Projects Incorporating Frank Miller FSC Certified Quartersawn Hardwoods Qualify for LEED Points

Barnes Foundation

Museum in Downtown Philadelphia


The Barnes Foundation’s new 93,000 square-foot building in downtown Philadelphia is a marvel of modern architecture and environmental design. Conceived by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the structure provides considerable accommodations for the Foundation’s programs in art education and exhibitions. It houses the historic Barnes art collection — one of the most valuable private art collections in the world — in a 12,000 square-foot gallery that highlights a visual interplay between art and nature.


When the Foundation made the decision to relocate and build a new museum in downtown Philadelphia, they wanted a building with a contemporary architectural design that underscored the Foundation’s well-known environmental mission. To accomplish their vision for a new home, they brought in Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, a firm recognized for successfully combining architecture and the fine arts, to design an ecologically and culturally significant structure.

From the project’s inception, the architectural intention was to maximize sustainability. Every decision Tod Williams and Billie Tsien made was deliberated from an environmental standpoint. The goal was to ensure all materials chosen for each facet of the design were no- or low-volatile organic compounds, and to ultimately achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, the highest level offered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Naturally, the architects thought it was critical to select appropriate flooring as early as possible in the design process. They needed a flooring material durable enough to support many years of public use, while being true to the artistic objective and their goal of achieving LEED Platinum accreditation.

The Frank Miller Solution

As a producer of only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified hardwood, Frank Miller enables construction projects within its geographic area to qualify for LEED points. So it was no surprise Frank Miller Lumber was chosen to provide all of the quartersawn white oak necessary to create the majority of the flooring.

In total, more than 30,000 square feet of hardwood flooring was manufactured using FSC-certified quartersawn white oak from Frank Miller Lumber. The gallery, library, lower lobby and the massive 150-seat auditorium all feature quartersawn white oak floors.

The quartersawn white oak flooring was supplied in solid ¾” x 3″ x 6′ custom milled strips, and 101,000 solid ¾” x 4″ x 4″ precision squared and end-trimmed blocks. Together, the blocks and strip material were used in the gallery to create a stunning custom pattern design.

Jim Reath of PA Flooring, the project’s flooring installer, attributed part of the project’s success to effective collaboration. “What was most impressive to me about this whole project was how we all worked together, from manufacturer to installer, through the creation of multiple mock-ups and on-site teamwork with the architect, to create beautiful, sustainable hardwood floors that we all can be proud of,” he said.


The grand opening of the Barnes Foundation Philadelphia campus was held in May 2012. In September 2012, the Barnes Founda­tion’s new building became the first major art and education insti­tution in the country to achieve the highest level of environmental certification from the USGBC, LEED Platinum.

For centuries, American hardwoods have been providing beauty, authenticity, integrity, and lasting aesthetic value to interiors, and the Barnes Foundation Museum is no exception. Frank Miller is fully committed to environmental sustainability, helping projects around the world qualify for LEED points, and granting architects and designers the hardwoods they need to complete their visions.

Quick Stats:

Just more than 30,000 square feet of hardwood flooring was manufactured using FSC-certified quartersawn white oak from Frank Miller Lumber

Species: White oak

Type: Quartered

Board width: Utilized both ¾” x 3″ x 6′ custom milled strips, and 101,000 solid ¾” x 4″ x 4″ precision squared and end-trimmed blocks