Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation has built 100 energy-efficient and eco-friendly houses in New Orleans to replace homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, the organization believes that some of the wood it used is now rotting, reports The New Orleans Advocate.
The organization used TimberSIL, an innovative glass-infused wood product produced by a South Carolina manufacturer, to build porches and outside steps. The absence of chromated copper arsenate and other chemicals typically used to prevent rot and decay was a selling point for Make It Right.
The absence of chemicals for preventing decay was a selling point
"Instead of treating the wood with toxic chemicals, it's actually infused with sand, or silica, such that it takes on the properties of treated lumber," Tom Darden, the executive director of Make It Right, said in a 2010 interview. "At the end of its life cycle, which is estimated to be about 300 years, it can be mulched and composted, believe it or not."
Unfortunately, Make It Right has found that TimberSIL can't stand the moisture in the balmy city and has turned dark gray and begun falling apart. The organization has replaced wood in 30 homes and is considering legal action. TimberSIL has reportedly caused trouble for at least one other client: a project in Western Massachusetts that had to be repaired when the builders found the wood retained too much moisture and couldn't hold paint.