Eco-Friendly Efforts Include Non Toxic Cabinetry

It’s a ‘win-win’ for homeowners that make the effort to seek out non-toxic cabinetry. Look for these important, environmentally-friendly elements in your custom cabinetry:

No VOCs

VOC-free, water-based finishes. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. Refer to these chemicals by their full name instead of an innocent-sounding acronym, and it’s easy to lose interest in using these toxic substances. Finishes containing VOCs can emit fumes for a long period. Those with chemical sensitivities will especially appreciate cabinets finished without VOCs.

No Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is another substance that can be avoided in custom cabinetry. NAUF-type sheet goods expressly eliminate formaldehyde from the manufacturing process. NAUF stands for ‘no added urea formaldehyde.

Sustainable Hardwoods

Bradco is proud to offer only FSC certified cabinetry. The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes the proper use of our world’s forests.

For too long, various hardwoods have been promoted without regard to the impact that their harvesting is having on the environment. For example, old growth tropical forests isSE Asiaare decimated in pursuit of certain hardwoods used in cabinetry. Hardwoods harvested from sustainable, managed areas are the Eco-friendly way to go.

Recycling

Custom cabinetry can be fabricated in ways that minimize energy use and maximize the use of generated waste. Bradco, for example, recycles all sawdust generated at its manufacturing facility. It is donated to the city where it is mixed with compost and used in city parks. Its custom cabinetry is fabricated close by, thereby reducing Bradco’s carbon footprint even further. This offers an Eco-friendly alternative to cabinet manufacturers that may ship their product from thousands of miles away.

Non-Toxic Cabinetry Grows In Importance

Concern for toxic fumes expands in an era of more airtight home construction. The intent of such building techniques is admirable. Air-tight construction techniques keep the heated or air conditioned air in. The downside is that it also can keep toxic fumes around as well. Especially in newer construction, custom cabinetry that is both VOC and formaldehyde-free is important.

There is no need to compromise quality. Finishes that are non-toxic are both durable and beautiful.

We take pride in our craftsmanship, sure. But, at the same time, we take our role in the stewardship of the environment seriously as well. We’d welcome the opportunity to learn about your needs and your project ideas. Please contact us today!

What Are FSC Certified Cabinets?

BRADCO Kitchens and Baths in Los Angeles is a family-run business that carries name brand cabinetry and also offers custom cabinetry at affordable prices. There are many reasons to choose BRADCO, and if you care about the environment one of the best reasons is that the company designs and builds FSC certified cabinets.

The FSC–Forest Stewardship Council– is an international and independent (non-governmental) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.

The main FSC tools for achieving this are standard-setting and independent certification and labeling of forest products. FSC certification provides assurance that the earth’s forests are being managed to the highest environmental and social standards.

There are two types of FSC certification:Forestmanagement certification is the basic building block of the FSC system. It is a voluntary process for verifying responsible forest practices in all types of forests and plantations across the world.

FSC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification traces the path of products from forests through the supply chain. FSC chain of custody is a tracking system that allows manufacturers and traders to demonstrate that timber comes from a forest that is responsibly managed in accordance with the FSC Principles and Criteria. BRADCO Kitchens and Baths has held a CoC certification since 2008.

FSC Controlled Wood helps ensure that manufacturers and traders avoid material that comes from:

1. Illegally harvested forests;

2. Forests in which violation of traditional and civil rights occur;

3. Forests in which High Conservation Values are threatened by management activities;

4. Natural and semi natural forests where conversion occurs; and

5. Forests in which genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are used.

BRADCO Kitchens and Baths cares about the environment, and about YOU. They manufacture your custom cabinets at their own facility, and offer a wide variety of stylistic choices and price options. In addition, BRADCO provides individualized and attentive customer service (unlike the big box stores). But BRADCO does much more than cabinets. They offer complete design services and a variety of products including tile, countertops, bathroom vanities and even kitchen appliances. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us.

