[Greenbuilding] fireproof light deck

David Bergman bergman at cyberg.com
Thu Apr 7 15:38:07 PDT 2011

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the update. Last we spoke on the topic, I think there 
weren't any RPLs with a fire rating. Good to hear that there is at 
least that one option, though the idea of a spray-on retardant 
doesn't thrill me. Not the same stuff (BFRs) they use in electronics I hope.

And interested to hear more about the Brooklyn Bridge project and 
greenheart. I'd met one of the people behind the project recently, 
but all I had to go on was what their website said and what I found 
online about greenheart. Always happy to learn more, positive or negative.


At 01:51 PM 4/7/2011, you wrote:
>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 situation.
>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 of?)
>>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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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  
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