The Truth About Timber Frame Construction Sustainability
Did you know that not all timber harvests are created equally? When you picture a snow-capped hillside of Douglas Fir trees, it can seem like such a beautiful sight is best left untouched. While this is sometimes true in the case of natural forests—particularly old growth—there are surprising benefits that can come with constructing a building made of these renewable materials.
In fact, responsibly harvested timber can actually be a green solution to an industry that often relies on harsh chemicals, man made additives, and carbon-thirsty materials like steel. Let’s explore some ways timber frame building can benefit the environment (and your wallet)!
Heavy Timber Recycling
Well-maintained heavy timber homes can easily be reused or upcycled from construction project to construction project. When designing timber frame homes using existing materials, an experienced craftsman can remove any joinery, wooden pegs, or trusses and salvage any board feet worth reusing (via ReuseWood). Moreover, any residual wood shavings or chips from the job site can be used for landscaping or as fuel. This method is not only better for the environment but also cost-effective for the homeowner as well.
Carbon Offset Building Materials
While cutting down trees can seem like a counterintuitive way to preserve the planet's health, responsibly sourced wood (harvested from working forests with leaves left behind—from the University of Washington) can be a great way to keep carbon from reentering the atmosphere. Because the tree locks in carbon during its lifespan, using it for construction rather than firewood keeps this sequestered carbon from escaping for the lifespan of the log home. It can keep your construction process carbon neutral if adequately managed.
What’s more, timber has proven time and again to be a “greener” building material than concrete, steel, plastic, or steel, as it is considerably more readily renewable than other materials (from Buro Happold).
Energy-Efficient Home Designs
Especially with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and well-designed floor plans, timber frame structures can be incredibly insulating and keep costs (and emissions associated with energy usage) down.
And what timber frame homes lack in harsh construction chemicals and carbon-intensive building processes, they make up for in craftsmanship...and with minimal project waste to boot, considering how timber can serve various purposes in every form.
Especially in the case of post and beam houses with an open floor plan, homeowners can expect less energy going into heating or cooling their space with a few simple adjustments, such as improved air circulation and ceiling fans.
Professional Project Managers On-Site
There’s a reason timber frame houses have a permanent spot in the American building style. With a classic visual appeal and a modern approach to building, this construction method can easily take your construction project for a new home and make it nothing short of a dream home.
Coupled with endless possibilities for custom design, high-quality home plans like those provided by Hardwood Mall can provide a desirable blend between comfort and modernism, rugged, rustic charm and sustainability, luxury and economy.
To peruse some of the best custom timber frame homes available in America, browse our blog, or contact us today to create your iconic post and beam home crafted by the best in the homebuilder’s industry.
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