Bradco Featured on PureBond Fabricator Network

We are pleased to announce that Bradco Kitchen and Bath has been selected as the featured PureBond® Fabricator Network member of the month for June! We are proud to be one of the first stores ever to work with PureBond®, the original cost-competitive decorative hardwood plywood without the formaldehyde. PureBond® is Columbia Forest Products’ exclusive formaldehyde-free innovation for hardwood plywood manufacturing.

Replacing traditional urea formaldehyde (UF) hardwood plywood construction with non-toxic, soy-based PureBond enables Columbia to eliminate any added formaldehyde from standard veneer-core and non-UF composite hardwood plywood core panels. That’s great news for our employees, our customers and the air we all breathe.

Not only do we want to offer our customers healthy options, but leading by example is important to us as well.  That’s why we have chosen to work with PureBond® hardwood plywood and are certified by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

We are very passionate about removing Formaldehyde from the kitchen.  As we strive to continue our environmental-friendly work by using the cleanest products possible,  PureBond®, a formaldehyde-free manufacturing system designed by Columbia Forest Products, remains at the top of our list. Thank you for helping us play our part in making the world a better place.

PureBond Facts:

  1. PureBond technology utilizes formaldehyde-free, soy-based adhesive
  2. Manufacturing with PureBond technology contributes to an air-friendly indoor environment
  3. PureBond veneer-core panels are cost-competitive with traditional panels made using UF construction
  4. Panels are made in the US and Canada
  5. PureBond panels contribute towards the LEED® IEQ Credit 4.4 for Low-Emitting Materials: Composite Wood
  6. Panels can be specified as FSC® certified upon request
  7. PureBond MDF and Particleboard hardwood plywood is available upon request
  8. PureBond is manufactured exclusively in North America by Columbia Forest Products.

Environmentally Friendly Cabinets for a Healthy Home

Environmentally friendly cabinets make a significant difference in your health because they don’t emit unhealthy chemical vapors. One such as urea formaldehyde is a carcinogen that can also cause nausea, headaches, fatigue, and burning sensations in the eyes and throat. Green choices protect your health, and the environment as well by sparing the planet through protecting forests and reducing pollution and waste.

The average cost of remodeling a kitchen costs averages around $20,000, with cabinets taking up a third of the cost. If you’re not trying to spend your entire paycheck on cabinet remodeling, here are a few tips to get quality work done that’s environmentally friendly and not as pricey.

Instead of a total kitchen cabinet replacement, try a small makeover to give your kitchen a fresh new look. Add new drawer pulls and handles; replace broken hinges and door glides with durable hardware; use lazy Susans to be more organized and save space; sand and refinish or reface worn surfaces by using zero or low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, or plant-based oils.

If you absolutely feel like you need new cabinets, think about scaling back on the number you install, and put that towards fewer, yet greener ones. For example, think of open shelves in some parts of your kitchen that cost less and use less wood.

Shopping for new materials should be fun and non-stressful. When shopping, look for non-toxic materials that don’t contain urea formaldehyde. Acceptable alternatives include soy, PVA, and phenol formaldehyde. Make sure the cabinet exteriors are made out of good wood or bamboo that are FSC certified. To get more affordable alternatives, choose a veneer over a urea formaldehyde free composite core like plywood, MDF, or particle board. Solid metals are also good options since they don’t give off toxic gases. Most importantly, look for materials that have durability and the opportunity to recycle. Avoid salvaged or vintage cabinets with lead paint, and composite wood made with urea formaldehyde.

You can hire a professional for big jobs such as sanding and refinishing wood cabinet doors with water-based, low VOC sealants or paints; refacing doors and drawer fronts that have veneers of melamine; and replacing doors and drawer faces while leaving the cabinet and drawer shells intact.

Don’t think that because you buy cabinets made with urea formaldehyde, you are doomed. There are ways to reduce emissions such as airing your cabinets out in the garage for a couple weeks before letting them enter your home; and painting exposed surfaces of plywood, particle board, or MDF with multiple coats of a clear, water-based low-VOC sealant before the cabinets are installed, so you can access the backs.

Read more at Sierra Club Green Home to see how you can get started with your environmentally friendly kitchen cabinet makeover.

