Environmental Sustainability

Overview

Log and Timber homes are one of the most sustainable forms of construction.  Not only do our members build homes that last substantially longer than conventional homes, but our construction process uses almost 4 times less fossil fuels in manufacturing than a conventionally framed home.  Many of our members homes are built and verified by third parties to be among the most energy efficient built today.  Nearly all forests in British Columbia are sustainably managed, harvested and is widely recognized as a renewable resource.  Wood use in buildings has long been shown to reduce stress and promote better health. 

Log and timber homes made in British Columbia:

Energy Efficient Design & Construction

British Columbia is a leader in the adoption of energy efficient building codes and our log and timber builders have always stayed ahead of the code changes.  Our members work with Certified Energy Advisors to design, build and verify their homes are the most energy efficient in the world.  We model, build and test our homes to continually improve our designs, products and construction details. 

Several of our members homes have been built and verified to below [email protected] and above Energuide 80, which puts them among the most energy efficient homes in the market today.

Energy Efficient Manufacturing

The following table shows the emissions and carbon sequestration of an average log or timber home that is 2000sq.ft.  It not only shows we have extremely low emissions in the life cycle of our products, but stores 4-10 times more carbon than is consumed over a 60 year life cycle.

  2000 Sq. Ft.
Handcrafted Log Home (kg CO2e)
2000 Sq. Ft.
Milled Profile Log Home (kg CO2e)
15,000
Board Feet Timbers (kg CO2e)
Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions 3667 6362 1852
Net Carbon Sequestration -39139 -17395 -14045
Net Carbon Balance -35471 -11033 -12193


The following graph shows the global warming potential of building 100sq.ft of wall area using different building systems.  As outlined the manufacture and construction of conventional frame walls contribute 400% more carbon emissions than log walls.

Sustainable Forestry

Canada has over 348 million hectares of forest land and grows by approximately 227 million cubic metres per year.  Of which approximately 148 million cubic metres is harvested, the balance goes un-harvested and dies naturally through age, fire and other causes.  Sustainable forestry recognizes that older mature trees need to be harvested so they can be replaced by young growing forests which consume vast amounts of carbon dioxide.  Between 1990 - 2014, over 16 billion trees were planted in Canada (approximately 650 million seedlings per year).

If we take the above example of 2000sq.ft log home it uses approximately 75 cubic metres of wood volume (depends on building type).  This wood volume is replenished by Canada's forest in under 15 seconds.  Harvesting these stands and building log and timber structures preserves the timber and stores this carbon for centuries.  This same 2000sq.ft home would store approximately 39 tonnes of carbon (wood is approximately 50% carbon by weight) .  This is the equivalent of removing your car from the road for 30 years or the average or the energy to heat the average home in Canada for 17 years.

Health Benefits

Our products are naturally occurring in nature and contact no glue's, VOC's or other toxic contents.  It has long been known that being outdoors in nature has a stress reducing on humans.  As well, some recent studies have focused on how wood in buildings has this same effect on our health.  We are in our homes and offices now more than ever, so why not come home to surround yourself in the warmth and beauty of a log and timber home!