The Bamboo Ukulele Project

David St. Martin was hired at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year as the “Tinkerer In Resid

Adrian College Peelle-Jones Halls

Smith & Fong is excited to announce the completion of a striking installation in 150+ year-old

News Flash: Customers actually are willing to pay more for formaldehyde-free and FSC-certified products

In light of the recent controversy surrounding formaldehyde emissions in laminated flooring products


Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito

December 3, 2014 in Bamboo Plywood, FSC-Certified

photo 3My daughter and I recently visited the Marine Mammal Center located in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco on the coast. The center has been operating for nearly 40 years, and is the only rescue facility of its kind in California, and possibly the west coast of North America. The Center is one of the largest marine mammal hospitals in the world, with capacity to treat up to 200 animals at once and more than 600 per year. Since 1975 it has rescued and treated more than 18,000 animals.

The Marine Mammal Center’s website explains that their “mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Our core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported bystate-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community.”

After many years of good work, the organization received a large number of donations and was able to build a new facility completed in 2009. We were proud to learn that Plyboo had been chosen to grace some of the interiors at this important facility.

Both the lobby and the gift shop are outfitted with Plyboo FSC-certified, vertical grain bamboo plywood, with no added formaldehyde. Plyboo is used extensively for cabinets, counters, displays, shelving and the reception desk in the lobby. It is literally everywhere in the store.

As innovators, educators and promoters of sustainable design and construction products in built environments, Smith+Fong applaud the great work of this groundbreaking organization.
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Stacy Willard is Smith & Fong’s new COO 

November 26, 2014 in Bamboo Flooring, Bamboo Plywood


StacyWillard copyStacy Willard came to Smith & Fong in 2007 as inventory and logistics manager and quickly became indispensable to the company’s growth and success. This month we’re pleased to announce Stacy’s promotion to the position of chief operations officer (COO).

Over the past eight years, Stacy has come to know the company and our mission in a broader dimension, and he was the natural choice to take on this new and challenging position. He has played a key role in our company’s logistics and supply chain initiatives over the past few years and assuming the role of COO will be a great boost to our management team.

Stacy, a former US Marine, has held numerous management positions in the field of logistics and fulfillment and resides in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and two children.

Our congratulations to Stacy as he takes on this expanded role within our expanding company.

Rainbow Grocery

November 26, 2014 in Bamboo Flooring, Plywood and Veneer, Sustainability

photo 1My family and I love Rainbow Grocery here in San Francisco. Rainbow has been a source of information on healthy eating for us for more then a decade. As soon as we are in the door, my daughter races to the cheese sampling in the far back by the vegetable section, with me in fast pursuit as my wife settles in to the spice section for a long review of their offerings.

To my great pleasure I have discovered that Rainbow Grocery has, in turn, been a Plyboo fan for some years. I first noticed our mutual appreciation society with the application of PlybooSquared end-grain bamboo plywood for seating and tabletops near the Folsom Street entrance. Soon after that, our Havana PlybooStrand plywood popped up in casework at the cosmetics section. This year Rainbow owners redesigned their spice, coffee and bulk foods section, using Plyboo Chocolate bamboo plywood for casework and shelving. As noted, the spice section has always captivated and inspired my wife, and I now get to say it tastes a little better, housed in bamboo.

photo 4Rainbow is a place of discovery on a many levels and having noticed the construction at the front entrance, I took a moment to wander over and see what was manifesting there. Looking to my right I noticed a hidden garden, an oasis by the elevated freeway, with an “open” sign hanging from the verdant fence. I ventured in to take a look and discovered a portable cafe wedged into this small slice of Mission District real estate.

As I got closer I found more Plyboo plywood in use for surface treatments in both the interior and exterior. It looks like this portable cafe and Plyboo have found another place to dwell under the Rainbow.

I ordered two cappuccinos and a hot chocolate and went back to find my family.

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Smith & Fong and Plyboo at Earth Island Institute and the David Brower Center

October 31, 2014 in Social equity, Sustainability

Located just across the bay from us in Berkeley, the Earth Island Institute is a non-profit environmental group that was founded in 1982 by David Brower. EII supports activism around environmental issues through fiscal sponsorship and provides the administrative and organizational infrastructure for individual projects. As stated on the EII website:

“Earth Island Institute was fashioned to encourage people to be bold, a temple for all the people doing good.”

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EII’s John Knox (right) with Smith & Fong founder Dan Smith

We couldn’t have described it better ourselves, and it is with no small pride that Smith & Fong has been a supporter of EII and its Brower Youth Awards for the past few years. EII’s executive director, John Knox, is a friend of ours, and the organization was founded on the tenets of sustainability and social equity that Smith & Fong holds in high regard.

When the David Brower Center, a LEED Platinum building that houses a number of environmental organizations— including Earth Island Institute, Friends of the Earth (also founded by David Brower), Citizen Engagement Lab, Equity Community Builders and many other truly worthy organizations — opened in 2009, Smith+Fong

was deeply pleased to be part of the architectural interiors. Plyboo is prominently featured in the 180-seat Goldman Theater, home to great public speaking events, performances and film series. Plyboo is also found throughout the lobby area as well as the kitchen cabinetry at the Earth Island Institute offices.

The Brower Center also highlighted the work of many talented artists, including Sebastião Salgado, Daniel McCormick, David Liittschwager, Laura Cunningham, Isabella Kirkland, Chris Jordan, David Maisel, Jeffrey Long, Bill Curtsinger, Joseph Holmes, and more recently, Richard Misrach and Douglas Gayeton. The work of all of these artists shares a common thread–a commitment to shedding light on natural places, environmental or social issues.

photo 2Additionally, since 2000, Earth Island has presented the Brower Youth Awards to six young environmental leaders each year, all of whom are making strides in the environmental movement. Brower Youth Award winners demonstrate excellence in leadership as well as a commitment to the communities their work serves.

Smith & Fong remains a proud supporter of the efforts of these young environmental advocates.

Smith & Fong, the Green Sports Alliance, and Levi’s Stadium

September 18, 2014 in Bamboo Flooring

Smith & Fong donated three Linear Line 4 (LL4) bamboo plywood panels for the construction of the main stage at the 2014 Green Sports Alliance Summit, held in Santa Clara, CA this July. This year’s Summit was the organization’s largest to date, with more than 650 professional sports industry leaders in attendance. From the GSA website:

“The Green Sports Alliance is a non-profit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance. Alliance members represent over 230 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues. Since February of 2010, the Alliance has brought together venue operators, sports team executives and environmental scientists to exchange information about better practices and develop solutions to their environmental challenges that are cost-competitive and innovative. The information gathered from this collaboration is available to Alliance members in order that they gain a better understanding of how sporting events can be performed in an environmentally sensitive manner. The Green Sports Alliance was conceived and founded by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

The Summit included a tour of the new Santa Clara Levi’s Stadium, home to the 49ers and the nation’s first LEED Gold-certified football stadium. Smith & Fong’s Plyboo SoyBond products are found throughout the VIP skyboxes in the groundbreaking new event center.

The $1.2 billion stadium is 1.85 million square feet, seats approximately 68,500 and features 165 luxury suites and 8,500 club seats. Designed by HNTB and built by Turner/Devcon for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, Levi’s Stadium takes advantage of the Silicon Valley climate and is predominantly open and airy, while also environmentally friendly. One of the most unique features of the facility is the green roof atop the suite tower on the west side of the stadium. The three solar bridges, connecting the main parking area to the stadium, include hundreds of solar panels.