For More Information on Environmentally Friendly Cabinets for your home, contact Bradco Kitchens and Baths

6011 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: 323.936.3457
Fax: 323.939.9354
Toll Free: 866 4 Bradco ( 272326 )

Bradco Kitchens and Baths Production Facility

Bradco owns and operates a Maquiladora in Tijuana, Mexico, a production facility under the umbrella of the NAFTA agreement. The BRADCO Maquiladora is an AMERICAN production facility operating in Mexico. The idea behind NAFTA is to create labor jobs in Mexico so that Mexican people don’t have to cross the border to work illegally in America.

Sawdust is recycled to be used as mulchs at the Jose Maria Morelo Park in Tijuana, Mexico.

Our cabinet factory is well equipped but it is not fully automated; instead of relying on everything to be done by machinery, we also rely on hand labor. This allows us to be extremely custom oriented, reducing the amount of pollution into the environment while still being very competitive.

All the boxes are built with Purebond plywood, manufactured by Columbia Forest Plywood. What this means is that they contain no added UREA formaldehyde. As you may know UREA formaldehyde is a carcinogen, a toxin that is definitely not environmentally friendly and can also be harmful to those that breathe in the off gassing from cabinets made of this product. See the Purebond website for more information on the plywood that we use.

Spaghetti Measuring Tool

The stains, colors and glue that Bradco uses on their cabinets are also low VOC or ZERO VOC (Volatile Organic Compound); VOC also emits off gassing into the environment which is hazardous. We try and recycle as much by-product as possible. The sawdust that we generate gets donated to the city; they use it for mulch in public parks. We also recycle any leftover solid wood to make promotional products.

Bradco’s custom cabinets are UREA formaldehyde free and also available FSC certified. When remodeling your home, invest not only in quality work, but also in something that won’t harm your health as well as the environment. Learn more information on our production facility below.

Bradco Teams Up with Habitat for Humanity

Bradco Kitchens and Baths is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity for a good cause. It’s a project called ReStore that’s focused in the Los Angeles area and provides local communities with low-cost improvement materials for buildings and homes.

By compiling new, used, discontinued, or surplus materials, ReStore sells these donated items at reduced prices to the public. Proceeds made support Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles’ commitment to building and remodeling homes in collaboration with low-income families and individuals.

If you are wondering how these items are picked up, trucks are sent out daily to pick up resources you want to donate. You can arrange it by calling 866-SHOP-HFH, and all of your donations are tax-deductible.

To see what materials are accepted and more information on the Habitat ReStore project, click here: QScan02172012_110004

Go Green and Save Money

It’s that time of year again. The inevitable winter chill has arrived. It’s left you cold in your house, waiting for your water to heat up, and paying energy bills that you didn’t know could get so high. Don’t you wish there was a solution to these issues that didn’t mean spending the rest of your money? Wait, there is? And it helps the environment too? This sounds too good to be true, but guess what…it isn’t! By understanding what incentives are available to you, saving a ton of money (and our planet at the same time) is a very realistic option.

Recently, the New York Times ran an article about how big businesses are reaping big returns from renewable energy products.  The idea behind this is that present, huge “start up” incentives mixed with guaranteed returns in the future make for a win/win situation for any investor. That same incentive money is available for small businesses and homeowners. Few realize this, let alone take advantage of it. Let us break it down for you how it really pays to go green.

Keep Your Water Warm Without Paying Extra

Solar Water Heater

Every winter, it costs more and takes longer for your water to heat. The amount of energy it takes to keep that shower just the way you like it can make your bills sky rocket. Did you know that almost every state in America offers incentives for you to purchase a solar water heater? You can save up to 80% on purchasing one and let the sun take care of the rest.  That’s right, you never have to worry about paying to heat your water again!

Switch Your Lights and Save

Retrofit your old bulbs for new LED or CFL lights and start saving every day. These can also qualify for rebates, especially if it’s for your business.

Energy Star Appliances

If you switch over to Energy Star appliances, you’re using less energy.  That means lower energy bills! Regardless of where you live, if you do a little research, you will find that your local utility offers some sort of rebate or financial assistance with the purchasing and installing of new Energy Star appliances.

