TreeHugger has shown a few kitchens that make nods toward sustainability before, but they are usually very expensive and Italian like the Valcucine. In fact, most kitchen manufacturing is a local business where they cut up particleboard for boxes, order doors for the fronts and stick granite on top. That describes the majority on display at the National Home Show.
Umbrella Cabinetry uses the same technologies, but with very different results.
They build their boxes out of Plyboo, the bamboo ply board that is a favourite of TreeHugger. For the parts that you don't see, like the drawer bottoms and cabinet backs, they use a board made from heavy recycled cardboard. The shelves are a formaldehyde-free MDF and the finishes are all water based VOC free. Backsplashes are woven palm and countertops are quartz.
They make their own doors out of plyboo, with a design twist- most kitchens have lots of little panels breaking it up, where they have big drawer faces that hide storage of different kinds behind. I am not certain that it is as practical as separate drawers but it certainly has a cleaner look, and fewer tracks to get out of alignment.
Plyboo isn't cheap and they don't like wasting it, so Umbrella takes the offcuts and turns them into serving trays.
VIDEO COMING SOON!
Perry Jackson, Design co-ordinator, walks us through the kitchen.
Kitchen manufacture isn't rocket science; between the software and the panel saws available these days and the fabulous hardware on offer, there are shops big and small all over the country. What they produce and whether it is green and sustainable is a matter of design and material choice.
Umbrella Cabinetry appears to have made good choices; let's hope that a lot of other kitchen shops jump on this.
Other Green Kitchens in TreeHugger:
Italian Kitchen Design Keeps Getting Greener with New Valcucine