Consider the number of hours you and your family spend indoors. As you sit around the dining room table or watch TV, you want to feel confident that the air you breathe is clean. The general air quality of your indoor environment is largely determined by the building materials used to construct your home. Therefore, if you are considering the construction of a new home, choosing to build with natural log or timber is a great option.
Consider the thousands of U.S. homes that are tainted with poisonous gas from drywall manufactured in China. You may recall that a recent report from the ¹Consumer Products Safety Commission stated that homes built with Chinese drywall emit 100 times as much hydrogen sulfide as drywall made elsewhere. The chemical emission was so great as to corrode and render useless wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning ducts, door knobs, computers and even homeowner’s jewelry.
Certainly not all drywall is as toxic as these Chinese imports, but conventionally framed walls do use a combination a several man-made or processed materials. When you consider the amount of glued wood products (such as plywood), fiberglass (or other chemically spun insulation), man-made exterior siding, interior sheetrock and other types of wall coverings that are installed in the modern home, the chance of contamination starts to grow. Even if these materials are not toxic on their own, the combination of so many processed elements may increase your risk of having an unhealthy indoor environment.
Reducing the Chance of Toxins in Your New Home
So the goal of anyone building today is to reduce the likelihood of poor indoor air quality. One great way to ensure good indoor air quality is to choose to build a substantial portion of your home using solid wood. If you do, then the majority of your residence will contain one ingredient – all natural wood. Solid wood walls have no processed or man-made materials. Solid wood walls emit no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and when you combine this kind of structure with a quality low-VOC stain, you can’t get much healthier.
There is nothing hidden behind or in a solid wood wall. Solid wood is made from nature. There is no man-made processing and no unknown chemicals. Homeowners living in a log or timber home can feel more at ease about what may or may not be seeping from behind their walls.
In addition to creating a healthier indoor air quality, the benefits to the environment of using solid wood are well documented. Solid wood walls have the lowest carbon footprint of any other type of construction. In a report prepared by ²The Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) solid wood is the only building product that is renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient and extremely beautiful.
²The environmental performance of renewable building materials in the context of residential construction Perez-Garcia, John, Bruce Lippke, David Briggs, James B. Wilson, James Boyer, and Jaime Meil. – www.corrim.org/