Seal The Deal With Proper Insulation

Faulty insulation can cause your home to leak up to half of your heating bill. How annoying is that? Don’t let your money seep out any longer. Most states and local utilities provide rebates and financing options to seal up your attics, replace your windows, and even plant shade trees to help with the summer heat once it comes around. Even if you’re a low-income resident, there are options for you. Most areas have large and comprehensive funding available so even if you’re low on cash, you can save in the long run by weatherizing your home for free (or close to it).

Geothermal Heating System

How a geothermal heating system works.

Lower your heating bill by installing a geothermal heating system and take advantage of the massive rebates that come with it.  In addition to the initial rebates and incentives, most geothermal heating systems qualify for additional tax credits, deductions, or exemptions that make it even cheaper in the long run.

Energy Generation Projects = $$$

If you’re feeling tech-savvy, there are many incentives available to install and operate renewable energy generation projects. Not only are you saving money when using these, but you can also earn money through the electricity you generate that’s fed back into the electric grid. This is called a “feed-back” rate and it’s just another way to save money in addition to the typical tax exemptions, tax credits, and start up rebates that come with building a renewable energy project.

Stay In The Loop

There are all types of incentives available for all types of subjects. The best way to see what incentives you qualify for is to stay on top of it.  Keep researching, keep saving. The most notable way is to use an incentive or energy rebate database. One of the best databases is EnergyGridIQ (EIQ), which can be accessed through the website: www.energygridiq.com or through their free iPhone/iPad App called WattRebate. You can find a comprehensive list of what funding is available in your area through this site. You can also post your projects and allow contractors to come to you. This all makes EIQ a must go-to for all energy related decisions.  So get out there and start saving.

For more ideas on how to go green contact Bradco Kitchens and Baths at:

Bradco Kitchens & Baths
6011 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Phone: 323.936.3457
Fax: 323.939.9354
Toll Free: 866 4 Bradco ( 272326 )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Choose Green Cabinetry?

Green Cabinetry in the kitchen

Green cabinetry is on the rise and as the world strives to reduce it’s carbon footprint, it’s only going to get bigger. People are becoming more conscious of the environment every day. The great thing about green cabinetry is that it’s good for your health!

So what is it all about? When someone says they want green cabinetry, they are looking for cabinetry with the least toxic materials possible. The cabinetry should also be built from sustainable materials. It’s important to go through the process of FSC certification for your cabinetry especially if you’re trying to build a project that gets lead points (think points from government and tax incentives).

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and their mission is to promote the environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests through standards development and certification. This organization has been around since 1993 as a market-based conservation tool to promote responsible forestry. As a business, it’s especially important to have your products FSC certified because they fulfill corporate social and environmental responsibility goals when it comes to green cabinetry. It shows your support for responsible forest management in the eyes of customers, businesses and the public.

Purebond Plywood

Most non-green cabinets contain a very dangerous chemical: urea-formaldehyde, generally found in the glue or preservation of cabinets. The presence of urea-formaldehyde will seep harmful fumes into your household for years. Not only can it can cause runny eyes and nose, but it’s also been proven to cause cancer. This is why you want to buy cabinets compounded from urea formaldehyde-free plywood called PureBond from Colombia Plywood. This product also has low to no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC),  which otherwise could cause asthma or other severe health complications. These VOC chemicals are especially dangerous for children and animals because they sink to the ground and are very difficult to get rid of.

Another option of green cabinetry would be to make your cabinet doors from recycled wood. A factory can have other green components such as recycling sawdust created in-house.  You want to be conscious of all these options to make your green cabinet search as non complicated as possible. The closer the cabinet maker is to the job site, the less carbon footprint there will be on your cabinetry work.

Lyptus Cabinets

So what type of wood products are best to use for green kitchen cabinets? You generally want to use fast growing lumber or grass. The most popular materials would be bamboo, Lyptus (fam of eucalyptus), Alder, European beachwood, etc. All lumber should be readily available and NOT from something like a majestic hundred year old oak tree, which serves better as a tree than your kitchen drawers. For “finishing” your cabinets, you want to use VOC-free stains or water-based stains and paint. Today’s water based stains are more durable than oil based and they don’t turn yellow!

