darker colors of the cabinets and upholstery and brightens the room. From a functional perspective, it creates another home office. It is the perfect place to seek solace in the lower level. Just off the theater area is a wine room accented with bubble glass windows from Decotone Surfaces that evoke the mid-century modern design that helps define the mHouse. Northern Contours President Larry Skow and his design team conceptualized, designed and fabricated the wine room, and its material of choice was 3DL from Omnova Solutions for the central island, back counter and storage bench laminated in Earthen Bronze. The playful wall-mounted high-top cocktail tables that line one wall were laminated in Omnova’s Cast-in-Bronze 3DL, a bronze metallic design. The same material was membrane pressed on the mini-tilt tables, made with retractable hardware from Häfele. Along the back wall of the wine room, Reconstituted (Recon) Rosewood veneer was used to produce the 3-inch-thick floating shelves, which are mounted with hidden fasteners. Recon Rosewood is the predominant material that ties the room together and was also used on the custom wine rack, drawer fronts on the back bar cabinets, miter-folded corner posts of the central island and the vertical surfaces of the intimate high-top cocktail tables. Recon Rosewood also was creatively used in conjunction with oak veneer in the Sketch Face Veneer wall art. The bottle wall art theme was carried through to the front of the central serving table with Sketch Acrylic on high-gloss acrylic laminate. Champagne high-gloss acrylic was selected for the cabinet doors on the back bar. “The entire space, more than any other in the home, represents the material and technology the panel processing industry is known for,” Aufderhaar said. “From a material perspective, 3DL, acrylic, veneer, TFL particleboard, MDF and hardboard were all used within the 12-foot-by-15foot area,” he added. “And from a technology point of view, membrane pressing, thermal pressing (TFL), miter folding, laser etching for inlaid veneers and lightweight panel technology was all used. It is a great example of ‘what’s possible’ from our dynamic industry.”
One other piece worth noting in the lower level is a standalone cabinet in the alcove outside the bathroom made by Tvilum of Denmark. It’s a contemporary RTA unit that features Schattdecor SmartFoil on top. The walnut pattern has just the right amount of texture, and the realism is impressive and demonstrates Schattdecor’s ability to produce a finished foil that looks like the real thing. “The reproductions look so real that even experts find it hard to tell veneer and foil apart,” said Klaus Muller of Schattdecor. Aufderhaar agreed: “We’ve given many tours with architects, designers, fabricators and consumers. One of my last stops during these tours is in the alcove on the lower level. I ask each person to feel the beautiful walnut veneer on the Tvilum piece. Not one person has challenged me. Everyone is shocked when I tell them that it is a paper laminate, called a finished foil.” TH MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 76 �
THIS STANDALONE CABINET IS MADE BY TVILUM OF DENMARK. IT’S A CONTEMPORARY RTA UNIT THAT FEATURES SCHATTDECOR SMARTFOIL ON TOP.
STORAGE and MORE STORAGE T
Functional hallway serves as home's command center
he long hallway that connects the garage to the main living area in the mHouse is an optimum location for a series of storage units that showcase textured TFL by Tafisa in its Smithy Street pattern in the classic Origen texture. Quest Engineering of Richfield, Wis., fabricated the units. “The hallway cabinets and drawers along with the 8-foot work surface may be the most heavily used area of the home,” architect John Vetter said. The hallway, which holds the mHouse’s largest storage area outside of the master suite, will be heavily trafficked because most homeowners enter through the garage or back door, seldom using the front entrance. This hallway connects to both the garage and back door, and the upper and lower levels funnel into this space. “We created the space as a 6-foot walkway knowing that we needed 2-foot-deep floor-to-ceiling cabinets for half the space and a nine-drawer built-in to satisfy the need for interior storage,” Vetter said. “This is the home’s command center. HVAC and lighting controls are located here,” he added. “It’s where the homeowner will set car keys, cell phone, parcels, etc., upon entering the home. We needed to account for that.” The storage includes a series of nine drawers of various sizes topped by Wilsonart’s Solid Surface in the Capers pattern. The drawers all feature Tandem Box stainless steel drawer systems with Blumotion soft-close hardware by Blum. Tandem Box accommodates a full ¾-inch TFL panel for the bottoms and backs of the drawer system, giving the drawers a substantial feel. “The Smithy Street pattern from Tafisa was the perfect complement to Metroflor’s Washed Concrete luxury vinyl tile,” said Amy Carman, interior designer. “I wanted a darker pattern to contrast with the white walls opposite the cabinets and to blend with the black interior of the back entrance door. THE DRAWERS FEATURE TANDEM BOX STAINLESS STEEL DRAWER SYSTEMS WITH BLUMOTION SOFT-CLOSE HARDWARE BY BLUM.
