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How Log Homes Meet GREEN Building Guidelines

Here is an article from the Log Homes Council website that reviews the GREEN advantages of log home living.  Although I've been in my log home for 20+ years and have been telling folks about these advantages,  it's GREAT to see the Log Homes Council put these in a concise list that pretty much covers it all!

It's also a GREAT article to run during National Log Home month!  We're celebrating all month with special pricing on ALL of our Pre-Designed homes!  Visit our web page or call your Local Log Home Building Consultant or 1-866-LOG-HOME for more information

"Whether the goal is to save money, fuel, the planet or all of the above, American homeowners are increasingly going green. And while the average household spends $1,900 a year on energy, log home owners typically report that they spend far less than their neighbors on heating, air conditioning, hot water and lighting.

Energy efficiency is among several ways modern log homes qualify as “Green”-- an approach to building that started in 1993 with the belief that we can all pitch in to make the places where we live, work and play more environmentally friendly. The hallmark of “green” is to use less energy, renewable resources, limit C02 or “greenhouse gas” emissions and create indoor environments free of mold, formaldehyde, carcinogens, and other allergens.

The most obvious factor that makes engineered log homes “green” is their building material -- solid timbers grown from trees -- a renewable resource. During the milling process, manufacturers utilize all portions of the log, from bark and other sources for mulch, scrap from cut-offs for raw material used in carvings and other home products, sawdust used by farmers as bedding material, etc. The homes are sold as kits or “packages” with the bulk of the building materials delivered at one time. These packages consolidate delivery and generally travel shorter distances conserving fuel, says the Log Homes Council, which represents nearly 60 of North America’s leading manufacturers and promulgates industry and product standards. And, logs require less energy and man-made materials than stick-built construction. With the completion of a log home, you have walls that serve both the structural and insulative needs of a home, as opposed to using many products from siding, house wrap, plywood, dimensional lumber, insulation, drywall, and paints in traditional homes.

Heating and Air Conditioning
The massiveness of the logs plays a vital role in conserving energy. According to studies by the University of Maine at Orono, the logs absorb heat energy during the day and radiate it at night to even out the temperature, which makes the occupants feel more comfortable while using less energy.

In addition to the benefits of solid timber construction, Log Homes Council member companies engineer their log wall joinery and roof systems to eliminate air infiltration and moisture, conserve energy and increase comfort. This engineered approach continues with every product included in a log home package such as brand-name, double-paned windows and patio doors with low-e glass, proper venting and subflooring structures.

Engineered for Energy Conservation and Safety
Companies that belong to the Log Homes Council are up on latest developments in building technology and safety and maintain relationships with suppliers of roofing materials, heating systems, windows and other components. Council members constantly test and evaluate newer components to make sure they contribute to energy efficient, safe and trouble-free homes. Even the interior and exterior stains and finishes are evaluated for their suitability as solid timber coatings and to make sure they meet low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) clean air standards, in their quest for the ultimate green home.

The Builder
While a green philosophy begins with the log home manufacturer at the design stage, it has to continue with the builder who erects the home. The Log Homes Council’s parent organization, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has been getting local builders on board by providing them with the knowledge they need to build green. As part of its effort, NAHB has partnered with the International Code Council to develop a consensus committee based Green Building Standard that provides a practical, nationally recognized baseline for resource-efficient, cost-effective home building.

The NAHB Green Building Standard and Certification Program addresses seven key green construction areas including site, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, homeowner education, and global impact. Direct ways log home owners can reduce their footprint include less impact on natural features and vegetation during building site preparation, choosing environmentally friendly components for subflooring, trusses and other conventional materials that go into a log home, choosing energy-efficient appliances, conserving water with low-flow plumbing fixtures and taking steps to increase occupant comfort and indoor environmental quality.

Homeowners
Log homeowners play a big part in going green too. These individuals embrace nature and consider their homes permanent dream homes where they are willing to invest in energy efficiency upfront to reap savings over the years. Their design preferences lean toward open flooorplans that allow for the flow of warmth throughout the home – in many cases, a wood-burning stove is the principal heat source.
From the manufacturer, to the builder to the homeowner, log homes are doing their part for a greener planet. Thankfully, log home construction is and always has been green. With new technologies and products available, log home owners can go the extra step to make their homes even greener."

When you are ready to start your dream log home and realize all of the benefits of eco-friendly living, give one of our Local Log Home Building Consultants a call to set an appointment.

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Tags: cabin, council, home, homes, log

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Comment by Donald Parsons on August 3, 2013 at 8:58am

If anyone is interesed - here is the Log Homes Council (LHC) white paper on the Energy Efficiency of Log Homes....enjoy!

http://www.loghomes.org/docs/EnergyPerformanceWP_2010.pdf

Comment by Donald Parsons on August 3, 2013 at 8:56am

Hi Mike:  Thank you for your comments.  The LHC has been very pro-active in researching the energy efficiency of log homes.  You'll find a great white paper in the LHC library discussing this very topic.  We're working hard to make our voices heard and will continue to do so.  Having lived in a log home for 20+ years now - I have first hand proof (my electric bills) that I use less energy than my neighbors homes that are smaller and have 8' ceilings (I have cathedral ceilings).  Of course I'm not a highly paid energy "expert" - I just live the proof.  Unfortunately my experiences and the experiences of thousands of log home owners don't compare with the "experts" that get to make the rules.

Comment by Mike Goes on July 27, 2013 at 9:49pm

As I research more and more information on energy efficiency of log homes I have to agree they rank right up at the top in that category. The only problem is that the present Administration doesn't recognize "thermal mass" as a measure of energy efficiency. Everything is measured with "R values". This is why the Log Home industry has to step up to the plate and put forth why log homes has a place to continue to exist. They are just as efficient if not better than a "stick built" house. 

I hope the LHC and the NAHB can make the case so the industry can keep providing these beautiful homes now and in the future.

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