Would you live in one of these energy efficient homes?

Photo Credit: Natural Building Blog

Going green or living green is something that is on a lot of people's minds these days. Would you live in one of these energy efficient homes? Cordwood Homes, otherwise known as Stackwall or Firewood masonry is a long held tradition for home building. The look of one of these cordwood homes resembles a log house, but the wood is stacked differently and instead of stacking the logs lengthwise like you would in a log house, they are cut shorter and stacked so that the ends of the logs are facing out and inside the home or building. There is a mortar that consists of other materials like spray foam or sawdust, and this is what holds the wood bricks in place. So it's no wonder why this sustainable housing method would be called Firewood masonry or Stackwall masonry since their walls totally look like a stack of firewood. The insulation is really high on these homes too. Logs tend to have a very high thermal mass as it is and these thick sections of wood and mortar make a wall that is usually up to 18 inches thick, so the Rvalue in these homes can be up to a value of 25. That would keep in the heat really well which is what makes this method such a great green building design.

People who want to try a more hands-on approach could even build their own Cordwood home following the instructions in a green building design book. There are so many great sustainable housing books and websites now, with a wealth of information on how to build your own home so you can be sustainable and eco-friendly. If we look at housing throughout the ages, we can see that homes have been made out of the earth, mortar and wood for centuries and that using natural materials for housing is a very sustainable building practice. Some of the oldest homes and buildings still standing were created using natural materials. A green building design will save you lots of money in the long run too because your heating and cooling costs should go down significantly. Modern day stick frame construction allows for too many insulation problems, with gaps that cold air can leak into, whereas a log house or a cordwood house would be air tight, with proper ventilation to prevent mold.

Other types of green building design and sustainable housing are cobb houses that are made out of earth and straw mixed with water. These houses consist of tightly packed soil that is dried and hardened over the course of time and then sometimes painted with lime to keep the earth mixture together. We have seen these types of houses built all over the world and throughout history, and it works really well. Another style of sustainable housing is Adobe and Rammed Earth green building design which is very similar to Cobb building. People also build homes out of stone, which is another building method that has been used for thousands of years. The cordwood housing technique uses the wood pieces much like you would use the stones in a stone building, adding mortar between each stone or wood piece. Building a log house is another way of embracing sustainable housing too.

As much as these natural building methods cost upfront, they are so worth it in the long run. Living in an all natural home will mean a healthier family first of all, and also it will mean spending less money on heating bills while polluting less. Check out more green building design over at the Natural Building Blog.***

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