Log Homes and the Environment
By Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.
Think GREEN. Log homes are often the only building solution that is totally natural. This abundant, renewable resource is good for your health and the environment. Log homes are increasingly the choice of consumers interested in living “green.”
Exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday lives has led to a significant increase in skin problems, migraines, respiratory illnesses, and a number of other health related problems. It’s no wonder green living is on the minds of builders and homeowners today.
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is just one of the conditions caused by indoor air pollution. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that indoor concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can be 2 to 5 times that of outdoor air due to the use of man-made chemicals in conventional building materials.
Fortunately, logs are completely natural and do not emit any VOCs or other pollutants. According to the Canadian Wood Council, steel requires 2.4 times the energy and produces 1.4 times the airborne emissions to manufacture than wood, and concrete requires and produces 1.7 times the energy and emissions. Therefore, logs and solid wood are the building material that generates the least amount of air and water pollution, emission of greenhouse gases and solid waste.
The miracle of photosynthesis combines natural resources to make a tree grow. Solid wood from trees is the only building material that is beautiful, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient and renewable. Thanks to modern forestry practices, growths of new forests in North America have outpaced consumption and can remain at a sustainable level for the foreseeable future.
Log homes are also a sensible solution from an energy conservation standpoint. Studies by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have compared the energy efficiency of log homes with conventional framed homes. Results show that due to the energy efficiency gained through the thermal mass of solid wood walls, log homes are more efficient to heat in the winter and cool in the summer.
Honest Abe homes meet or exceed industry standards. At Honest Abe they follow quality-control processes every day to produce the best possible logs for your home. When a home is made from solid logs, you are effectively taking the carbon contained in those logs out of environmental circulation over the entire life of the home. Eastern White Pine, which is used for Honest Abe’s log homes, is a major species for reforestation, making it a plentiful and renewable resource.
Honest Abe logs keep inside temperatures of homes comfortable in all seasons, allowing log walls to collect and store energy, then radiate it back into the home. Provided the home is sealed properly, you can have a super energy efficient home, saving 15 to 20 percent more energy than with a conventional home over a lifetime.