Here are some questions to ask so you can be sure you are making a well-informed choice for yourself and the environment.
- Does the product use renewable resources? (Think forest products, or better yet, reclaimed timbers!)
- What kind of energy is used to make this product?
- How long will this product last?
- If this product will need to be replaced, will it add to landfill toxicity?
- Are there potential health risks?
In the stampede to embrace green building, the biggest factors which optimize good environmental stewardship have suffered neglect. Here are the most important factors to your success:
SMART is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Setting an effective goal can be an art.
Tell me if you have ever fallen into this trap: You decide you want to accomplish something – let’s say for example, you want to improve your health.
So you make some changes and have stellar performance at first. You are hitting the gym five mornings a week, avoiding junk food, and getting to bed early.
But a month later your old habits have remained largely unchanged. Basically, it was too much, too fast and unsustainable. Ideal, but unrealistic.
Defining and setting your SMART goal is a key component which will help you achieve the most positive impact with your green building strategy.
LESS ENERGY Wood has a cellular structure that allows for pockets of air, which keep heat conductivity to a minimum.
EFFICIENCY Trees store carbon as they grow and continue to hold it after it’s been harvested and used in a building.
Wood is a renewable resource. Wood requires much less energy than other building materials to transform from raw material to a functional building.
Wood buildings require much less energy to heat and cool. And lastly, wood serves as an excellent carbon sink. Wood is good!
The truth about Green Building basics and the longevity of timber framed buildings is not very exciting. Products such as solar power and on-demand water heaters are eye catching, and promoted with new and innovative implementations. Timber framing itself, though, doesn’t require any new techniques.
Effective energy conservation isn’t exciting, but it’s easy!
With timbers dried using a special radio frequency process you can achieve truly stable wood. And you can get stable wood will glue-lam beams as the S-dry material used to make the glue-lam beams are thin enough to allow trapped sell water to completely exit resulting in stable wood. Your other options are reclaimed or air dried timbers.
You can compare sustainable building to nutrition. It’s fun to eat the high-calorie, high-cost foods, just like it’s exciting to install a solar panel on your home. Unfortunately, it’s much more effective, and better for our overall health, if we eat mostly green vegetables. Those “green vegetables,” careful planning. repelling water, and timely maintenance, are the building methods that provide the most effective energy conservation. So how do we think about fitting in those “green vegetables?”
To think less is more.
To think of quality over quantity.
To have a clear sense of purpose.
To make wise building choices.
To embrace careful planning and avoid wasting resources.
An unclear sense of purpose or hasty planning typically results in ugly aesthetics and clumsy floor plans. Fixing these issues after the fact will only waste more resources. Good planning is required to build a sustainable project. Reuse, repurpose and recycle are the biggest objectives of green building.
Careful planning maximizes our ability to do just that.
Careful planning allows for compact buildings with strategic resource allocation. Careful planning is the best “ounce of prevention” we can use to build sustainably. Building with post and beam construction is synonymous with careful planning.