Germansville, Pa. (November, 2008) — Grothouse, a premier supplier of custom-built wood counters and bar tops, is proud to announce the addition of a new eco-friendly manufacturing facility to its Germansville, Pa. location.
The new 12,000 square-foot facility, scheduled for completion in late 2008, was designed by owner Paul Grothouse using a range of energy efficient materials and systems. From roof-mounted solar panels to a heating system powered by scrap materials, nearly every aspect of the new facility has been designed using energy conserving, “green” techniques.
“Part of what’s attractive about our product is the fact that it brings the beauty of nature indoors,” explains Grothouse. “We recognize that as a consumer of these natural products we need to nurture the environment to ensure the longevity of our operation and minimize our effect on the environment.”
Nestled in the rolling hills of Northwest Lehigh County in Eastern Pennsylvania, The Grothouse Lumber Company was founded in 1994 by Grothouse. The facility’s rural environs underscore the owner’s commitment to working in tandem with nature to produce custom-made wood counters, bars, and table tops. The new facility was an effort to expand without sacrificing those ideals and the countryside that the business and its owners call home.
A full array of solar panels will generate the electricity needed to operate the majority of the equipment used in the daily manufacturing process. Inside the building, electric consumption is reduced by a prototype automated three-phase electrical source, which activates as necessary. Typical three-phase power systems run continuously—even when not in use.
To minimize potential heat loss, the building has been designed using pre-formed insulated concrete forms, or ICFs. The ICFs form the exterior of the building and feature an insulation rating of R50. Additional R70 insulation throughout the roof will further minimize potential heat loss and reduce both cooling and heating costs.
In addition, wood scraps and sawdust produced during the manufacturing process will be used to operate a radiant heat system circulating throughout the facility. Additional excess sawdust produced at the facility is donated to local livestock farmers for use as animal bedding.
“We’ve worked hard over the years to obtain lumber from sustainable suppliers and minimize our impact on the environment both locally and globally,” explains Grothouse. “This new building is a reflection of the ideals we strive to meet in our production process.”
The environmentally-friendly approach doesn’t end with the buildings, though.
A significant portion of the 50-acre property surrounding the Grothouse Lumber facility continues to be farmed by local farmers, producing corn, soybeans and other grains.
And each year, Grothouse and his wife, Denise, work to plant additional trees across the property. In 2008 alone the pair has planted over 380 trees on the property.
“We’re focused on growing our business, but we want to be smart about the way we do it. This is our way of making sure that our growth doesn’t negatively impact the area we call home,” says Grothouse.