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Environmental issues.

Whether log homes are truly environmentally friendly or not is a debatable issue. When compared to other methods such as bricks and mortar it most definitely is.

In South Africa the majority of building is done with bricks and mortar. To produce 1 ton of brick and mortar building material consumes something like 800kg of fossil fuels.

Estimates available on various web sites vary between 5% and 8% of total global Carbon Dioxide emissions are produced by the cement industry. The UN claims that up to 40% of green house gasses are produced by the general construction industry alone. This is the industrial sector that can have the greatest effect on reducing green house gasses.

To quote from this sobering UN draft document (pdf) "It is clear that continuing with business as usual will jeopardize the future of all human societies…"

The UN has made a call for action, I recommend having a read of this pdf document.

I'm not at all saying that chopping trees down will save the planet!

But in comparison to brick and mortar it certainly is more environmentally friendly.

A tree absorbs Carbon Dioxide throughout it's growing life, which is then stored in your house while it stands. If you build it according to my directions, your house will stand for 100+ years, during which time the trees will re grow many times over. Which means that your house will provide shelter for several generations, reducing the need to replace it, further saving the environment.

It not a well advertised fact that common timber frame houses have a life span of only 25-35 years, incidentally, just long enough to pay the mortgage off.

Replacing the trees with new saplings after felling is a great way of sustaining this valuable resource for our future generations. Or even go really crazy and replant twice as many.

One more thing, I advocate using alien (to South Africa) species of timber, such as Pine and Eucalyptus which is often invasive, killing our own indigenous bio diversity in South Africa. UNEP has declared 2010, the year for bio-diversity, go check it out here!

The log walls provide excellent insulation, which means we need to burn less fossil fuels to keep our house warm or cool, which also saves you money, which saves you work.

The practice of making something appear to be green, when in fact it isn't.
Slapping a solar panel on a concrete and steel building does not make it green

South African Log Home

Builders Association

Teaching people to build their own quality mortgage free log homes.