Log Homes, the Natural Green Building Solution

Building and living “Green” is good for your health, conserves energy and protects the environment. Log homes are the original green building solution made directly from the earth’s natural resource. This abundant, beautiful and renewable natural resource is 100% green.

Building green is a hot topic among building professionals and consumers – for good reason. The exposure to toxic chemicals in our every day lives is resulting in significant increases in asthma and respiratory illnesses, skin problems, migraine headaches and any number of health related problems.

Since we spend much of our time indoors, it is critical that our indoor environment is healthy and safe. Many building products today are made of man-made chemicals and emit high levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Health experts are becoming increasingly aware and alarmed that these man-made chemicals are showing up in our blood and lungs.

Logs are 100% natural and don’t emit VOCs or other pollutants. Soil, water and air combined with the energy from the sun, in a miraculous process of photosynthesis, are everything needed to make a tree grow. From an ecological point of view, solid wood is the only building product that is renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient and extremely beautiful. Logs and other solid wood, as basic building components, generate the least amount of air and water pollution, emission of greenhouse gases and solid waste. For example, steel and concrete require 2.4 times and 1.7 times more energy than wood to produce and 1.42 times and 1.67 times more airborne emissions with potential toxic or negative health effects. (The Canadian Wood Council – The Anhena Project).

Advances in forestry practices have steadily increased the supply and growth of plantation and private forests. In North America, the growth of new forests has outpaced the demand and can remain at a sustainable rate. In the long run, sustainable building products that are ecologically friendly are the only viable answer to a cleaner environment.

With energy costs on the rise and no end is sight, it makes good economic sense to design and build with conservation in mind. There is a great deal of documented evidence supporting the energy efficiency related to the construction of log homes. Studies conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other testing organizations have compared log homes to other types of construction such as conventionally framed and masonry. Test results prove the energy efficiency gained through the thermal mass of solid wood walls. Log walls better utilize the available energy in both summer cooling and winter heating. (The Log Home Council (www.loghomes.org), Documented Energy-Efficiency and Thermal Mass Benefits of Log Construction).

Most people building log homes plan to own and live in them for an extended period of time. Their log home may be a family retreat or a retirement home that they intend to own for the rest of their lives. The turnover rate of log homes is much lower than the average conventionally built house. With such a long term outlook, the decision to build and live in an energy efficient log home makes good sense for the health of the environment, you and your family.

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