Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Timber Homes and Green Building

There is a natural fit with timber frame, SIP Panels, and green building.

Posts and beams can be recycled from old factories, barns, and historical buildings, adding character and a unique history to the home and showing respect for our limited resources. Timber homes are green, in that they last for centuries (there are some Asian timber frames built in the 6th and 12th centuries still standing today). Rather than having to be rebuilt in 50 years, the timber frame home’s exterior could be updated and the interior completely renovated several times while the timber frame remains structurally sound and beautiful. As added benefits, the timber frame addresses quality issues, brings warmth to the house, and also aids in delineating spaces and gives an order and rhythm to the home.

SIP panels address the efficiency of the home and can be used in any climate. The structural insulated panel enclosure system creates a thermal envelope around the timber frame, keeping your home warm in the dead of winter and cool in the hot summer months. (SIPs were even supplied for the International Science Station at the South Pole, where summer temperatures average minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit!) The insulation used in SIP panels is a lightweight rigid foam plastic composed of 98% air, and requires only a small amount of petroleum to produce. Also, the foam insulation is made using a non-CFC blowing agent that does not threaten the earth’s ozone layer. Since SIPs are prefabricated in the factory, there is less jobsite waste that needs to be landfilled. Most SIP panel manufacturers recycle factory scrap to make other foam products.

There are many quality timber frame and SIP panel manufacturers around the country, allowing homeowners to work with a company near them, reducing the amount of travel required for the material to get to your site.

As far as the timber home’s space, additional features, and systems, your green architect will give you numerous options in the green building process to save money and protect your investment.

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