Building Green

Searching for a sustainable approach to your custom dream home? Choosing a timber frame home is one way to make a positive difference in the environment.

In today’s environmentally conscious world, we realize that the health and vitality of our natural systems depends on us making thoughtful choices as a consumer. There’s no way around the fact that building a house has a significant ecological impact, but there is a lot of variability between building systems. From the building process to the materials used, a timber frame home lasts longer and carries a smaller ecological footprint in comparison to conventional counterparts.

This overview explains how timber frame construction prioritizes sustainability, efficiency, and longevity – three tenets for building green. Here are some of the many ways a timber frame home is an eco-friendly choice.


Why Timber Frames are Green

Combining their deep history with modern technology, timber frames exemplify doing more with less. These homes are revered for their large, impressive beams yet use far less timber than a similar-sized stick-framed house. Vaulted ceilings and load-bearing external walls give them an extraordinary ability to pack more spacious living space into lower square footage, which translates into lower natural resource consumption. All our timber frames utilize structural insulated panels (SIPs), which offer a lower carbon footprint both during construction and throughout the life of the home. And unlike a log home, timber frames offer many options for siding and interior materials to further reduce your home’s environmental impact. At Woodhouse, we go even further by using every opportunity to foster sustainable forest management and upcycle our wood by-products.

Learn more about why timber frames are green.


Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

SIPs are the heavy lifters of a timber frame’s green building system. Because the timber framework creates expansive, uninterrupted wall space, SIPs are a logical and desirable choice. Our special SIPs conserve energy and resources at every opportunity. For starters, they are made with expanded polyurethane (PUR) sandwiched between oriented strand board (OSB), which itself is an engineered, sustainable product. A PUR foam SIP provides some of the highest rated insulation abilities and fire protection without deteriorating over time. Additionally, with our thinner SIPs, you get more square footage without needing a larger home. We use SIPs that have earned the Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification, confirming that raw materials are harvested from well-managed forests. Finally, SIPs are healthier for people by maintaining cleaner air inside, with fewer pollutants, dust, and no harmful off-gassing from volatile organic compounds.

Learn more about structural insulated panels or SIPs.


Passive Solar Design

Were you aware that you don’t need solar panels to take advantage of solar energy? Timber frames are especially adept at capturing the sun’s free energy. Because timber frames use a handful of large timbers for support rather than hundreds of smaller pieces of lumber, timber frames possess ample, continuous wall space. Homeowners can fill these spaces with panoramic windows for abundant natural light. When oriented to face “solar south” these windows capture the sun’s energy and warm the home’s spacious interiors, all while the SIP panels and energy-efficient windows prevent it from escaping. Another bonus: all that natural light means reducing your electricity use by providing natural lighting during the day.

Learn more about passive solar design.


Benefits of a Woodhouse System Specifically

Timber frame companies uphold various standards of environmental stewardship. At Woodhouse, we prioritize sustainability, efficiency, and longevity. By doing so, we lower a home’s ecological footprint while simultaneously providing a high-quality product for homeowners that minimizes waste and maintenance costs over the lifetime of the house. In addition to their energy-conservation abilities, our SIP panels are constructed with oriented strand board (OSB) sourced from fast-growing softwood species in self-generating forests or tree plantations. Timbers and SIP panels are cut to precision for a homeowner’s custom floor plan in our campus workshop, then shipped to the site. It’s a highly efficient process that results in less time spent erecting the structure and reduced waste. This is good news for the environment and homeowners.

Learn more about the energy efficiency benefits of the Woodhouse building system.


Ready to Build an Eco-Friendly Home?

With a Woodhouse timber frame, you can have it all: custom floor plans, smart design, and stunning good looks, all wrapped up in an environmentally friendly package. See for yourself by visiting our gallery of beautiful custom timber frame homes and contacting Woodhouse today to get started on your own dream home!