BEYOND THE SHOWROOM:
BY: JEN LEVISEN, EDITOR AT THE FORUM, MORTARR
If you live or have visited Wyoming or any northern state across the U.S., you know you’ve seen them — snow fences. Either made from unattractive orange plastic, or from pine or another lightweight wood. And while their purpose is a noble one – to protect hundreds of miles of roadways from heavy, drifting snow – there had to be a more sustainable approach to this winter necessity.
The plastic fencing isn’t as durable as its wood counterpart, yet the wood fencing still needed to be replaced every 10 years or so and the old, wooden planks were burned or sent to the dump. Well, thanks to Centennial Woods, that is no longer the case in Wyoming.
In 1999, Centennial Woods partnered with the state of Wyoming to build, maintain, and reclaim snow fencing. The company, headquartered in Laramie, Wyo., now installs and maintains snow fences in Wyoming and surrounding states.
Centennial Woods turns its reclaimed snow fencing into paneling, flooring, siding, and décor for commercial and residential projects across the country. In fact, it’s often mistaken for barnwood, because of its natural, rustic look. If you’ve ever stopped at a Starbucks, Taco Bell, Shake Shack, Whole Foods, Cabela’s, or Bass Pro Shops, you’ve seen their product. We also know Blake Shelton’s team is a fan, because they use the product in their Ole Red location in Tishomingo, Okla., location. But not to name drop or anything.
“The wood is aged anywhere between 7 to 15 years by sun, snow, wind, and rain, and often has unique characteristics like saw marks, nail heads and holes, scratch marks, and even bullet holes,” says Centennial Woods Marketing Manager Joe DeBaisio.
Coloring varies from gray to silver to brown to blonde to cinnamon, and the company provides a variety of finishes.
“Because the wood is dried naturally by the sun and wind due to the altitude and low humidity of the region it can skip being kiln-dried, a process that requires a ton of energy. And when you factor in the fuel savings from the idle highway snowplows, this would becomes a carbon-negative product” says DeBaisio. “The wood is also bug resistant, thanks to the boards being exposed to the elements and up off the ground, and has never been exposed to chemical treatments. Wood is most often treated to prevent rotting and bugs, but since our product is perfectly dried out and resistant to moisture and bugs, there is no need. Off-gassing and VOCs are never a concern.”
Centennial Woods celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019.
“We’re excited about what we’ve accomplished in the last 20 years,” says Ed Spal, Centennial Wood’s CEO,” but we hope to make the next 20 even better; better for our clients and the planet.”
The company's next 20 years are already off to a great start — their reclaimed wood siding and paneling, and home décor will be featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV's Extreme Makeover Home Edition this spring.
Until then, scroll down to see Centennial Wood’s reclaimed snow fences in action.
LOCATION: Atlanta, GA
PROJECT DESIGNER: Barrett Design Inc.
OTHER PROJECT BRANDS: Interface
PRODUCT USED: Reclaimed Wood Panel Planks, Laramie Finish
Centennial Woods provided reclaimed custom wood ceilings in the Laramie finish for this luxury apartment complex in Atlanta, Georgia. “Reclaimed wood panel planks are perfect for accent walls, ceilings, homes, offices, clubhouses, restaurants, hospitals, and more,” says DeBaisio.
“THE WOOD IS AGED ANYWHERE BETWEEN 7 TO 15 YEARS BY SUN, SNOW, WIND AND RAIN, AND OFTEN HAS UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS LIKE SAW MARKS, NAIL HEADS AND HOLES, SCRATCH MARKS, AND EVEN BULLET HOLES,” SAYS CENTENNIAL WOODS MARKETING MANAGER JOE DEBAISIO.
LOCATION: Kearney, NE
PRODUCT USED: Reclaimed Wyoming Snow Fence Wood, Laramie Finish
Cunningham’s Journal, a series of restaurants in the Midwest, features Centennial Woods reclaimed boards throughout their Kearney, Neb., location, Cunningham’s on the Lake. Owners chose the Laramie finish to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Fun fact: Centennial Woods is headquartered in Laramie, Wyo.
“WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE LAST 20 YEARS,” SAYS ED SPAL, CENTENNIAL WOOD’S CEO,” BUT WE HOPE TO MAKE THE NEXT 20 EVEN BETTER; BETTER FOR OUR CLIENTS AND THE PLANET.”
LOCATION: Boston, MA
PRODUCT USED: Reclaimed and Repurposed Weathered Wood, Wyoming Snow Fence Wood
“Reclaimed Wyoming snow fence is used in corporate headquarters, restaurants, salons, cafes, lobbies, and music venues all over the world,” says DeBaisio. Mija Cantina, located in Boston, Mass., incorporated the product in their bar and restaurant design.