Rare Wood News

Case Study: Wright Brothers National Memorial Renovation

E.T. Moore completed a high-profile, challenging, and complex renovation project for the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor’s Center. This job required strict adherence to an unprecedented 11-page spec sheet that called for large quantities of extremely rare wood delivered under very short lead times.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Managed by the National Park Service (NPS), the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, commemorates the first flight achievements of Wilbur and Orville Wright. The on-site Visitor’s Center was originally built in the 1960s and had fallen into disrepair over the decades.

The NPS hired the contracting firm Group 3 to remodel the Visitor’s Center back to its original specs. Group 3 reached out to E.T. Moore to undertake the massive job of providing rare and specialized wood for the internal/external siding and wood benches while ensuring compliance with strict LEED standards.

The Challenge

This job presented E.T. Moore with several concurrent challenges. For starters, the National Park Service wanted the new Visitor’s Center to receive a coveted and hard-to-obtain LEED Certification, which certifies environmental friendliness. This meant that only old-growth and local Cypress trees could be sourced.

However, there was a catch—the trees used in the restoration could only be found reclaimed. This meant that the buyers at E.T. Moore had to procure old-growth, local Cypress, and LEED-Certified lumber within a 500-mile radius of the job site.

The Visitor’s Center required extensive wood siding, so much so that delivering it all in one shot would be impossible due to the limited onsite space. The siding also required an exact match of a very old style and unique shiplap pattern.

The LEED Certification inspectors also placed heavy demands upon E.T. Moore. They were required to adhere to a very strict set of rules and material requirements. All materials had to be LEED-Certified Green Materials; otherwise, they could not be used.

The Solution

E.T. Moore perfectly matched the interior and exterior Cypress shiplap samples and produced 7,500 lumber-feet of siding for the renovation project. Due to the large size of the E.T. Moore facility, they manufactured everything at once and then stored it for incremental shipments to the job site.

This process meant they could easily adhere to the strict timelines and provide as much wood as the project required. If something were to go wrong, the depth and inventory of the facility would enable a very quick turnaround.

The team at E.T. Moore decided upon delivering a few weeks’ worth of wood at a time. Because it was a restoration, they didn’t know exactly how much wood needed to be replaced until the project was completed.

As it turns out, more wood was required than they had originally anticipated. Thanks to their large inventory and streamlined shipping processes, E.T. Moore was easily able to meet this increased scope of work.

The buyers at E.T Moore sourced the rare Cypress wood from trees that had fallen into a nearby swamp 600 to 1,200 years ago. Over the centuries, the wood pulled from the swamp had developed a substance called cypressene, making them extremely durable and ideal for LEED Certification projects.

The Results

Throughout the 5-month project, E.T. Moore continually met the rolling deadlines with multiple shipments. The project came in on budget and the renovation moved forward as planned. In total, the Visitor’s Center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial required over 1.5 miles of reclaimed wood!

Shortly after completion, the Wright Brothers National Memorial received a LEED Gold certification. Group 3 and the National Park Service were very pleased with the results, and the renovated Visitor’s Center at Kitty Hawk now stands as a proud testament to the accomplishments of Orville and Wilbur Wright.

Let E.T. Moore Supply Your Next Project

Founded in 1969, E.T. Moore is one of the largest reclaimed wood manufacturers on the East Coast. Our large facilities and extensive inventory mean that we can match any sample and provide your project with premium reclaimed wood. Contact us to learn more!<

Author Taylor Moore III
Date December 1, 2021
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