• Commitment
  • Philosophy
  • Carbon Cycle
  • Renewable Energy
  • NAHB
  • LEED
  • Green Globes

Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

Sierra Pacific Industries is a leader in environmentally responsible forest management. In addition to meeting the most stringent state forest practice rules in the nation, our forestry practices are also third party certified under the forest management standard of the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI). SFI is the most comprehensive forest certification program in North America.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
 

Our Products Carry the SFI Label

Since environmentally responsible products begin with the raw materials from which they are manufactured, Sierra Pacific Windows and Doors are the logical choice for the environmentally-conscious consumer. The wood in our windows comes from SFI certified sources and enables us to identify our products as sustainable with the SFI on-product label. Our compliance with the SFI program demonstrates Sierra Pacific's commitment to the environment and to the Green Building effort.

Our Coatings Contain No VOCs

Our extruded aluminum exteriors are coated with eco-friendly, no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) powder coatings. Powder coatings generate zero hazardous waste during the application process and eliminate the additional energy required to operate thermal oxidizers and scrubbers used to lower VOC emissions common to the wet paint process. Powder coating is an EPA recommended finishing system, contributing to the Green Building Initiative of the US government, as well as to Leadership for Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) point credits.

Energy Star Products

Sierra Pacific Windows is an Energy Star partner and applies the Energy Star label on all qualified products. Energy Star is a voluntary partnership program between the US Department of Energy and retailers, utilities and manufacturers aimed at promoting products that are more energy efficient.

Sierra Pacific Windows Recycling Program

Sierra Pacific Windows has an active, on-going recycling program to generate the most benefit and least amount of waste from all manufacturing and shipping processes. Examples of some of the components Sierra Pacific recycles are:

  • Aluminum
  • Glass
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Batteries
  • Oil
  • Anti-freeze
  • Tires
  • Wood pallets
  • Sawdust
  • Wood shavings
  • Wood scraps

Sustainable forest management plays a significant role in global greenhouse gas mitigation efforts because healthy, well managed forests convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to wood as they grow. In managed forests, such as Sierra Pacific's, some of that wood is converted into wood products where the carbon dioxide can remain stored for long periods.

Overall, the climate benefits provided by forests in the United States are substantial. It is estimated that U.S. forests sequester about 17.4 percent of the industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. This equates to over 910 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year or approximately the annual CO2 production from 165 million cars.

Sierra Pacific Industries conducted a peer reviewed study examining the rate of carbon sequestration on its managed forest lands. This report concluded that our actively managed forests store carbon at almost twice the rate of unmanaged forests. This process of rapid carbon sequestration demonstrates another important benefit of Sierra Pacific's active forest management.

  Metric Tons of CO2 SPI Forest Lands Have Sequestered Since 1990   Scrubbing from the Air CO2
Emissions Equivalent to
      Vehicles

 

The Carbon Cycle


In the past, bark, sawdust and other low-grade byproducts of the manufacturing process were burned or sent to landfills. Today, Sierra Pacific Industries turns these materials into fuel for on-site co-generation facilities.

Sierra Pacific Industries runs eight state-of-the-art co-generation plants that turn "wood waste" into energy for California and Washington homes and businesses. Together, these facilities produce over 150 megawatts of electrical power. That's enough power for 150,000 homes.

Co-Generation

Wood waste from the forest is also used in the co-generation process. Unmerchantable wood (including small trees and branches) is selectively removed and processed to improve the remaining stand of timber in areas where trees are too dense and pose a fire danger. Clean renewable energy production and environmental stewardship go hand in hand.

Some of the power produced is used to operate the mill where it is generated. Excess electricity is sold to local public utilities and to energy service providers, helping to reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.

Biomass power produces a number of societal and environmental benefits. It also displaces fossil-fueled electricity generation, which is a benefit common to all renewable generation technologies.

