Best wood choice for untreated siding?

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Hi all.
This group has been an extremely valuable source of information for me in the past years, so I thought I'd post another in a very infrequent series of questions. Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
I am building (well, I am the developer, which is to say I am having built) a small commercial building with 16,000 sq ft of office and light manufacturing space. The building is in an area of N. California with quite mild weather all year 'round. We are trying to make this a "sustainable" building; that is, optimizing the building's energy use, water consumption, indoor air quality, and so forth.
We're specifying a mix of wood and other materials (stucco and/or metal siding, TBD) for the exterior skin of the building. Because I'm paying for the construction but may also own the building for years, when picking a wood species for the siding I need to take into account not just installation cost and the environmental factors but also the cost of ongoing maintenance.
My preference would be to use a wood species that requires no finishing at all. This will lower the nonrecurring and recurring costs, reduce the amount of chemicals consumed, and require no long term maintenance hassle. I understand that any wood left untreated will weather to gray or silver over time. I have not found many species that can be treated (or not treated, as the case may be) in this way: teak, ipe, manchiche, perhaps sinker cypress. Of these, I am seeing reclaimed teak quoted over $20/bf (insane), sinker cypress $8-10/bf, and I don't have pricing on ipe or manchiche yet. For comparison purposes, three-coat stucco and paint is about $5/sq ft (more or less equivalent to a bf in this case) installed.
Treating with Cetol is of course an option, though not my preference.
So the question is, based on your experience, what is the best choice? Can I really get away with not treating *any* of these woods or is that asking for trouble? What other woods should I be considering (my local hardwood dealer is recommending jarrah)? Got sources for good reclaimed, certified, or otherwise sustainably harvested lumber?
Thanks again!
/adam
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Cedar. There is a T-111 cedar siding product around. Jim

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Jim wrote:

<snip>
I do not think that would last more than a season if left un-treated.
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I'd second the Cedar
Dave
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I wasn't aware you could get away with not finishing Western Red Cedar. The various Web sites I have looked at all refer to finishing it. Is that really not required?
Thanks for the input!
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Untreated/unfinished western red cedar will turn black and look like hell after a few months/years....
Hardi Plank is your friend and requires very little in the way of maintenance.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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"Pat Barber"

Cedar lasted on my roof, untreated for 30+ years. Never turned black.
Dave
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What part of the world ???
My home is covered in vertical cedar siding that has been on there for 19 years.
Channel Rustic was the "hot" siding back then but it has long since been replaced by Hardi Plank because of maintenance and cost. That same siding today is running just a tad over $2.00 LF and almost impossible to find in stock.
Our relative humidity is "around" 85% year round. Mold and mildew is our constant friend.
Perhaps you leave in Sunny California and maybe Arizona, but not the sunny/wet south.
Teamcasa wrote:

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"Pat Barber"

I do. Unlike you in Oceanside, I live nestled to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, near Pasadena, CA. In the San Gabriel Valley, there are hundreds of Craftsman style homes with cedar shake roofs and siding. I did, recently have to put a new roof on that met the current fire code. This area has low humidity especially during the Santa Ana wind conditions.
Dave
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On Thu, 25 May 2006 19:52:34 GMT, Pat Barber

Cedar roof shakes (shingles) and fence slats/pickets are used extensively in various areas of the country. They weather to silver-gray and generally last at least 10-15 years before requiring replacement. The fence pickets usually succumb to termites where I live on the Gulf coast, rather than just weathering.
Cliff
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Hardie Plank! It's hard and expensive to buy good wood and even more so to get quality installation. I prefer wood, but for a commercial space I 'm not sure it's worth the trouble. Wilson It's hard to get a good looking stain type color, but paint works well.

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"Wilson" wrote in message

Absolutely ... I would not consider anything but under the stated circumstances.
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I realize that this response might be considered non-responsive, but are you married to wood siding? You might consider the fiber-cement siding, such as the kind manufactured by the James Hardie company http://www.jameshardie.com/ . It can be made with a wood texture and can come pre-finished.
todd
todd
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todd wrote:

Gee, for a lot of purported wood butchers, you guys sure seem ready to turn your backs on it! ;)
Hardie makes various types of fiber cement siding. Their stucco board fooled my stucco guy at first. It comes in 4x8, 4x9 and 4x10 sheets, goes up quickly and takes paint beautifully (hangs on to the paint beautifully, too). You'll have to deal with the seams between panels, which isn't a big deal. I usually just cover them with some 3 1/2" wide pieces of Hardie soffit material, nailed and construction adhesive. If it's a deluxe job, I'll use the soffit material to make patterns out of the battens and give it a half-timbered look.
R
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Yes, we've looked at Hardie siding. It's a serious contender for the stucco "infill" portion of the project skin, but we'd still like to have real wood for the major surfaces if budget and maintenance allow.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Cypress is about as durable and rot-resistant as any wood I know of. Good luck finding some really good stuff and get out your checkbook!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

i still think cedar is your best bet. in spite of what a previous poster said, , it will not turn black, unless water splashes on it and is in a damp environment. it will eventually weather to a beautiful silver grey. take a look at some cedar shake roofs. they don't turn black.
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You mean, like when it rains?

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no, like when it splashes on the siding below an eave on the north side of the house. like i said, do cedar shake roofs turn black?
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I occasionally teach seminars on green building-- I'm a college prof --and given the OPs desire for a "sustainable" building I wouldn't recommend any of the wood options being discussed. Wood just doesn't make sense in green applications like this unless it's locally sourced AND from a sustainably managed forest or reclaimed stock. I'd also recommend a fiber cement product; I'm partial to the Certainteed "weatherboard" product myself, which is available pre-finished. There are some issues with the embodied energy and CO2 impacts of concrete in general, but a product of this nature will last 50 years and won't require nearly the maintenance of cedar.
FWIW, Certainteed makes a "stucco" product in sheets, as well as a very nice looking board-and-batten design as well as traditional lap siding.
-kiwanda
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