[Greenbuilding] fireproof light deck

Tim Vireo Keating t.keating at rainforestrelief.org
Thu Apr 7 10:51:40 PDT 2011

Dear David and Gennaro,

Brooklyn Bridge Forest is not necessarily any longer looking at 
greenheart. As well, it is unlikely that there will be any 
"sustainable" source of greenheart, ever. At least, not greenheart 
that would at all be durable, since, as I may have mentioned before, 
other than teak, almost all the tropical hardwoods imported into the 
US that are popular because of their durability get that durability 
from the fact that the wood is from trees that are 250 - 1000 years 
old. That is, they are extremely dense as a result of their age. 
Teak, on the other hand, has an inherent oiliness that gives it 
extreme durability. This inherent durability can come about even in 
much younger tress. The same is true of a few other species (I have 
mentioned, ad nauseam, black locust) that have inherent durability 
when even young. However, all domestic hardwoods have a Class B or C 
fire rating and thus do not solve Gennaro's problem.

As far as recycled plastic lumber, I believe that Axion can add a 
spray-on fire retardant to their material. However, Axion recycled 
structural composites are not necessarily lighter than tropical 
hardwoods, so I don't know if that makes them too heavy for Gennaro's 

I would be happy to contact Axion folks to find out if the 
flame-retarding coating is currently available and details about it 
(including the weight of the material).

Of course, one would have to assess load-bearing capacities vs. 
profiles, since this would be different than wood, and then factor 
that into weight calculations.

tim keating

At 12:13 AM -0400 4/4/11, David Bergman wrote:
>Add "eco material" to that description and it becomes an old quest 
>of mine. Are you talking about something to sit directly on the 
>"real" roof? About the best I could come up with when I last tackled 
>the question was lightweight concrete roof pavers -- not all that 
>eco though maybe there are some made with flyash.
>In terms of wood, NYC used to accept Ipe, but I heard a rumor they 
>stopped when the fire rating claims didn't prove out. And, of 
>course, there was the rainforest sourcing issue.
>I've looked for fire-rated recycled plastic lumber from time to 
>time, but have not yet found any. (Tim V-K: any updates you've heard 
>There is a group called Brooklyn Bridge Forest ( 
>http://www.brooklynbridgeforest.com/) that is trying to set up a 
>sustainable source for greenheart for maintaining the Brooklyn 
>Bridge. I'm not sure what kind of fire rating greenheart does or 
>doesn't have. (According to one site I just googled, it carries a 
>"high/medium" rating.)
>David Bergman  RA   LEED AP
>architecture . interiors . ecodesign . lighting . furniture
>bergman at cyberg.com    www.cyberg.com
>241 Eldridge Street #3R, New York, NY 10002
>t 212 475 3106    f 212 677 7291
>At 08:01 PM 4/3/2011, Gennaro Brooks-Church wrote:
>>Can anyone suggest a lightweight non-combustible deck material for 
>>a roof deck?
>>In New York a brownstone has an average flat roof of 700sq.ft. The 
>>law only allows 20% of it to be covered with combustible decking, 
>>which isn't much of a deck. Yet the non-combustible decking is too 
>>heavy for the old roofs.
>>Gennaro Brooks-Church
>>Cell: 1 347 244 3016 USA
>>22 2nd St; Brooklyn, NY 11231
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