In brief, the biomass power industry provides an environmentally responsible means to dispose of about 25 million tons of woody wastes annually, turning waste materials into valuable electricity. It prevents the open burning of a substantial amount of these tons, mostly agricultural and forest residues, with the attendant massive amounts of air pollution. It also provides an alternative to landfill disposal of a substantial portion of these tons.

NAHB National Green Building Program

Through the National Green Building Program, the National Association of Home Builders is helping its members move the practice of green building into the mainstream. Energy efficiency, water and resource conservation, sustainable or recycled products and indoor air quality are increasingly incorporated into the everyday process of home building.

The National Green Building Program offers several resources and tools to help builders, remodelers, home building associations and homeowners learn how to build green and the benefits of doing so. All homes certified as part of National Green Building Certification are measured against the best existing definitions of green and sustainable home construction. The NAHB Green Scoring Tool offers two scoring options:

1) NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines: Published in 2005, the voluntary Guidelines cover seven areas, including lot preparation and design, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency and conservation, occupancy comfort and indoor environmental quality, and operation, maintenance and homeowner education. These Guidelines are the basis for the Green Scoring Tool, but were also written for local organizations to use as a foundation for their own Green Building programs and for easy customization to reflect local geographic and climate conditions.

2) The ANSI approved ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS): Establishes a much-needed and nationally-recognizable standard definition of green building. The Standard includes single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects and site development projects while allowing for the flexibility required for regionally-appropriate best green practices. The Standard also introduces a new, fourth score - Emerald - to denote the pinnacle of achievement in residential green construction.

Sierra Pacific products can help earn NAHB points in the following categories:

2.1.5  Reduce Quantity of Material and Waste
Intent:  Use building materials that require no additional finish resources to complete application onsite.

2.2.8  Enhance Durability and Reduce Maintenance
Intent:  Use termite-resistant materials for walls, floor joists, trusses and exterior decks in areas known to be termite infested.

2.2.12  Enhance Durability and Reduce Maintenance
Intent:  Employ and show on plans the following flashing details: A. Around windows and doors and E. Drip cap above windows and doors.

2.6.1  Use Renewable Materials
Intent:  Use materials manufactured from renewable resources or agricultural byproducts such as soy-based insulation, bamboo or wood-based products.

2.6.2  Use Renewable Materials
Intent:  Use certified wood for wood and wood-based materials and products from all credible third-party certified sources, including: A. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Program.

2.8.1  Innovative Options
Intent:  Use locally available, indigenous materials.

2.8.2  Innovative Options
Intent:  Use a life-cycle assessment (LCA) tool to compare the environmental burden of building materials and based on the analysis, use the most environmentally preferable product for that building component.

3.3.1  Energy Efficiency (Prescriptive Path B)
Intent:  Energy Star® - rated windows appropriate for local climate.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System (LEED) is a voluntary, market-based rating system for defining what elements make a building 'green' and to quantify how 'green' a building is in comparison to another building.

LEED is based on energy and environmental principles and attempts to strike a balance between known effective practices and emerging concepts. It encourages a whole building approach over a building's life cycle that guides a collaborative and integrated design and construction process.

Project teams (owners, developers, architects and contractors) use the LEED rating system as a tool to help them determine green project goals, identify green design strategies, measure and monitor progress and document success.

How does LEED work?

LEED provides a menu of green building measures in five environmental categories:

Sustainable Sites
Water Efficiency
Energy and Atmosphere
Materials and Resources
Indoor Environmental Quality

Innovation and Design process is an additional category where points can be earned for exceptional building design and performance above the LEED requirements or innovative performance in green building categories not specifically addressed by LEED. Points are earned in each category. The points are performance based rather than prescriptive to encourage innovation and an integrated approach to design.

After a building has been completed and the project team has submitted the project documentation along with the appropriate fee, the Council will certify the project as LEED Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum based on the total number of points earned from a menu of green building measures.

