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Newsletter Stories

Monday, 22 July 2019
2019 FSC Leadership Awards are coming, will you apply?

July 20, 2019

With the deadline for 2019 FSC Leadership Awards applications approaching on September 13, we want to highlight a recent award winner in the Design & Build category: Burh Becc at Beacon Springs Farm, Michigan.

Designed to show what’s possible, Burh Becc is a 5,000-square-foot farmhouse with a 2,500-square-foot barn on a 15-acre permaculture farm outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The project was certified as a Living Building in 2017, after 12 months of operation demonstrated it could capture rainwater for all uses and generate all of its energy from a photovoltaic array on the roof.

In line with the Living Building Challenge, as well as a desire to do everything right, Marti and Tom Burbeck made certain 100% of the wood used was either FSC certified or reclaimed. Standard Supply & Lumber in Grand Rapids (NC-COC-002993) and General Hardwood Company (SCS-COC-004348) in Detroit delivered all of the FSC wood to the project site, including wood for all of the casework, which was milled on site.

In addition to the extensive use of natural wood finishes, the project uses many elements of biophilic design, which involves “bringing the outdoors inside,” a growing trend in residential design. Exposure to natural daylight and fresh air, indoor water features, living walls and natural air flow are other common biophilic features, as noted in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

Burh Becc, which comes from the Old English version of the family’s name meaning “dwelling by a creek,” also earned LEED Platinum certification.

While this project certainly represents an aspirational use of FSC building products, it is also the sort of effort we seek to recognize and reward. We encourage project teams using FSC wood in creative ways or large quantities to apply. Learn more about the FSC Leadership Awards here:, or contact Karina Carlson ( for more information.