7 Reasons Why DCI Makes Sustainable Solid Hardwood Furniture

In Climate Friendly Furniture, Green Manufacturing, Local Sourcing, Recycle, Reuse, solid wood, Wood is Good by Amos Kober

At DCI, we’re committed to building solid hardwood furniture. For over 40 years, we’ve constructed our furniture from locally-sourced oak, maple, and ash.

But why are we so committed to solid hardwood and why do we think it’s the best material for residence hall furniture?

There are a number of reasons. One of those is because selectively harvested solid hardwood is by far the most sustainable furniture material.

You can learn more about why solid wood is the greenest choice for residence halls here. You can also learn why it puts rubberwood and faux-wood or fiberboard laminate furniture to shame here.

7 Reasons Why Solid Hardwood Furniture Is Superior

In addition to its environmental credentials, wood possesses other qualities that make it DCI’s resource of choice and why we think that you should choose it too.

  • Durable
  • Refinishable
  • Recyclable
  • Reclaimable
  • Sourced domestically
  • Manufactured locally
  • Wood waste is clean burning fuel

1. Durability

We have found that furniture made primarily from solid wood is extremely resilient and requires little maintenance.

For example, screw retention is one of the most important distinctions between solid wood and plywood.  Simply put, there is not a plywood or composite wood material on the market today that holds a metal screw better–or for a longer period of time–than a solid piece of oak, maple, or ash.

This is an objective observation, and it’s supported by laboratory tests.

As evidence of this longevity, we have serviceable furniture in place in residence halls at the University of California, Dartmouth College, and University of Maryland installed over 30 years ago.

This is one reason why we confidently guarantee all our furniture for 25 years. Compare this to some of our competitors who offer a 10-15 year warranty.

2. You Can Refinish Wood

Sanding and refinishing allows you to give solid wood furniture a second, third, or fourth life. Unlike a lot of engineered wood materials and composites, you don’t have to replace it over and over again. It’s also a lot more difficult—and more delicate—to refinish furniture made from veneered plywood.

3. Recyclable

It’s easy to recycle solid hardwood furniture treated with low VOC finishes. You can also turn hardwood furniture into other useful products. This eliminates the need to send wood furniture to a landfill at the end of it useful lifecycle on campus.

It’s true that companies manufacture MDF and other chip core products using sustainable methods. But those products are very difficult, if not impossible, to recycle after adhering high pressure and low pressure laminates to their surfaces.

4. Reclaimable

The ability to reclaim wood helps to preserve our forests by reducing the need for new timber. Generally, processing this wood has less impact on the environment than felling, transporting, and processing new lumber.

5. Domestically Sourced and Processed

Unlike our competitors, who source wood panels and other hardwood components from vendors outside the United States and as far away as Indonesia and China, DCI owns and operates a sawmill in South Royalton, Vermont.

Our mill is 75 miles from our main factory in Lisbon, New Hampshire. All the timber that we process comes from within 125 miles of our sawmill.

This uniquely positions DCI in the college residence hall furniture market, and gives our environmental principles a firm standing.

Why? Because we are the only residence hall furniture company who controls our selection of timber. We use sustainable methods to process it into lumber and assemble it into furniture through our green manufacturing system.

We call this our green Vertical Integration Process (VIP). You can learn more about the green VIP here.

6. Manufactured In The United States

Some of our competitors use a raw material called Rubberwood to build their furniture. They source it from the other side of the world in China and Southeast Asia.

In contrast, we employ over 200 men and women right here in the United States in processing and manufacturing our furniture.

We are proud to support our local and national economies and all our work goes to strengthen the US economy. If you choose solid hardwood for your furniture, your money will stay here and help to build local communities and our national economy.

7. Wood Waste Is Fuel

All wood waste byproducts from our manufacturing process are used to make steam and/or electricity for our factory. That means we collect all the sawdust and burn it in our wood boiler.

When our boiler is in use, the factory doesn’t consume any gas or oil (even during cold New Hampshire winters).

By using a wood boiler to run our kilns and heat our factory and offices, we are saving an average of 68 gallons of oil an hour or over 200,000 gallons of oil per year.

You just can’t do anything like that with other furniture raw materials. Most of them are just too saturated with chemical treatments, glues, and resins. Burning them creates toxic fumes.

In contrast, using wood allows us to maximize the resource at every stage. From cradle to grave, nothing goes to waste. That’s part of the irresistible elegance of using local solid hardwood.

Wood is good. Are you ready to furnish your residence hall with sustainable, quality, long-lasting hardwood furniture?


To set up an order today or to talk with one of our representative, you write to us here or call: (800) 552-8286.

You can learn more about our industry-leading FSC CoC certification, our MAS certification, and our green materials sourcing, sustainable manufacturing, and our unique zero waste Vertical Integration Process (VIP).

Download the DCI Sustainability overview here.