Managing for Sustainability
Building green, from design to construction is the right thing to do, environmentally, economically and socially. The use of wood helps to create structures that are ecologically sound, energy efficient, architecturally pleasing and durable. Wood from well managed forests is an excellent environmental choice. Builders and home buyers from all over the world are finally realizing that a wood structure is healthy and comfortable, has lower energy bills and has better overall performance. A wood structure also reduces the impact of buildings on human health and the environment in regards to site selection, design, construction, operation, maintenance and demolition.
For nearly 4 decades Pioneer has been building log and timber structures. Over the years it has always been very traditional that our log homes have more wood and wood finishes incorporated into our design. It is proven that a home made of more natural finishes is a healthier home. The building industry is just changing now and realizing something Pioneer has been doing for nearly 40 years.
Climate change is the most dominant issue in the world today. The way we live today and the future of our children is more apparent than ever. Green building will become the norm over the next decade. Did you know wood and wood products need the least amount of energy to manufacture and has the lowest impact on air and water quality? Wood is natural so it does not have the toxic byproducts associated with other building materials in regards to manufacturing.
Pioneer only builds wood structures. In almost 40 years we have always understood the benefits of using wood. It is easy to work with, versatile, recyclable and grows using only solar energy. Of the major building materials, wood is the only one that is truly renewable.
Did you know it takes five times more energy to produce a ton of concrete and twenty four times more energy to produce a ton of steel, as compared to a ton of wood? Concrete produces almost two times more solid waste byproduct. Wood produces 23% lower green house gases than manufactured steel and 50% less than that of concrete. It takes approximately eight times less fossil fuels to produce a finished wood product compared to other building materials. Concrete, steel and aluminum come from materials extracted for the land that can never be replaced. Wood comes out as a clean, ecologically responsible building material. Vinyl and most plastics are from non-renewable petroleum products.
Pioneer has over the years, used a lot of recycled wood from older structures that were dismantled. In many parts of North America, buildings constructed over the past 100 years are being dismantled, after outlasting their previous useful life. Those wood materials are being recycled and reused. Pioneer has used old bridge timbers, timbers from the famous “Lakeview Hotel” in Williams Lake and timbers and boards from all over British Columbia. Pioneer has used this wood as timber beams in new houses, wood flooring, cabinetry, millwork and the list goes on. In André and Wendy Chevigny’s new home, our commitment shines through as all the wood floors, interior doors and exterior shingles on some walls are from recycled wood. Pioneer recently purchased the old “Tallio Cannery” in Bella Coola, British Columbia, to have access to more old recycled timber.
Studies vary but it is believed that one third of the energy in North America is used to heat, cool and operate buildings. It is also a known fact that a wood building can be insulated for heating and cooling purposes to very high standards. Wood is an excellent natural insulator; it also moderates humidity, reducing the need for air conditioning and ventilation.
Pioneer’s natural Western Red Cedar logs are among Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. They not only look aesthetically pleasing, but it is a known fact that Western Red Cedar is one of Mother Nature`s best natural insulators as well. Along with sound and solid building practices Pioneer`s houses have proven to stand the test of time in all parts of the world. Pioneer tries to implement and recommend where possible, geothermal technology for heating and cooling systems in as many home designs and sites as possible.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. Even after harvesting those carbons are stored in the wood. A wood building sequesters carbons forever. This cannot be said for other building materials such as concrete and steel. A study done in the United States by Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (known as Corrum) evaluated that 26% more green house gas emissions were created in manufacturing a steel home and that 31% more green house gas emissions were created in a concrete home than that of a typical North American wood frame home.
As a rule, Pioneer even has more wood in one of our homes that that of a typical North American wood frame home, so the percentages would be even higher.
Did you know Canada is the world leader in independent forest certification? There are three certification programs used in Canada, regarding forest sustainability. They are all globally recognized as CSA, FSC and SFI; these three ensure sustainable forest management in Canada.
Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia and the Pioneer Group makes a conscious decision to use wood from sustainable forest resources. Canada provides this assurance through its comprehensive forest laws and enforcement regimes. It is a known fact the British Columbia Forest Practice Codes are some of the toughest on our planet. The Pioneer Group is especially proud to look after a log from its harvest in the woods to seeing it on one of our beautiful log homes, to be viewed for centuries by generations to come.
Green building is here to stay! Wood wins, out of all the building materials hands down, from production to use, from disposal or reuse. It is natural, it is renewable and it is recyclable!
Not only are Pioneer`s buildings environmentally friendly, they are built from the most beautiful natural building material on our planet, making our homes the finest log homes on earth!! And when they outlive their present day use, they will be able to be dismantled, recycled and reused after out living their previous useful life.
For more information on BC Forest Facts click here.