Green Built Alliance is hosting a work-based learning intern from Nesbitt Discovery Academy for the spring semester of 2018. During this time, students are tasked with exploring the fields that interest them the most, and our intern is drawn to career paths related to sustainability. She will be sitting down with numerous members who agreed to have her visit their job site to learn more about their particular line of work.
For her first interview, Green Built Alliance intern Kathleen Jacobsen visited our members at Architectural Woodcraft, where she sat down with owner Craig Weis as well as Wood and Metallurgical Specialist Todd Dupuis.
Green Built Alliance: What first peaked your interest in this career path?
Craig: Working on old homes in Asheville and also working with a Swiss man who built European windows and doors.
Todd: I grew up working on projects with my father on everything.
GBA: What is your specialty?
Craig: I personally manage people mostly. Woodworking is our specialty, specifically on old historic buildings and homes. We also specialize in cabinet making, windows and doors as well.
Todd: We do high-end modern projects as well as historical restoration projects.
GBA: How is your work sustainable for the environment?
Craig: We use all water-based finishes and all sustainable wood products. Since wood is a renewable resource, it is much different than plastics since it can be grown again. Whenever we have the opportunity, we will reuse reclaimed wood. For example, we had a project with the New Belgium Brewery where we took all old wood from the stock yards and repurposed the wood for the siding of the building.
Todd: We use biodegradable products. We use very-low-VOC finishes and water-based finishes. We do not use any solvent-based products. Most of the time we get our lumber from sustainable harvest forest where they replant trees.
GBA: About how many installations do you do each year?
Craig: About 25 installations each year.
Todd: Quite a lot! We do big front entry doors for houses about five times a year. We also work on very expensive houses that require many cabinets, doors and windows. We also do custom furniture projects, and we get about one or two of those a year.
GBA: How much of a difference have you made since the start of your company?
Craig: In downtown Asheville, we’ve done a significant amount of work in all the older buildings. We’ve tried to help maintain Asheville’s historic nature of their buildings.
GBA: Why are you passionate about teaching our community about what you do?
Craig: I think mostly to utilize the talents of our guys what they can do coming from an art background. It’s to show how much of a creative outlet this field can be to one who works in it.
Todd: It’s important to use products that are not going to hurt the environment, as well as people.
GBA: What do you love most about working here and doing what you do?
Craig: The freedom of expression and creative talent.
Todd: It’s something different every time. Every project that I take on is something new and exciting because it is never the same as the last project. I also get to express my artistic abilities in the work that I do.
GBA: What makes your company stand out?
Craig: Our attention to detail and skills. Having the skillful experience of craftsmanship.
Todd: Our attention to detail and craftsmanship. We take a lot of pride in our work.
GBA: Why are you members of the Green Built Alliance?
Craig: Originally when I moved to Asheville, I was interested in solar panels and having them on our roof and trying to maintain a smaller footprint that way. We are also able to create doors and windows that have a sealing capability. We like to challenge ourselves to make energy-efficient products. With our doors and windows, we use all water-based finishes and we use formaldehyde-free plywood. We think that having a smaller footprint and not working with chemically-infused wood is a better environment for everybody.
Todd: To be a part of society and doing things in a sustainable way.
GBA: Why are you passionate about green building and the work of the Green Built Alliance?
Craig: I see a lot of good in what they are doing! I think a lot of people look at it as something that is well needed. There are also other people who are a part of the Green Built Alliance and it’s a nice inclusive community that is looking for a better future for Asheville.
Todd: To make the environment better. It’s the building of the future and how we are going to reduce our footprints.