Sunday, October 2, 2011

Platinum Doors

  I have blogged before about whether or not a LEED reno is more expensive, and it is.  But there are returns as well: energy savings, reduced environmental impact, healthier home.etc.   For the most part when it came down to deciding when we were willing to invest more the decisions were pretty cut and dried.  At least until it came to interior doors.

As with most of the building materials. there is a half point award if you choose an "environmentally preferable product" for 80% of the application. So if 80% of our doors are "green" that half point is ours.   For the most part the doors we have are staying so they count towards it as they are now "reclaimed" (the greenest product is the one you don't buy).  With enlarging the main bathroom doors (up from 24") and finishing the basement, we fell short of the 80% unless the new doors qualified.

So the mission was now to find a door that qualified:
 - the wood needed to be recycled, reclaimed or FSC certified
 - no added urea-formaldehyde

I didn't have much luck finding a pair of matching reclaimed doors the right size and style so we started looking at new.  Masonite, distributed in Canada through Mouldings and Millwork, has exactly the product we were after: the Emerald series doors.  Doors with a recycled wheat straw core, FSC wood shell and no added UF.   Sounds perfect.

Each door comes with this tag.  I guess because there is no other way to tell that your door is "green"

In hindsight, I am not sure how I found that door.  Even going back now to the website, I struggled to find the reference.  The product isn't listed in the product catalogue and when I called the Quebec distribution centre the response was "Wow, I have never seen one of those doors yet."  Knowing these were rare and special order products did not instil a lot of confidence that I would be able to haggle on the price.

In the end, we special ordered them from Reno-Depot with a $50 mark-up over the non-emerald door (after a lot of convincing of the staff that such a product existed).  Was it worth it?  If it comes down to the half point that gets us certified: absolutely.  It also means that between the paint, mouldings, cabinets and doors we have kept VOCs to a minimum throughout our renovations and that is worth something to our health.