During the design process, MicroStructures considered three aspects of sustainability. This three-tired definition includes environmental, social, and economic sustainability. MicroStructures has made it a priority to incorporate all three facets into our products.
Environmentally, the majority of the wood utilized in our structures is salvaged pine beetle kill wood from Colorado forests. Pine beetles, Dendroctonus ponderosae, kill large areas of trees and leave behind environment hazards. A catastrophic fire hazard waits as these dead trees litter the forest floor. The standing trees not only add to this fire danger but also produce a hazard of falling on houses, utility lines, roadways, and campers. The dead trees quickly turn from green to red followed by a lifeless gray. As these ugly remnants take over the Colorado mountainside, the visual quality that draws millions of tourists annually, and their financial contribution, is eliminated. Besides tourism, housing sales will reflect this lack of view that the homeowners prize. To be an optimist, the pine beetle injects a blue stain fungus that adds to the visual quality of the wood that traditional wood does not possess.This aspect of the wood is highlighted in our structures.To further highlight the unique, natural beauty of this wood, we have selected paints and stains that contain low or no levels volatile organic compounds, VOC’s.To bring light into our structures, we utilize twin-wall polycarbonate panels that contain recycled material and are also 100% recyclable. When designing a MicroStructure, we optimize building materials by using critical dimensions that minimize waste.
A MicroStructure by nature is a socially sustainable feature. By employing a small footprint, we reduce the amount of non-permeable surfaces while keeping the need for additional and useable square footage. This reduces heat island effect in populated areas and saves desirable landscape area. Our structures provide locations for families, friends, and neighbors to gather and enjoy time together. Communal uses for our structures include media room, game room, gazebo, outdoor dining space, pool house/cabana and more.
The economic sustainability is reflected in our support and use of local Colorado companies. The pine beetle wood is both harvested and milled in Colorado. This process reduces natural gas for transportation, employs multiple Coloradians, and cleans and protects the Rocky Mountain forests. We also purchase as much of the building materials as possible from local construction supply companies.
Sustainability was not incorporated into our designs as a sales pitch. It is for our own consciences. As trained architectural designers and landscape architects we have been exposed to traditional construction methods and understand the importance of utilizing sustainable methods and materials. Thank you for your interest in our structures.