Timber Home Nation

A community of timber home enthusiasts and those who love energy-efficient homes

As the editor of Timber Home Living, the only national publication dedicated to timber-frame homes and the people that are enthusiastic about them, it's a question I get asked often: What makes a timber home so special? Thankfully, the answer is pretty straightforward. Aside from the stunning aesthetic and craftsmanship you can achieve through this building method, timber homes truly embody what it means to create an efficient, comfortable home that's mindful of the environment and built to last.

But aside from the inherent green qualities of timber homes, how important is sustainable and efficient design to you? Would you consider incorporating green elements, such as geothermal heating or solar panels, into your dream-home design? Or what about even more basic items like EnergyStar appliances or high-performance windows? Or what about when you're siting your home? Will you think about things like passive solar heat gain?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic, so please post your comments, questions or stories below. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sara Brown

Editor, Timber Home Living

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I'm looking for a website that outlines a list of timber frame floor plans

Green building is EXTREMELY important to me, as I feel we should all be responsible homeowners to the environment around us.  Not only is green building cost effective over the long term, it preserves our resources and still creates a comfortable living environment.  A win-win situation and after doing some research, it's really not difficult.

When I plan my future timber frame home, I will utilize energy star appliances, high performance windows, carpet in the bedrooms made from corn, possible solar panels and maybe even a small wind turbine!  Positioning the house is also a consideration - I prefer a North-South exposure - so I would try to orient my house this way as well. 

I plan on adding as much energy efficient attributes to my home as I can afford. I have to live within reason but I would like to use SIPs and Solar as part of a good sound energy efficient home. Energy star appliances and North South exposure. I will also be leaving as much of the trees up as I can around the home to help keep cooling cost down.

Just some random thoughts about shading...... Use seasonal plants/vines or deciduous trees to gain summer shade but allow sun exposure for winter gain or solar panel use. I live in the Pacific Northwest so trees to me are usually very tall and evergreen leaving us with winter shade.
First off I would like to say that I am new to this forum and have been looking for a place to discuss and hear thoughts and ideas so bear with me if I seem to go on and on or get off track.

I believe that to use resources wisely we have to understand the capacities of the resources we use. Timber frames have more to offer than meets the eye, although just what meets the eye is impressive enough for most people to choose. Being fortunate enough to have experience in common residential construction I know the downfalls that many people are living with in their choice or "lack of choice" of construction techniques. With so much "engineered" material in new homes today there is not one time proven instance of the durability of these materials.

So back to answering the questions posted, how important is sustainable and efficient design? It is very important and to try to relate or explain to others I would say, how would it be to buy a sports car or heavy duty truck and not buy proper size tires or wheels to allow the optimum use the power and transmission? Tires too large or too small doesn't give you less of a nice vehicle but the lack of performance that is not seen until you use it does it become apparent. So I feel the same way about timber frame homes, you invest so much into all the decisions but what it will cost you in the long run with lack of performance will be obvious if not to consider passive elements.

So many thoughts, so little time!


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