Henrybuilt Kitchens

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Seattle-based Henrybuilt bamboo kitchen systems would be any remodeler 's dream come true, eco-minded or not. But the studio's attention to detail doesn't stop with its gorgeous lines, perfect curves, gentle color contrasts or modern sensibility. For these custom-built kitchen designers (the studio has a superb furniture collection as well) eco-conscious design isn't just the icing on the cake—it's an integral ingredient in the recipe of good design...[by MO]
The studio's processes belay their philosophy; they believe that building furniture and cabinetry that's built-to-last is a top—and oft overlooked—priority. "A lower-impact raw material doesn't do its job very well if it's replaced in a fraction of the time of a well-built piece. It's very important to us that everything we build lasts, and we design and select materials to that effect," says Chris Barriatua, sales manager at the studio.

Even with those high standards, Henrybuilt still manages to use materials that prove its eco-point... Cabinet carcasses and parts are either crafted from FSC-certified Euro-ply or full-on bamboo. Using Euro-ply instead of nasty, formaldehyde-y MDF or fiberboard ensures that fasteners and hardware will hold better over time and significantly narrows the possibility of moisture and warping damage. With the bamboo system, all cabinet fronts and panels are solid bamboo throughout. And we all know how cool bamboo is—not just in looks, but in terms of renewability. As Barriatua puts it, it's "tough to beat a six-year harvest cycle." Additionally, should the surface of a bamboo cabinet ever show signs of wear or damage, the durability of the material allows it to simply be refinished.

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Not only are the bamboo cabinet systems LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified for rapid renewal, but they also make the grade for low emissions. In fact, Henrybuilt cabinets off-gas formaldehyde levels that are 48 times below OSHA standards and 6.5 times lower than German E-1 standards. That's good news for people with chemical sensitivity, or anyone who cares about their immune system, children, and general health. And great news and inspiration for the environmental movement. Not too mention that Henrybuilt's good looks and clever design make us woozy.

Finishing details do not, of course, go overlooked. For any eco-OCDers out there who must all or nothing at all, Henrybuilt offers a water-based finish for furniture and kitchen cabinetry, and also uses eco-friendly countertop options, including Paperstone and Durat—two more delightful ingredients in the organic kitchen mix. ::Henrybuilt [by MO]

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