There’s been a bit of an eco-buzz since COP26 took place in Glasgow, and the publishing of the government’s Net Zero Strategy emphasising ‘Build Back Greener’. Headline news includes a target to move away from gas towards using electricity for heating, and minimising the amount of energy used to heat houses by building better insulated homes.
Wiser heads than ours are leading the debate elsewhere, so we’ll just focus on the energy efficient home aspect, something we do know a fair bit about.
We have fabulous clients right now who are building one of our log homes to Passiv standards and aiming for certification – this could be the first Passiv log home in the country! Another is building a Passiv standard log mobile home (but without the certification).
If you’d like to read more about the Passiv standard, why not pop over to https://passivehouse.com ?
We’ve posted a bit on social media already about the log home, and once it’s complete, we’ll write up a full case study on our website, but for now, here’s a bit on how wood can help with Net Zero!
As trees grow, they take in carbon dioxide and lock up the carbon in their heartwood as part of the photosynthesis process. When the tree is used as timber in construction, that carbon is then held for the lifetime of the building – natural carbon capture!
An average house with a floor area of 140m² can sequester over 40 tonnes of CO₂ in the fabric of the building, unlike traditional UK builds which create lots of CO₂ simply by being built. Incredibly, the energy used in building houses is not counted at all in their energy performance calculations.
The wood for our log homes comes from Finland, where an amazing 73% of the country is actually covered in forest, and the trees are sustainably managed to such an extent that the volume of timber available from them has continued to grow since the early 20th century.
A timber house was built in Glasgow near to the COP26 conference centre, to showcase the possibilities for minimal whole life carbon in construction – something we aim to do with our houses too! The house was designed so it could easily be disassembled and recycled/reused after its life is over (they expect it to exceed 60 years, but there are still timber houses in the UK that have stood for centuries). It is being moved from the conference site to be reassembled as part of a community of 12 affordable homes near Aviemore, a town in the Cairngorms National Park.
Log homes are so sustainable, you have to wonder why anyone would build in any other way!