Sierra Pacific products can help earn LEED credits in the following categories:

EA 1  Optimize Energy Performance
Intent:  Achieve increasing levels of energy performance above the baseline in the prerequisite standard to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use.

MR 4.1  Recycle Content - 10% (Post-consumer + 1/2 Pre-consumer)
Intent:  Increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing the impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin material.

MR 4.2  Recycle Content - 20% (Post-consumer + 1/2 Pre-consumer)
Intent:  Increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing the impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.

MR 5.1  Regional Material 10%
Intent:  Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

MR 5.2  Regional Material 20%
Intent:  Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

EQ 2  Increased Ventilation
Intent:  Provide additional outdoor air ventilation to improve indoor air quality for improved occupant comfort, well-being and productivity.

EQ 6.2  Controllability of System - Thermal Comfort
Intent:  Provide a high level of thermal comfort system control by individual occupants or by specific groups in multi-occupant spaces (i.e. classrooms or conference areas) to promote the productivity, comfort and well-being of building occupants.

EQ 8.1  75% Daylight and Views
Intent:  Provide a connection between indoor spaces and the outdoors for the building occupants through the introduction of daylight and views into the regularly occupied areas of the building.

Green Globes Rating/Certification

Green Globes offers opportunities for recognition and certification in the design, construction, or operation of commercial buildings via a formal Green Globes rating and certification system. Green Globes rating and certification provide a proven, credible and recognized means to address the increasingly important environmental concerns of owners, investors, customers and residents or occupants.

Building projects that have completed either the new construction self assessment or the continual improvement for existing buildings assessment and scored a minimum threshold of 35% of the 1,000 available points are then eligible to schedule an independent, third party review and site assessment that leads to formal Green Globes rating. Depending on the points scored during the independent third party assessment, buildings are assigned a Green Globes rating of one to four Green Globes and are awarded a plaque recognizing their environmental achievements.

Green Globes rated buildings are intended to use less energy, conserve water resources, and emit fewer pollutants (in the form of greenhouse gases, airborne pollutants, liquid effluents, and/or solid waste) than other buildings at large. As such, projected benefits to building owners and investors accrue in the form of reduced operating costs for energy, water and waste disposal, while at the same time making the facilities a more enjoyable and better place to visit, live or work. By investing in Green Globes rating/certification, organizations can publicly demonstrate their commitment to environmental sensitivity, to reducing adverse environmental impacts and for incorporating the best "green" practices for building design, construction and/or ongoing operation.

Sierra Pacific products can help earn Green Globes credits in the following categories:

A.2  Environmental Purchasing
Objective:  To select materials, products and equipment that have minimal impact on the environment in terms of resource use, production of waste and energy use.

C.1  Energy Performance
Objective:  To minimize the energy consumption for building operations.

C.2  Reduce Energy Demands (Building Envelope)
Objective:  To minimize the energy that is gained or lost through the envelope, prevent condensation and avoid water damage.

E.1  Low Impact System & Materials
Objective:  To select materials with the lowest life cycle environmental burden and embodied energy.

E.2  Minimal Consumption of Resources (Certified Wood)
Objective:  To conserve resources and minimize the energy and environmental impact of extracting and processing non-renewable materials.

E.4  Building Durability, Adaptability and Disassembly
Objective:  To extend the life of a building and its components and to conserve resources by minimizing the need to replace materials and assemblies.

G.2  Control of Indoor Pollutants
Objective:  To minimize contaminants in the indoor air thereby helping to ensure occupant well-being and comfort.

G.3  Lighting (Daylighting)
Objective:  To provide occupants with exposure to natural light, thereby helping to ensure their well-being and comfort.

G.4  Thermal Comfort
Objective:  To provide a thermally comfortable environment, thereby helping to ensure the well-being and comfort of occupants.

G.5  Acoustic Comfort
Objective:  To provide a good acoustic environment, thereby helping to ensure the well-being and comfort of occupants.