There is virtually no difference in appearance or design between green and regular cabinetry. Be wary of some companies that will try to overcharge you; they’re only slightly more expensive than regular cabinets. They also take the same amount of time to install. You’re getting the same look and process without harming the planet or your body. All of this makes green cabinetry a no-brainer. Start making positive changes in your house by going green and choosing green cabinetry.

For more information on the benefits of green cabinetry or to find out about purchasing this type of material contact us at Bradco Kitchens & Baths
6011 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (424) 209-2309
Fax: 323.939.9354

A Chat With an Interior Designer

Here is your opportunity to get some insider perspective straight from Bradco Designer, Joanne, who took the time to answer a few specific questions:

1. Let’s say I’m a new home owner starting to work on my cabinets. How do you choose the right style and color to accommodate a kitchen?

“First and foremost, know the style of your house. The style of the kitchen should be based on the style of the house. The two themes should go hand in hand so that the designs flow together. This tip is not only an important cosmetic feature but also a money saver. Consider this: It’s more economical to work with a pre-existing kitchen base and make specific stylized adjustments than it would be to start from scratch. Work with what you have and make the improvements from there; a few key changes can make a huge difference in the finished product.”

2. How would you select colors that best suit my space?

Choose kitchen colors based on your floor.

“Kitchen colors should be chosen based on the floors. Generally we suggest complementing color schemes. For instance, dark wood floors go well with light furnishing choices and light-colored tile floors go well with dark-colored furnishings. These scheme tips help to make unique shades more prominent. As always these suggestions are dependent upon personal preference and/or budget. To echo the previous answer of working with your home’s existing style, you could always pick a specific architectural feature that you want to highlight and make that element more prominent in the kitchen. For example, if your home has many beams or unique crown moldings replicate those aspects in handle choices or decorative elements. Keep in mind that if there is already a large amount of wood in your home and your goal is to tone down that element; a simple solution is to paint the cabinets. Earth tones are usually a good stand-by choice for any home.”

3. How do you establish a budget and how would you accommodate someone on a low budget?

Modern kitchen with alternating colors and tile back splash.

“What is your home worth? Budgets are derived from the value of the home and your cash flow. If money is tight, make a list and put major priorities on top to make sure those items are taken care of before anything else. It is advisable to set aside twenty percent of your budget to handle the unexpected to be more safe than sorry. There are always budget saving options available such as: using maple butter blocks, countertops made from recycled material, or utilizing tile for a back splash in place of the more expensive marble options.”

4. How long does the kitchen remodeling process usually take?

If you want custom cabinets they should be ordered first since they take the longest to make.

“Generally the time can fluctuate depending on how much work needs to be done on a particular kitchen. Keep in mind that if you decide to choose custom cabinets, they should be the first item ordered since they take the longest to make. An average job can take two months so prepare your meal options accordingly.”

5. Do you incorporate eco-friendly aspects in your design and what are you favorite products? Are you an advocate of eco-friendly solutions?

Countertop made from recycled material, by Vetrazzo.

“Double yes. I can truly get behind the eco-friendly products and often suggest this option to clients. There have been many advancements in price alternatives these past years making eco-friendly a more viable option for everyone. My most recommended options are countertops made from recycled materials and formaldehyde-free plywood for cabinets. Plywood is my choice because it’s easy to work with and good for people who have allergies.”

6. What are some new trends that have been popular in 2011?

“Definitely functionality over design is a major trend that has played into this year. More clients are not over-designing and less over-stylized concepts are currently being applied to kitchens. Less bells and whistles sort of speak.”

Click here for a coupon to get 5% off your Bradco purchase!

