When you’re building your own home, you’re likely to be keenly aware of the impact of building on the environment. At Scandinavian Homes, we’re keen to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint in as many ways as possible (and of course save money over the long term as well).
First of all, we source our log buildings from Finland. The timber used is sustainably forested, as all forestry in Finland is regulated by the country’s Forest Act. If you’d like to find out more about this, have a look at the English language version of the Act here.
In Finland, around 70 million cubic metres of timber is harvested annually and more trees are replanted than felled. Additionally, natural regeneration is encouraged by keeping small stands of timber, to increase biodiversity.
Timber absorbs carbon and locks it up during its life cycle, only releasing it at the end of its useful life. Often it can then be reused as woodchip for fuel, reducing the demand for new timber. As log homes can last for several hundred years, carbon is locked in for an extended period. Every tonne of wood locks up almost 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and a medium-sized log house uses about 30 tonnes of wood. So a log home can lock up the same amount of carbon dioxide as you would generate from driving a car for approximately 400,000 km (nearly 250,000 miles!). Processing and transporting timber is much less energy intensive than other building materials, and any waste timber is used to provide heating and energy in the processing plants.
When most organisations talk about energy efficient homes, they don’t take account of any of the energy that is actually used to build the home – only about what it may then need in running costs. We help you minimise the energy your home will use for its whole life.
Timber is naturally highly resistant to heat transfer and coupled with an internal insulation frame can achieve any level of energy efficiency up to passive standard.
The walls of your house will typically have a ‘U’ value of around 0.14 W/m²K (depending on the actual insulation that you choose to use). The windows in your Scandinavian Home log home will typically be triple glazed with timber / aluminium frames, which have a U value of 0.9 W/m²K (some models have double glazed timber windows as standard, but you can choose to upgrade). The external doors are also well insulated and typically have a U value of 1.0 W/m²K.
All our kits come with seals between the logs and at corner joints, and all the doors and windows come with airtight seals as standard. The target air tightness for a Finnish log house is a draft-free 1.0 air changes per hour, so we usually suggest that you arrange to install a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, in order to provide good indoor air quality.
Wherever possible we also suggest using environmentally friendly finishing products such as paints and floor sealants when we build and complete your home. If you are finishing your home from a shell build, we can let you know which products we prefer to use.
Timber also creates a healthy indoor environment as timber panelling doesn’t suffer from condensation and regulates humidity. This makes timber buildings excellent for those who suffer from asthma.