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Are Timber Cabins Energy Efficient?

Craving the cabin lifestyle, but worried about the environmental impact? Find out how timber cabins are becoming a popular choice for saving energy.



In addition to making good use of sustainable materials, today's timber homes have taken the lead in energy efficiency. "When I meet with new clients, I typically describe a timber frame as the visible skeleton of a building. I ask them to visualize a 12-foot-long wall; with conventional construction, that wall has ten 2x6 studs, each acting as a small post.

See also Are Log Cabins Energy-Efficient?

The insulation is then incorporated between each of the structural members, alowing for thermal bridging at each stud and improving the cumulative R-value of the wall," explains Jeremy Bonin, principal partner and lead architect at Bonin Architects in New Hampshire. "In a timber home, on the other hand, large SIPs (structural insulated panels) are applied to the exterior of the frame, almost eliminating thermal bridging and providing a more airtight structure."