If you have any questions about any products or services of Bradco Kitchens contact us at:

Phone: 323.936.3457
Fax: 323.939.9354
Toll Free: 866 4 Bradco ( 272326 )

Eco Design & Green Building Materials

Bradco has been a pioneering organization for the advancement of sustainable eco design standards and green building materials. This is because I believed in sustainable practices and holistic approaches to running my business long before marketers know the potential niche for green building materials. In this blog post I will touch on certain aspects that I consider to be the most critical when it comes to sustainable eco design and the utilization of green building materials in kitchen and bath remodeling. Basically these tactics fall into two categories: Internal factors that can be optimized by setting eco friendly standards within your business and External factors such as choosing certified green partners and suppliers that hold themselves to the same stringent standards as we do. This information will help you distinguish between truly green organizations and businesses that might engage in ‘green washing’, a term used to describe the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products (such as goods or services) are environmentally friendly.

Internal Ways to Embrace Eco Design and Green Building Materials

We believe that green products will only have a significant impact on the design industry if they are practically priced and available to the average consumer. That’s why at Bradco we never add a premium to a product just because it’s green. In our Los Angeles showroom Bradco provides clients with holistic eco design solutions that showcase our large selection of green building materials and products including; cabinets, sinks, fixtures, faucets, countertops and tiles. Also included in our green offering is a wide variety of energy efficient appliances including dual-flush toilets, water filtration devices, tankless water heaters and drawer-based dishwashers. Eco Design is not just about offering green products to your customers; our showroom is outfitted with energy efficient practices and standards such as lighting and timing devices, in-house recycling programs for aluminum, plastic and paper as well as water filtration devices for employees and customers to reduce plastic bottle waste. Even our packing material is collected after use and reused to the maximum extent. These are just some of the standards we have set in place for our company here in the US. Even more challenging can be controlling the external factors such as suppliers, post product partners and manufacturing.

External Ways to Embrace Eco Design and Green Building Materials

Just as important as enforcing tough internal standards for our business was choosing external partners that hold themselves to the same green building material standards and have the accreditation to prove they adhere to sustainable forestry practices. Our wood suppliers harvest their lumber from sustainability-certified forests in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a perfect place to source our green building materials from because the country is undertaking ultra-progressive reforestation projects. In 2007 the Costa Rican government announced the commitment for Costa Rica to become the first carbon neutral country by 2021. The accompanying photos show our Operations Manager in Costa Rica auditing the harvest to guarantee quality and harvesting standards. Bradco can use FSC certified green building materials in any of our cabinetry projects (FSC stands for Forestry Stewardship Counsel). The counsel sets forth principles, criteria and standards that span economic, social and environmental understanding that companies adhere to in order to reduce impact on the environment.

Bradco provides custom cabinetry made from non-toxic, formaldehyde-free wood and optional FSC green building materials. We also recommend that low or no VOC finishes and formaldehyde free adhesives are also used. We own our own cabinetry factory in Mexico and have direct control over the quality of the goods that are produced there as well as the eco friendliness of their business practices. Aligned with the reduction of environmental impact, Bradco also takes care to reduce the amount of waste created at our manufacturing plant in Tijuana. Since the manufacturing of cabinets creates an excess of sawdust, we re-use all our sawdust by collecting it and donating it to a nursery where it is mixed into their compost used to plant new vegetative growth for the Morelos Park – considered the largest ecological reserve in Tijuana. In addition to the benefit of green manufacturing standards our factory is located close to our consumers; therefore we have a very low carbon footprint, unlike cabinets that are shipped from thousands of miles away to the consumer.

Our Conclusion

There is a broad spectrum of environmental and ethical standards within the kitchen & bath industry. I’ve found that many customers do a lot of research on Bradco’s environmental commitment prior to coming into our showroom.   Since its conception, Bradco has been committed to championing the embrace of green building materials and holistic approach to eco design.  Long before the green movement was trendy, Bradco invested in the necessary research and development, partnered with strategic green suppliers, and implemented a green approach to building our custom cabinets.  Thankfully in the last decade the Southern California market has increased demand in these products and services from us. If you’re looking to go green, Bradco is the regional leader in green building materials and the eco design expertise that will help you design a kitchen which shows you love your kitchen as well as your planet.