Sunday, July 13, 2014

All decked out Day 3 - 487 Mendota

On Saturday, July 12, 2014, 14 volunteers from the Accenture Eco_team helped us build a deck and finish up some rain garden work. The volunteers were led by Hands On Twin Cities, a local affiliate of a national non-profit that specializes in connecting volunteers, and volunteer teams, to meaningful projects in their community.

The Accenture Team

We also had on hand two Industry Experts: Christina Burk with Boise Cascade - Distributor of Trex Decking (available at Lowes) and Jim Loucks, Pro Desk Specialist at Lowes of Plymouth (store # 1955 763-367-9000).

Christina described to the group the sustainable features of the Trex decking product.
  • Trex is one of the largest recyclers in the US, processing over 400 million pounds of plastic and wood annually. 
  • Trex is 95% recycled wood and plastic. 
  • Trex contributes to LEED points
  • The average 500-square foot composite Trex deck contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags. 

How many plastic bags in this Trex deck?
  • Reclaimed wood that would otherwise end up in a landfill finds its way into Trex high-performance composite decks. By using reclaimed sawdust, we never have to cut down a tree to make our products. Ever!
  • The recycled wood in Trex decks is combined with recycled plastic from a variety of sources ranging from the overwrap on paper towels to dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, newspaper sleeves, and grocery and shopping bags. 
  • Trex’s proprietary, eco-friendly processing method eliminates the use of smoke stacks. Also, their factory runoff and refuse are recycled back into the manufacturing line. Their trailers even run on vegetable-based oil hydraulics.
Jim started by teaching everyone about a quality deck build. The deck frame was already complete, so everyone got an up-close view of the hardware, design and structure of a quality deck frame.

Jim is the one in the blue cap

The deck was only out of square by ½” over the 14 ft length. Jim showed us how to compensate over the course of 30 boards for the slightly out of square deck.

He also showed us how to use the Trex Hidden Fastener system to lay the deck boards, and how to square each course as we went.

Fasteners, boards, and squaring

Our volunteers broke into two teams, rotating between deck building and working on the rain gardens and other landscaping. As one team was working on deck, cycling thru positions so everyone got a chance to measure, cut, place and fasten boards, the other team leveled the rain garden and tacked in place special landscape fabric to prevent erosion.

FInishing up the south rain garden

By mid afternoon we had completed the top of the deck, most of the stairs, and the rain garden. The garden was mulched just in time before the afternoon rains shut things down. Around 2 pm, all of the holes from the fence post removals were filled, all the week’s construction debris was sorted and placed in piles for removal.

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