Initially called “Solar Northern Post and Beam,” Woodhouse® was formed in 1979 by Steve Keller and an MIT-graduate architect. The focus of that little company was to build beautiful, energy-efficient homes utilizing passive solar design principles and state-of-the-art insulation technology. The post and beam structure was an ecologically sustainable method of supporting structural insulating panels (SIPs) – used for their superior insulating characteristics.
In the 80s, the focus of the company shifted toward the aesthetics of the timber frame structure and became the company we know today as Woodhouse.
So, how is a Woodhouse timber frame home consistent with sustainable building principles?
First, sustainability, as it applies here, implies that a product, process or lifestyle is contributing to the betterment of the environment by having less of a negative impact on, or by actually improving, the environment over a period of time.
Consider these facts:
1 – Less Wood – Timber frames use less wood than stick-built homes
Wood is a natural, renewable and sustainable resource. Using less wood to construct a home helps to ensure even greater sustainability of our forests. And with fewer trees being cut to build any one home, there will be more trees to help manage and reduce the amount of carbon in our environment thereby helping to sustain healthy air-quality. All of our timbers come from managed forests and indeed some come from plantation-grown settings. The wood interior and exterior skins of our SIPs are made of OSB – oriented-strand-board – plantation grown, fast growth and highly renewable trees.
2 – Less Energy – SIP insulated homes use 30 to 70% less energy
The foam-core structural insulating panels (SIPs) used to insulate and enclose a Woodhouse timber frame are the best, most cost-effective and long-lived insulators currently available at any price. Homes insulated with fibrous insulation and spray-in foams use more resources than SIP-paneled homes. SIPs are important to helping sustain our natural resources of, gas, oil, coal and wood by significantly reducing the consumption.
3 – Longer Life – With normal maintenance lasts hundreds of years
The inherent strength of an engineered Woodhouse timber frame home, enclosed in SIPs, helps ensure that your house will stand for hundreds of years — much longer than the average new American home and have been known to withstand natural disasters.