“Wilsonart’s Capers pattern on the Solid Surface also lends to the subtlety. It’s a beautiful and functional space,” Carman added. All of the floor-to-ceiling cabinets contain retractable wire storage baskets and LED-lighted clothes poles and decorative hardware from Häfele. Across the hall is the guest bath. The vanity seems to float in a wider space, giving the bath an uncluttered, open feel. The vanity cabinets were produced by Premier Eurocase from Roücke HD TFL in the Vail pattern. The cabinets are encased by a free-standing Solid Surface surround with 3-inch legs and top from Wilsonart in its Oatmeal pattern. Premier also provided the cabinets in the nearby laundry with Reflekt Gray acrylic high gloss on the doors. Wilsonart’s Solid Surface in the Coconut Oil pattern was used for the counter and surround for the washer and dryer. THE FLOOR-TO-CEILING CABINETS CONTAIN RETRACTABLE WIRE STORAGE BASKETS AND DECORATIVE HARDWARE FROM HÄFELE.
LAUNDRY ROOM STORAGE INCLUDES CABINETS BY PREMIER IN REFLEKT GRAY ACRYLIC HIGH GLOSS. WILSONART’S SOLID SURFACE IN THE COCONUT OIL PATTERN WAS USED FOR THE COUNTER AND SURROUND FOR THE WASHER AND DRYER. HARDWARE IS BY HÄFELE.
“It’s a rather simple space but one of the most elegant laundry rooms you’ll ever see,” Carman said. “The Gray Reflekt high gloss is perfect with the Solid Surface.” Häfele decorative hardware was chosen for the cabinets. TH
MDF MOLDINGS AND TRIM CUSTOM-MADE BY SETZER FOREST PRODUCTS
ll interior baseboard moldings and window trim in the mHouse were produced by Setzer Forest Products from Roseburg’s Medite brand of MDF. Both the baseboard and window trim had a small reveal specified by architect John Vetter. The engineers at Setzer produced the tooling and knives to precisely match the architect’s drawings. The molding and trim were double primed after processing, a standard service at Setzer. “Double priming was truly an advantage considering all baseboard was painted white and all window trim was painted black,” Vetter said. “The finished product looks fantastic. We could have selected pine moldings, but we wanted a solid black finish on the windows with no visible grain pattern. MDF was the perfect choice.” TH MORE TOMORROW'S HOME ON PAGE 78 �
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MORE THAN A GARAGE Space features eye-catching TFL and HPL
he garage in the mHouse isn’t just a place for cars and tools. It’s a big space surrounded by some of the finest-looking cabinets, drawers and storage you’ll find anywhere. The space was designed by Quest Engineering President Chris Lefeber and his design team. All of the cabinets were produced in Quest’s state-of-the-art panel-processing facility in Richfield, Wis. “The garage was built with visibility in mind,” said Amy Carman, the mHouse’s interior designer. “It’s not often that you’ll find an 8-foot-wide window above a generous work surface in a garage. “We wanted to mirror the quality views that are so prominent in the rest of the home,” she said. “We also wanted a kitchen feel in the garage, and that required the right materials and quality cabinetry.” To complement the white walls, black windows and abundant light from 16 recessed LED Eaton Lighting fixtures, Carman selected Prism Aria TFL in the Medina texture by Arauco. “The gray and beige tones in Aria, along with the linear pattern, create a sophisticated look on all doors and drawer fronts. This pattern just feels right in this space,” she said. “I was unencumbered in my selection. I didn’t need to worry about matching flooring or other surrounding materials. I picked my favorite, and it works perfectly.” Carman also selected Wilsonart HPL for all work surfaces. “Whether you are planting flowers or fixing an appliance, you need a surface that can stand up to just about anything,” she said. “HPL
is known for its impact and stain resistance and durability. It is the right choice for the environment.” Adding to the plentiful cabinet storage is Häfele’s Omni Track system. It was installed for larger items and provides efficient and attractive wall storage for everything from sports equipment to yard and gardening tools. To enhance the look, Quest’s Lefeber alternated Omni Track with Prism TFL. “It gets everything on plane, protects the walls between tracks and provides a more finished feel,” Lefeber said. “Prism TFL and HPL have similar performance characteristics, so the panels can take a beating.” Quest Engineering produces thousands of cabinets for condominium, apartment and commercial projects in the Midwest and beyond and uses countless truckloads of TFL. Prism is the predominant TFL in Quest’s CABnX line. “Prism gives us a wide range of color, pattern and texture,” Lefeber said. “We expect quality and consistency from Arauco (Prism), and we get it.” “The importance of confidence in your suppliers sometimes gets overlooked,” Lefeber added. “We’re busy just like other business owners. I don’t like to worry, and I don’t like surprises. We never worry about Prism, and I sleep well at night.” In addition to Omni Track, Häfele provided the decorative hardware throughout the three-car garage. s&p
The mHouse is the brainchild of John Aufderhaar, president of Bedford Falls Communications and publisher of Surface & Panel. The idea of a residential research project for tomorrow's home came to him at a CPA marketing meeting several years ago. He enlisted the industry’s support, and the home features new and innovative materials working together in exciting and different ways. The mHouse is available for tours and industry-related events. For more information, contact Aufderhaar at email@example.com.
