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Green architecture – Log Home in Government Camp, Oregon

By Damir Beciri
22 December 2009

leedcertified-precisioncraftloghomes2You don’t have to build something huge in order to get your project noticed and even earn LEED Platinum certificate. For Mark and Crystal Ryan, building their dream mountain house was synonymous with building what is commonly referred to as a “green” home. This Oregon couple turned to award-winning Mountain Architects and PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes to help them design and manufacture a home that is now in the final certification process to be awarded the LEED Platinum rating. This LEED rated, 335 square meter custom log and timber frame home is beautiful, healthy, and good for the environment.

PrecisionCraft’s top of the line milling processes combined with the industry’s most refined green design techniques support an energy efficient, environmentally friendly structure. “This is truly exciting for the log and timber home industry,” says Jim Young, 2009 Log Homes Council president and president of PrecisionCraft Log Homes & Timber Frame. “This milled log and timber frame home will be the first of its kind to receive LEED Platinum Certification.”

The build site for the Ryan’s LEED rated home was protected from erosion during construction with straw bales, silt fences and protected zones. Hardscaping features and swales were designed to prevent any future erosion. The lot has a minimal amount of impervious surfaces to reduce water runoff. In addition, the surrounding property was naturalized, planted with only native species, thus reducing irrigation water demand by 85 percent.

To create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment, windows were strategically placed to fill the home with natural light. Low-E, argon-filled windows were installed throughout the house and windows on the south side allow sunlight to enter the space in winter, storing radiant heat in the thick tile floor. Extra large roof overhangs were uniquely designed to let in the sun during the winter months and keep out the high summer sun.

Additional energy saving features include compact fluorescent bulbs and fixtures, high efficiency appliances, and a 96% efficient propane boiler that provides energy for the radiant heated home. A zoned heating system allows the Ryan’s to maintain a comfortable temperature in rooms where they spend their time but avoid wasting heating energy in empty parts of the house. Low flow shower heads and faucets and dual flush toilets significantly reduce the demand for water.

The home meets the ENERGY STAR Indoor Air Package standards, that includes an Energy Recovery Ventilation system providing cleaner, healthier air and protection against airborne pollutants (even the garage has an automatic exhaust system).

The super tight envelope created from PrecisionCraft’s cedar logs is supported with structural insulated roof panels by Precision Panel. The SIPs construction gives the roofing an R value of 52 making it several times more energy efficient than conventional construction.

The building team sorted construction waste products at every stage of building for recycling and reuse. Because of the highly efficient manufacturing methods, the project produced 78% less waste than the typical construction of a conventional home. A large percentage of the construction and building materials have high recycled content, and were locally harvested, milled, or manufactured to reduce shipping costs and fuel use and to support local businesses.

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