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"It's Easy to Be Green"

Country's Best Log Homes, March/April 2010


LEED Certified Log HomeThe inherent sustainable nature of log homes is being taken to new heights with the creation of a log and timber hybrid residence in Oregon that plans to achieve the highest rating for environmentally sustainable construction. Meridian, Idaho-based M.T.N Design and PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes helped design and manufacture the home of Mark and Crystal Ryan, now in the final stages of earning LEED Platinum certification. LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system is a framework for an integrated design approach to high-performance building. Platinum is their highest award.


Built by Gomes Construction, this 3,600-square-foot log and timber frame home comprises sustainable building techniques and energy-efficient products, creating a highly efficient, cost-saving custom home for the Ryan family. "This is truly exciting for the log and timber-home industry," says Jim Young, president of PrecisionCraft and president of the Log Homes Council for 2009. "This milled log and timber frame home will be the first of its kind to receive LEED Platinum certification."


Green Log Home Great RoomBuilding teams protected the site against erosion during construction with straw bales, silt fences and protected zones, then added hardscaping features and swales to prevent future attrition. The lot also reduces runoff with few impervious surfaces, and because landscapers planted the property entirely with native species, they reduced irrigation water demand by 85 percent.


Insulated roof panels by Precision Panel support the super-tight cedar-log envelope, achieving an R-value of 52 and making it several times more energy-efficient than conventional construction. Low-emittance, argon-filled windows strategically placed throughout the home fill the space with natural light, and southern-facing windows allow sunlight in winter, with radiant heat stored in the thick tile floor. Designers carefully positioned extra-large roof overhangs to let in bright, warming rays during winter months while keeping out the high summer sun.


Additional energy-saving features include compact fluorescent bulbs and fixtures, high-efficiency appliances and a 96-percent-efficient propane boiler. A zoned heating system allows the Ryans to avoid wasting heat in empty areas, while low-flow showerheads and faucets and dual-flush toilets significantly reduce the demand for water.


LEED Certified Home, Timber TrussThe home also meets Energy Star Indoor Air Package standards with its energy recovery ventilation system, which provides cleaner, healthier air and protects against airborne pollutants. Even the garage has an automatic exhaust system.


Efficient manufacturing methods and a commitment to recycling or reusing construction leftovers during the project produced 78 percent less waste than the typical construction of a conventional home. A large percentage of the building materials have high recycled content, and were locally harvested or produced to support local businesses and reduce shipping costs and fuel.


View detailed features of this green log home.