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States Industries 36 800.626.1981 www.statesind.com
Funder 40 800.438.6276 www.funderamerica.com
Stevens Industries 61 217.857.7100 www.stevens-wood.com
Grass 13 336.996.4041 www.grassusa.com
Stiles Machinery, Inc. 6-7 616.698.7500 www.stilesmachinery.com
Greenlam America Inc. 9 877.647.0388 www.greenlam.com
Surface Source International 34 973.598.0152 www.ssinorthamerica.com
HĂ¤fele 73 800.423.3531 www.hafele.com/us
Synergy Thermal Foils 44 954.420.9553 www.synergythermofoils.com
Henkel 31 860.571.5100 www.henkel-northamerica.com
Tafisa Canada 71 877.882.3472 www.tafisa.ca
Hettich 39 800.438.8424 www.hettich.com
Thermwood 28 800.533.6901 www.thermwood.com
Hexion 81 888.443.9466 www.hexion.com
Timber Products Company 37 800.547.9520 www.timberproducts.com
Interprint, Inc. 2 (IFC) 413.443.4733 www.interprint.com
Uniboard 55 844.302.8585 www.uniboard.com
IWF Atlanta 23 404.693.8350 www.iwfatlanta.com
Union Tool Corporation 26 574.267.3211 www.uniontoolcorp.com
Kastamonu 27 90.216.554.30.00 www.keas.com.tr
Wilsonart 84 (BC) 800.433.3222 www.wilsonart.com
We make the resins that make the room. When it comes to advanced resins and additives for laminates, Hexion is the global leader. Our products’ processing and performance benefits, global reliability and customized technical service are second to none. Hexion can help you deliver the beautiful, functional and sustainable materials today’s designers, architects, builders and regulators insist on. For extraordinary rooms, start with exceptional resins and additives. Visit us at hexion.com.
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The mHouse is a bold and creative venture that grew out of John’s competitive nature and creative vision. The man loves the composite panel and decorative surface industry, and this was his way to make a strong statement about the industry’s viability, success and potential.
A Lifetime in the Making It’s safe to say that I’ve known John Aufderhaar longer than any of you. We met when he was 5 and I was 4 and his family moved into the house next to mine in Fort Atkinson, Wis. We’ve been close ever since. Our paths diverged after college, but we stayed in touch. John went into furniture manufacturing and then publishing. I became a newspaper editor. We got together professionally a year ago when I retired from my former job, only to have John offer me this position. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work in an exciting business owned by one of my closest friends. I tell you all of this to establish why I’m qualified to say that John was born to build the mHouse. I’m not suggesting he’s been thinking about doing such a thing since birth, but I’ve seen his competitive, creative and entrepreneurial instincts from the beginning. He was a top-shelf athlete who hated to lose. He’s been thinking big and dabbling in business since college. He never stops looking for the next opportunity to make a statement and find a new level of success. In many ways, the mHouse is the culmination of all of those traits and attributes. It’s a bold and creative venture that grew out of John’s competitive nature and creative vision. The man loves the composite panel and decorative surface industry, and this was his way to make a strong statement about the industry’s viability, success and potential. Read John’s version of how the mHouse came about on page 52 to see what I mean. The mHouse was well on its way when I came on board, but I was fortunate to see it come together in the final months into the showcase that it is today. And what a showcase it is. In this issue of Surface & Panel, we offer the definitive package on the mHouse and how its design and materials work together to make it the perfect example of tomorrow’s home today. The 29-page magazine-within-a-magazine, titled Tomorrow’s Home, begins on page 51. While Surface & Panel focuses on the best the industry has to offer, it also looks at what’s on the horizon. The mHouse package does that in spades, but so do stories on Ecovative and Neucor and their innovative products. In a story that I wrote starting on page 20, the people at Ecovative explain how they are using fungi to create a natural resin as an alternative to formaldehyde-based products. They are already using the resin to make an engineered wood product called MycoBoard, and their grand plan involves setting up “mycelium facilities” – mycelium is the part of the mushroom used for the resin – alongside existing composite panel factories to provide resin for large-scale board making. The plan is ambitious, but these folks are convinced that Ecovative can create a product that competes on quality and price and offers a natural alternative to existing resins. That’s forward-looking stuff. As for Neucor, I’ll let John Fujii, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, explain what’s up: “The concept is simple. We’ve used proven engineering designs to produce a lightweight panel that is also strong. It’s basically a wood analog of corrugated paper. In other words, it’s corrugated wood.” As you can read in Rich Christianson’s story starting on page 42, the panels are easier to handle on the shop floor, at the job site and in the home, and the lighter weight means lower transportation costs. They are stronger than traditional paper honeycomb care panels already being used, and they are made with 100 percent recycled wood. The first batches of Neucor, dubbed “test samples” by Fujii, shipped at the start of May. Neucor was named one of Material ConneXion’s top 15 products recently added to its material library. That’s cutting edge. As always, Surface & Panel is full of what’s been around and what’s coming around. Read, enjoy and learn. Scott W. Angus | Editorial Director | firstname.lastname@example.org
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