Green Building Your Log Cabin
Green building is one of the many appealing qualities of a log home. The solid permanence of a log structure also conserves energy and protects the environment. The tactile appeal of the natural wood is a side benefit of knowing that the thermal mass of your logs makes them energy efficient.
Some ideas for building green
house properly to maximize passive heat gain from the sun. Face long side to
south and increase window area, but decrease west-facing window area as this
gets too hot in summer.
with logs – a naturally renewable resource and green building
long roof overhangs to shade windows and cabin in summer but still allow winter
solar heat gain.
ventilation between indoor and outdoor air and use balanced-ventilation exhaust fans to exchange
efficient ceiling fans to distribute the heat
evenly throughout the cabin in the winter and to cool in the summer.
paints and stains and glues with low VOCs (volatile organic
compounds) so that you don't pollute the indoor air quality of your
light colored cabin roofing and/or install reflective
radiant heat barriers under your roof. It’s best to ensure at least a 1” air
gap above the barrier for ventilation. This can reduce 97% of radiant
heat and significantly reduce summer cooling costs.
dual-flush toilets that use less water for flushing.
you're building your own log cabin, order logs and lumber carefully and save
all the scraps that could possibly be used during later phases.
select windows to meet Energy Star standards. Check the NFRC
labels for U-factor, which measures heat flow, and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
(SHGC), which measures the percentage of radiant heat energy that will pass
through the window. A more efficient window will have both lower U-factor and
locally. Not only do the local manufacturers understand the wood species best
suited for your climate, you will also save money on delivery
fees and fuel surcharges.
energy-efficient lighting. One of the easiest ways of
living green is by using LED lighting throughout your log
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs create
an efficient, permanent energy envelope, reducing heating and cooling costs.
They also save money on construction costs since they install quickly.
your water heater with care. Water heaters can account for as much as 25%
of your cabins energy use. Installing a high-efficiency water heater or a tankless water heater will
save you money for years.
eco-friendly log home landscaping techniques by
channeling rainwater to plantings.
radiant heating using PEX tubing. Not only is radiant heating more energy efficient, it's also
quieter and cleaner since you don't blow all your heating air through HVAC
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