The carbon footprint of a building is often used to determine how eco-friendly or sustainable / resourceful a building is. So how does the carbon footprint of a log home compare to that of traditional buildings? One of the most important factors is that the walls of a log house make a very effective carbon sink. In other words, the walls store more atmospheric carbon dioxide than was released into the atmosphere during construction of the building

In a log house, then, atmospheric carbon is safely stored within the walls. And because log walls are solid wood, they hold an especially large amount of carbon. Not only that, but the long-lasting nature of log homes means that it will be a long time before that carbon is released.

There are several factors that play a role in determining just how eco-friendly your log home is. Some of these factors include:

  1. Materials

The extraction and production of traditional building materials such as concrete and steel account for around 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions globally, and often need to be transported huge distances before they are used to create a building. By contrast, the timber used to create an eco-friendly log home can be found locally.

  1. Log selection

Carefully managing our forests to ensure biodiversity, protecting a rich variety of wildlife and creating a landscape which looks great too is critical. For every tree which is cut down, a greater number should be replanted.

  1. Sustainable building

Log Homes are built to last. A log house will stand firm and healthy from generation to generation, unlike some other types of building. And because log houses are built to withstand the test of time, less maintenance and repairs are needed. This saves materials and energy, making log homes easy on the environment.

Log homes have other benefits such as very good indoor air quality, which contributes to better health. This is a well-known reason for choosing a log home. It’s worth keeping in mind that healthy choices are also often environmentally friendly choices.

A second reason is that timber absorbs energy from the atmosphere in warm weather and releases it in colder weather. For this reason, the logs help cool the house in the summer and heat it in the wintertime. This greatly reduces heating and cooling needs. Log homes, if built and sealed property, are very energy efficient.

Additional factors that can help you reduce your carbon footprint include;

  • Design: In cooler areas, choose a plot where the building can be oriented so that the windows receive sun from the south side. Similarly, in hot areas, position the building so that strong sunlight will not heat the interior through the windows.
  • Size: A smaller house takes less energy, material and money to build and maintain.
  • Material Type: Use solid wood wherever you can: choose plank flooring, log walls and panels, and solid wooden furniture. Avoid plastics, and surface treatment products that contain plastics.
  • Appliances: Buy home electrical appliances that carry the class A rating, the highest energy-efficiency class. Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can be connected to the house heating system.
  • Exterior Options: A sunshade is a good addition: it will keep the house from becoming uncomfortably warm in the summer, while still allowing the low-lying winter sunlight to provide what warmth it can. Plant trees and vegetation (safe distance from your home, we recommend at least six feet for vegetation and shrubs, more for trees). The use of renewable technologies, such as solar panels can offer reduced energy cost and increase the eco-friendly aspect of your log home.

Log cabin owners can use tips like these to make the most of their log cabin’s natural environmentally friendly features.  Being an Environmentally-conscious homeowner doesn’t have to be difficult.