Now more than ever going “green” is on our minds as we build anything, and that goes double for new log homeowners. When you consider that green building is not only good for the environment, but also good for your wallet, it’s really no wonder that so many people are excited about it. Not to mention that we create log homes to bring more of the outside world into our home, while keeping the comforts and luxuries of a log home intact. It’s that outside world we value so much that green building honors. In our processes for establishing a “green” log home here are just a few aspects we implement:
1. Use sustainable materials. Whenever possible, opt for renewable or recycled building materials over other alternatives. You can, for example, choose cellulose insulation that includes recycled content, and use logs that come from sustainable forests, as all of Southland’s logs do. Use environmentally safe and naturally—rather than chemically—treated construction materials for everything from paint to carpet.
2. Place doors and windows correctly. The placement of doors and windows in your new log home is all-important for energy conservation. You can adapt your Southland design to take these things into account. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to make sure that your large windows are south-facing to take advantage of the maximum amount of direct sunlight and warmth. If you live in a warmer climate, make sure that most of your windows are north-facing, and position windows and doors in such a way that you can profit from cross ventilation.
3. Choose the right roof design and materials. Planning solar panels as part of your project is a key feature to living green in your log house. Or even if you think it might be a possibility one day, make sure that your roofing design incorporates this idea. Design a roof with a long, rectangular surface with no interference from skylights or chimneys to maximize the size of the solar array. Another good idea is to design a system that will allow you to collect rainwater. Make sure to choose a material that reflects heat, especially if you live in a warm climate.
4. Insulate for energy efficiency. Proper insulation is important for reducing heat transfer between the outside and inside of the home. One of the best things about Southland’s log homes as opposed to traditional building is that our 8-inch thick walls give the cabin a higher thermal mass, which makes the heating and cooling of our log homes much more efficient. We also use precision milling techniques to ensure a tighter fit and an extremely energy efficient home. 5. Use an open design layout. You can reduce materials and cost if you design with an open layout. This also improves daylight and natural ventilation.
6. Practice water conservation. An easy way to save water is by installing water-reducing appliances and fixtures. Consider collecting rainwater and other runoff and recycling it for your lawn or garden. You can also take steps to preserve native vegetation in your landscaping, which will minimize your need for an elaborate irrigation system.
7. Reduce the impact of building on your home’s site. Take steps to preserve environmental features such as streams, vegetation, and natural drainage. In some cases, it’s better to assemble things offsite. Log home living is a great way to go green. Southland Log Homes takes our commitment to the environment very seriously, and we strive to use safe and green building practices for every log home that we build. View our log home plans now.