North Carolina heirloom furniture manufacturer invests in clean energy.
Burlington, N.C.–Skram Furniture Co., a North Carolina based maker of heirloom quality furnishings for design-driven residential and commercial spaces, announces that it has installed a rooftop solar array at its headquarters. The energy resulting from the installation will directly power the machinery used to build the Company’s furniture, with excess energy fed back into the traditional energy grid. The benefits of Skram’s conversion include the annual offset of over 30,000 pounds of coal and over 50,000 pounds of CO2.
The move further solidifies the Company’s position as a leader in sustainable design and manufacturing. The decision to go solar is rooted in Skram’s unique approach to manufacturing and enabled by the success of that approach.
Skram is based in Central North Carolina, an area that has experienced a historic decline in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the furniture industry. Against this backdrop, Skram has grown steadily, operating under a model that focuses on sustainability, innovative design, and fine workmanship. Skram espouses “a deeper interpretation of sustainability that rejects built-in-obsolescence and argues for the creation of objects of truly enduring value, crafted with care and intended for a lifetime of use.” In this view, sustainability encompasses environmental responsibility, design integrity, community engagement, and employee well-being.
Skram was founded by American designer/maker A. Jacob Marks, who now serves as Creative Director for the Company. Of the transition, Marks says, “The entire team, from the office to the shop floor, is proud to be in a position to make this a reality. From a business standpoint, we feel that it is a strong long-term investment. We believe in action when it comes to sustainability and Skram’s solar installation was the single most meaningful step to advance our mission to present a model of sustainable domestic manufacturing for the next generation.”
In process, Skram products merge advanced fabrication technologies with traditional craftsmanship in a variety of natural materials like timber, hardwood veneers, steel, bronze, leather, and stone. Their collections include distinctive seating, tables, casegoods, and accessories that represent machined precision and the maker’s hand in balance.
The scalable solar installation occurred at Skram headquarters, a repurposed knitting mill in the original industrial core of Burlington, North Carolina. The facility is the primary location of manufacture of all Skram products. The Company’s furnishings are made-to-order in their entirety in North Carolina and are available to the Architecture and Design community directly and through a network of showrooms in North American and European cities.
The announcement of the completion of Skram’s solar project is concurrent with the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris and only months after the North Carolina Legislature voted to defund renewable energy incentives at the end of 2015. Skram’s investment in solar takes advantage of state and federal tax credits as well as federal grant assistance.
Regarding the solar installation and the wider implications, Marks comments, “It’s worth noting that aside from the substantial and measurable environmental benefits, projects of this nature are a direct investment in the local economy and the economy of North Carolina. Renewable energy projects provide jobs and income into the communities where they happen. It is our hope that the citizens of this state will support leaders who create policies that promote free, healthy, and sustainable markets. As a corporation we support policies that make North Carolina a leader, and a destination for other forward-thinking enterprises; the recent de-funding of the renewable energy tax credits have the opposite effect. They are a step backward and show a tremendous lack of vision. In very real terms, such regressive policies, if they continue, will effect our decisions regarding future expansion in this state.“
Skram’s creative direction is led by A. Jacob Marks, named one of the top 50 young designers of the Americas (Young Designers: Americas, Daab). Marks’ work is rooted in a philosophy that argues for the inextricability of good design and fine workmanship. Skram’s approach to manufacturing is rooted in the belief that the objects produced by a society are a reflection of the character and priorities of that society. The company seeks to promote an interpretation of sustainability that directly impacts not only what is produced, but also the mode of production. Thus, Skram brings the artisan back to the factory, producing objects on a scale that permits the fulfillment of volume orders without sacrificing the attention to detail expected by its customers. Quality, durability, restraint, utility—Skram furniture is a reflection of these resurgent American ideals. Leading by example, the company embodies an ethic that merges innovative, useful design with meticulous workmanship and an encompassing view of sustainability. To learn more about Skram, visit http://www.skramfurniture.com.