Protecting the environment in our daily lives -; also known as “going green” -; has become something that’s on everybody’s radar these days, even when it comes to constructing a house. If you’re considering building a log home, two of the major factors to consider are the effects your home will have on your wallet and the environment.
When researching the types of wood available for building, people don’t always realize the many “green” advantages that cedar has to offer. Cedar is grown and harvested in a naturally sustainable manner -; unlike plantation-harvested pine, which requires large expenditures of fuel, fertilizers and insecticides to produce timber ready for harvest. With cedar, the wood’s natural resistance to rot and insects eliminates the need to treat saplings in the forest, which drastically cuts down on harmful environmental toxins that are used to produce many other kinds of wood.
Cedar also requires less fuel when being milled. Maine-based Katahdin Cedar Log Homes harvests its logs from nearby forests, then air-dries them to a desirable low-moisture content of 12 to 14 percent. Katahdin has also discovered other “green” practices to reduce fuel consumption in its milling process, such as a biomass boiler, which uses waste sawdust to heat the mills and reduce fuel consumption by almost 90 percent.
You’ll also save fuel when building with cedar. The thermal mass and insulating R-factors are much higher for cedar than for common pine because cedar has more tiny, insulating air pockets and a drier composition. Katahdin offers an optional insulation package for no extra charge that maintains the look of cedar log walls inside and allows for more efficient interior wiring than a traditional solid log wall.
Saving on construction labor and time when building your log home will not only make the environment a better place -; it will also help put a little green back into your wallet. For more information, call toll-free (800) 845-4533 or visit www.KatahdinCedarLogHomes.com/green.