Barn Homes: The Ecologically Friendly Choice

In decades past, homes were constructed without much concern for their ecological footprint. Insulation was given little thought, and cheap energy was used to heat or cool the house as needed. Now, as energy prices climb and people become more environmentally conscious, more attention is focused on our houses. The homes from Timberpeg have several features that make them a great aesthetic choice as well as a great choice for the environment. Below, we’ll discuss how our homes' construction will save you money in the long run while helping protect the environment.

Sustainable Building Materials



The frames for our post and beam construction are typically made from either Eastern White Pine or Douglas Fir. These woods provide excellent stability and character to your home, and are available with FSC certification that they have been sustainably harvested. Additionally, when old barn homes are demolished, the frames are sometimes in good condition and can be recycled. If you want to use reclaimed posts and beams in your new construction, then we would be happy to help you with this conscientious choice.

Energy Efficiency

The ecological benefits of a post and beam construction do not end with their sustainable nature; it also allows for a much more energy efficient house. In stick-built construction, you are limited in how insulated the walls can be. A 2x4 framed wall can only accommodate an R-13 batt of insulation with a 2x6 wall offering about R-19. After accounting for the loss through the studs and compressed insulation, the 2x4 wall only offers around R-10 insulation and the 2x6 around R-14 insulation.

In contrast, a post and beam house does not rely on the walls for structural support, so they can be made much more insulated. With the use of structural insulated panels, or SIPs, walls can be built to R-40 and above. Since these walls have one-quarter of the heat loss of a typical stick-frame wall, they save you money on heating and cooling costs and lower your impact on the environment.

Longevity

Even with little protection from the elements, extremely minimal upkeep of the siding, and rugged agrarian use, a working timber frame barn like this historic gem from rural New Hampshire is still sturdy and strong well beyond the 150+ years since it was first raised.

It has been estimated that one-quarter of the energy used by a modern car is the energy used to manufacture it. As with cars, building a home that lasts is the key to a low environmental footprint. Post and beam houses are built to last, as can be seen in the large number of such houses dating from the 19th century and older. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors states that SIPs and timber frame construction should last for hundreds of years, ensuring that your barn home will provide a gorgeous and sound home for generations to come. If you're ready to get started on your own barn home, please contact Timberpeg to get started designing a barn home you'll love for many years to come.