Approximately two years ago, the staff at the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), based in Memphis, TN, looked at the breezeway connecting the headquarters facility to the industry education center and thought it was about time to replace the structure. The pine substructure of the breezeway was in poor condition and certainly was not in keeping with showcasing and representing the natural beauty and integrity of American hardwood lumber.
“We launched a plan to rebuild the existing breezeway and of course we wanted to source fine American hardwood lumber for the decking and railing,” said Renee Hornsby, the organization’s Director of Marketing. She continued, “We were looking to domestically source a hardwood material that was not only natural and chemical-free, but something that could withstand the outside elements.”
“We had seen a lot of outdoor use of Thermally Modified Wood (TMW) wood products in Europe, so we knew this was a material that could work well for the decking on our breezeway,’’ commented John Hester, NHLA’s Director of Membership. “We knew one of our members, Bingaman & Son Lumber Company in Pennsylvania, is one of the best in the business in producing TMW, so we reached out in the hopes of securing an appropriate supply of their Americana™ Thermally Modified Real Wood product for the replacement deck and railing system.”
The NHLA selected JJ Deluca Construction of Cordova, TN to both remove the old structure and install the new breezeway. While progress on the rebuild began early in 2020 it was delayed by nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bingman & Son Lumber subsequently donated 1,500 sqft of its Americana Thermally Modified oak decking, and it arrived on site in July of this year. Construction of NHLA’s new breezeway was completed in early October.
“We are just blown away by the beauty of the wood,” said Hester, referring to the Americana oak decking and handrailing. Hornsby added, “It will be interesting to see how it holds up. We have a lot of heat and humidity here in Memphis, and we are going to try and keep it as brown as possible.” JJ Deluca Construction coated the Americana decking with a Cutek™ pigment finish to maintain the wood’s chocolate-brown color.
Installer: JJ Deluca Construction, Cordova, TN