Most commercial buildings are pretty uniform and follow a simpler and subdued design but the architect on this job called out for a few features to be the star of the show over and above the usual supporting actors of concrete, metal, and glass. Luckily we were able to be the star of the show on this building he called “The Jewel Box.”
We installed this ceiling and accent wall out of Ipe. Ipe is a hardwood harvested from sustainable forests in South America (mostly Brazil) and Central America. It’s commonly used in exterior applications because its tight grain pattern makes it very difficult for water to penetrate and therefore its moisture content is difficult to alter without the most rigorous conditions. Ipe wood that is oiled and maintenanced can last over 100 years. It’s 8x harder than a California Redwood and is 3x harder than Teak and can hold loads well beyond any other wood species. This sustainably harvested wood can save forests because it lasts so long and keeps it’s integrity, thereby reducing the need for more trees to be milled to replace it.
The colors you see in these photos are not stained boards. The natural color of this dense wood is between medium red, to dark brown, and the only needed oil treatment for this wood is mineral oil. If left untreated for a while the wood turns a beautiful grey color and doesn’t splinter. We install decks with this product using Simpson Strong-Tie’s hidden biscuit fastener so the fasteners aren’t in the way, but top screwing Ipe doesn’t bode the same problems that you might find in a normal pressure treated decking. Ipe exceeds expectations wherever it is installed. We’d love to give you a hand with your exotic wood considerations for your home or business.
Give us a call about exotic wood install. We also work with other exotic woods like this: ask us about Mahogany, Tigerwood, Garappa, and more.