Continued interest in buildings that are better for the environment, healthier for occupants and more cost-efficient to operate is helping to drive the popularity of green building. Log home buildings excel as it relates to carbon footprint. The logs in a True North log home are the first step towards building a negative carbon footprint home.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), green built homes will account for up to 10% of new construction by the year 2010 — and two thirds of all homebuilders expect to be involved in green building to some degree by the end of this year.
As wood is an inherently “green” material, the trend toward green building represents an opportunity. In addition to being the only major building material that’s renewable and sustainable over the long term, studies in the U.S. have shown that wood is superior to steel and cement in almost every environmental impact category.
In terms of wood use, a key element of most programs is making sure that products come from sustainable managed forests. The NAHB guidelines are inclusive in that they specify the use of wood certified through various credible organizations and/or systems, including the Canadian Standards Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, and American Tree Farm System. They also reward renewablility, and emphasize resource-efficient designs that optimize the use of natural resources. True North Log Homes takes great pride in doing business with qualified suppliers.
True North Log Homes highly recommends visiting the Ceis-Bois website (http://www.cei-bois.org/) for information on the green advantages of log/wood buildings and also strongly recommends reading the publication entitled “Tackle Climate Change: Use Wood” which is available for FREE on their site.” In particular read the sections titled “The carbon cycle of wood-based products” (page 48) and “Building With Wood” (page 60).
Wood and Life Cycle Assessment studies show that wood has a softer environmental footprint than steel or concrete in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. It also has better insulating value, which reduces the need for heating and cooling, which represents about 45% of most utility bills. The outstanding cellular structure of wood provides 15 times better thermal insulation than concrete, 400 times better than steel and 1770 times better than aluminium. A 2.5 cm timber board has better thermal resistance than an a 11.4 cm brick wall.
(Referenced Cei-bois, Executive Summary 2004)
High-performance homes built with log and timbers are now routine. Logs are the ultimate renewable and sustainable green building system-although LEED and NAHB’s Green Building Guidelines don’t recognize it just yet. The log home industry is lobbying to change this perception. Often, many environmentalist; understanding of forestry is based on emotions rather than ecology, explains Ed Burke, professor of wood and forest science at the University of Montana School of Forestry. “They think that any cutting of trees is bad,” says Ed Burke. In truth, harvesting by man is the only controlled alternative available to maintain a healthy forest compared to the two natural forces that are largely uncontrollable-forest fires and insect predation.
(Referenced as stated in “Building Systems 2007 Green Building Guide”)
Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is an international certification and labeling system that guarantees that the forest products you purchase come from responsibly managed forests and verified recycled sources.
Under FSC certification, forests are certified against a set of strict environmental and social standards, and fibre from certified forests is tracked all the way to the consumer through the chain of custody certification system. The end result is products in the marketplace carrying the FSC “check-tree” logo.
FSC certification is a voluntary and market-based mechanism for ensuring that our forests are healthy. Consumer demand for FSC-certified products encourages forest managers and owners to become FSC-certified. Independent third-party auditors conduct all FSC certification audits.
See www.sudburyforest.com for more info.