- Author: Robert J Keiffer
New exterior siding has begun to clothe the outside of the Rod Shippey Education and Field Lab building at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center. The siding was milled at the UC Berkeley, College of Natural Resources' Blodgett Forest Research Station located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The milled wood was from Incense Cedar (Libocedrus decurrens Torr.) which is a distinctive component of the Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest and can grow to be over 500 years old and 12 feet d.b.h. in diameter. After being milled at Blodgett, the rough-sawn lumber was stored at Hopland for about a year. From there it was transported to American City, Napa County, re-sawn to various widths, planed on one-side, and tongue-and-grooved.
The architectural design calls for the exterior walls to be covered with an impervious, water-proof covering (TYVEK) that will protect the integrity of the building, with the cedar siding spaced away from the wall by about a one-and-one-half inch space ... and over the top of a quarter-inch hardware cloth. This methodology is to allow acorn woodpeckers to be active on the building's siding as part of the natural resources education theme without affecting the integrity of the wall itself.