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At Evolutia, we are committed to bringing new life to reclaimed materials by transforming them into creative and inspired new products. Evolutia offers reclaimed building materials as well as custom products such as flooring, millwork, furniture, and timber framing. We cater to all those who are interested in quality goods and materials with beauty, character, and history. | www.evolutiamade.com | 1.855.277.5495

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Article in: Over the Mountain Journal!

Evolutia-nary Ideas:
Link to full Article and more photos!

By Laura McAlister
Journal Editor 
Abandoned textile mills and plants whose jobs moved overseas years ago are now getting a new life, thanks to a local business.
Evolutia, a company founded by Robert Klinner and Tim McCollum in 1985, purchases old industrial plants and takes them apart to create spaces pieces with a one-of-a-kind aged look. The family-owned business likes to call their work “The Art of Transformation.” They work with architects, contractors, builders and home and business owners to produce anything from flooring and ceiling beams to cabinets, furniture and artwork.
“People just really love the value and history,” said Clay Klinner, Robert’s son, who recently joined the business after graduating from the University of Alabama. “It tells a story, but really, it’s just beautiful. That’s what people really love about it.”
While Evolutia does a lot of work for private residences – Clay said renovation projects have been popular the past several years – the company’s work can be seen throughout the area in popular businesses like Little Donkey, Ore and El Barrio.
What Clay loves about the work is that he’s taking something old and recycling it — not just the materials but also the history of the buildings.
He said quality materials are hard to come by today.
“When this wood was timbered, they were allowed to grow for hundreds and hundreds of years,” he said. “It was here when the Pilgrims were. Now, (timber) grows no more than probably 50. Some probably less.”
Evolutia, which has its showroom in downtown Homewood, scouts the country looking for abandoned buildings that fit its criteria. Most of these facilities were built in the late 1800s or early 1900s.
Starting from the roof and moving down, Clay said, they deconstruct the buildings salvaging the wood, bricks, stone and any other artifacts that can be reproduced into flooring, furniture or cabinetry.
Clay said it takes some 18 months to completely deconstruct the buildings, depending on the size. In the end, they are able to salvage about 90 percent.
The company has acquired facilities in Alabama, North and South Carolina.
One of its first projects was an old cotton mill in Lancaster, S.C. The company also is working on mills in Tallassee, Selma and here in Birmingham.
Once the building is deconstructed, materials are shipped to Evolutia’s factory in Decatur.
There, Clay said, they have designers who can create pieces for clients, but they also work closely with architects, contractors, designers and homeowners who want the look of the reclaimed materials in their homes or businesses.
Paul Davis, a contractor with Ruff Reams, said he’s using reclaimed materials from Evolutia more and more. He said that skins, a wall or ceiling covering made from shaving a thin layer of wood from an old beam, are popular requests among his homeowners.
“We’re able to use the skins to veneer walls and ceilings,” he said. “It’s a great way to accent a wall in a space. We’ve done them in great big living areas, and right now we’re doing one on a screened-in porch in Mountain Brook. We’re doing the ceiling.”
While the wood products for flooring and walls are popular, so are the antique bricks recovered from the old textile mills.
“You just can’t beat the character of these products,” Paul said. “We just finished a whole house with reclaimed brick from an old building in Decatur. It achieved a very old world look on the exterior.”
At the Evolutia Showroom on 28th Avenue South, potential clients can come in and browse through the different varieties of wood, brick and other materials and check out furniture and artwork.
“We’re really open to any projects, large or small,” Clay said. “We can take a rendering and recreate it, or we have designers in Decatur, so we do have the ability to design and layout.”

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