Log Homes are Eco Friendly
The Original Eco-friendly and Sustainable Building Solution
by: Tom Heatherington
The debate over climate change and global warming and whether it is caused by man and thus controllable, or is a natural phenomenon over which we have no influence, rages on. Regardless of your opinion about global temperature change, we can all agree that planet earth is a limited resource and we have a responsibility to future generations to be good stewards of this precious orb.
Agree or disagree, the public awareness created as a result of this climate debate has been positive overall. At least it has forced us to look at how we make use of our natural resources, our methods of energy production and it has motivated us to seek renewable, eco-friendly alternatives for high demand products. When a mistake occurs that has an environmental impact such as BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the ‘green’ argument regains front page headlines.
Irrespective of disasters or our opinion on climate issues, in our own way, most of us are making an effort to achieve a lifestyle that is environmentally mindful. Housing manufacturers and companies that make products for the housing industry have been at the forefront of the campaign to offer ‘green’ alternatives and ecologically-friendly building products. Log homes remain the clear choice, offering the original green building solution. Heavy timber homes have proven to be one of the best earth-friendly choices for home building.
What makes a log home a green building solution?
The primary product used in building a log home is of course… logs. Most major log home companies harvest standing dead trees for their mills. Cutting dead timber impacts the forest positively by removing easily burned fuel that feeds forest fires and opening the forest canopy to facilitate new growth. All major log home manufacturers are involved in some form of reforestation program that guarantees replenishment of harvested forests. There is no better example of a sustainable, environmentally friendly manufacturing process than the log home industry.
Additionally, logs provide other benefits in the form of thermal mass, which makes a log home easier and less expensive to heat in the winter and more economical to cool in the summer. Energy required to mill the trees is much less than required to cut trees into dimensional lumber for conventional ‘stick built’ homes. The use of drywall, insulation and other toxic products and chemicals are also greatly reduced with log construction. People with allergies can expect that a home constructed with natural materials can virtually guarantee a healthier experience due to the improvement of indoor air quality.
Log homes are the original sustainable building solution as they are made completely from the earth’s most plentiful resource. Trees used in the construction of log homes can often be obtained locally, as opposed to other building products that require transportation from other states or countries. This means that more often than not, logs are delivered to construction sites in close proximity to the area of harvest, resulting in reduced transportation costs and energy savings.
Although there are log homes that are hundreds of years old, when log buildings are razed or disassembled there is a huge market for recycled logs. Aged logs are reused to build new homes or other structures and decorative home furnishings.
I began this article stating that opinions on either side of the climate debate were not relevant to my point that we must accept responsibility for conserving our natural resources. With increasing global populations, deforestation in other parts of the world, acid rain, pollution, escalating energy costs and even disappearing species, we are obligated to manage those things over which we have some control.
One of those controllable choices is the materials we select to build our homes, and a log home offers a sustainable and environmentally-friendly solution to energy conservation and natural resource management. Now that you know what the morally responsible thing to do is, you are free to enjoy the other benefits that log home living provides. The handcrafted look, that smell, that singularly American feeling of the pioneer spirit and the warmth and comfort that only a log home can provide. Begin planning your eco-friendly log home today.
About The Author
Tom Heatherington is the founder and editor of the Log Home Directory and the Log Furniture Directory, the world’s largest “human edited” directories of log homes and rustic furniture and related information for the USA and Canada.