Neil Kelly cabinets gain high-end enviro honors

Tom Kelly's thrilled with his company's Declare designation.

Tom Kelly's thrilled with his company's Declare designation.

A Portland sustainability virtuoso has become the first cabinet specialist to attain an arduous new performance standard.

Neil Kelly Cabinets will carry the Declare label for meeting the Living Building Challenge, considered the construction industry’s most ambitious environmenal designation. Owner Tom Kelly, a tireless and longtime green building champion,

called the certification “a nutrition label” for construction goods.

“It’s something we worked very hard to achieve, Kelly said.

The Declare program comes from the International Living Future Institute, which oversees the Living Building Challenge program. Through Declare, the Institute wants to make building products compositions more transparent.

The group will create a database through which purchasers can find eco-friendly and safe products.

Manufacturers participating in the program must simply disclose the chemical composition for each “Declared” product. Any unworthy item goes on the Challenge’s Materials Red List.

Kelly’s cabinets are non-toxic as well as sustainably sourced, Tom Kelly said. They contain no formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds. They’re also locally sourced.

The Kelly company was the Forest Stewardship Council’s first certified cabinet maker.

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