The Performance of Wood
British Columbia is Canada’s western most province and has a wide range of forest types and terrain. British Columbian’s are also world leaders in the production of wood building products and wood construction systems. Its track record has been proven for nearly 100 years and against all climate conditions. BC’s wood and wood construction products are inspected and graded to ensure they meet the most demanding international quality control systems. As a matter of fact BC is the largest exporter of softwood building products in the world.
When Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia started in 1973 most everything constructed was for our own area, or local markets. As a matter of fact it was just not log building but also taking the homes to a turnkey finish. It wasn’t until the early 80’s that Pioneer began to do work outside our local areas, outside of our province and eventually into other countries as well. From day one when we began to travel we not only realized the beauty of our own province, we also realized the superior wood and wood products that we as British Columbians have available to us. Every place we go, people marvel at our Western Red Cedar logs and the solid wood products manufactured right here in British Columbia, (some right here in Williams Lake) that accompany our log shell packages. When we travel abroad we not only become ambassadors for Williams Lake, B.C, we also become very proud ambassadors for British Columbia’s solid manufactured wood products.
In North America we build our wood structures to withstand high annual rainfall, snowfall, earthquakes, severe winds and extreme climate changes. Wood has excellent acoustic capabilities and performs better in earthquakes than other building materials such as concrete and steel.
Over nearly four decades building log and timber structures, some of Pioneer’s homes have been really put to the test. Read the testimonial from one of our customers.
Dear Mr. Bryan Reid and the entire Pioneer Log Home Family:
My family and I would like to extend our sincerest thanks for looking out for our family's best interests while engineering, designing and building our home. This year (2003) California experienced a devastating 6.3 earthquake. The epicentre was less than 7 miles from our ranch... we were at ground "0". I feared the worst... We ran inside to see the damage and were shocked to see that only one drinking glass had fallen! I inspected the entire log structure including the foundation. Absolutely no damage!
Everything the Pioneer people said they would do, they did from start to finish. And the big plus-it really did cost what they said it would. I knew I was buying a quality product, but didn't appreciate how good the home really was until after the earthquake hit.
We again thank you for looking out for our family's best interests. We sleep very well in our Pioneer log home.
Jeff & Gigi - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Pioneer structures are designed and engineered for each individual area they are constructed in. Exposures to sunlight, severe winds, climate change and of course earthquakes are factored in. Some of Pioneer’s structures are engineered to a seismic 4B rating, which is extreme in every manner. Some locations we’ve built in California, Montana and Wyoming are situated on very active faults and seismic lines. Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia is very proud of the fact, that we can satisfy engineers and inspectors to this degree, at any place on the planet.
Wood also performs great in severe winds such as typhoons, and cyclones, with special techniques and structural systems that can withstand winds up to 180 kilometers per hour or 112 miles per hour.
Some of Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia’s projects have been constructed in areas that are considered high severe wind areas. See the testimonial below.
Dear Bryan & Andre,
Just wanted to let you know that this ole log home you had built for us just withstood two tornadoes and one hit of straight line winds that topped 90mph(144 kmph). We had quite a night here last night. It started about 5:30 p.m. and didn't quit until about 4:30 a.m. They just kept coming. A woman was killed in Strafford when her house blew away and one was killed about four miles east of us when her mobile home turned over. We are fine and didn't even have much debris.
Just wanted to let you know that your house performed beautifully and all of the money I paid those cute Mennonite guys to screw on the roof and the fascia was worth every penny. This house didn't even groan...even though I did.
Talk to you soon. Hope you aren't growing webbed feet.
Love you, Clara & Clay - Niangua, Missouri
Again, Pioneer’s structures are engineered with specific hold downs and structural mechanisms that fasten the log shell package and roof structures to the foundation.
In regards to insects and termites, new and current construction techniques and practices such as suppression barriers, site management and also treated wood have virtually eliminated the problems had in the past with these pests and their effect on wood for construction.
Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia has shipped houses to places like Australia, the Southern United States and places where these insects are prevalent. Again systems are put in place to protect the integrity of the home through site management and suppression barriers. These basically eliminate problems that have occurred in the past in North American wood frame construction, including all types such as log and timber homes.
Wood structures are engineered to provide the same safety and reliability as other building materials such as steel and concrete. Independent studies show heavy timber resists fire better than steel which can weaken and collapse quickly when exposed to intense heat. In many respects, heavy timber construction is compared to and equivalent to reinforced concrete. With most fires, no matter what the building materials used in the construction are, proof shows the fire dangers are attributed to the contents inside the home or structure.
Again Pioneer’s structures are scrutinized by building inspectors, engineers and planners. Steps are taken to ensure firewalls and breaks are placed as per the design criteria. As a matter of fact, an 18 inch log wall provides an excellent mass between rooms for containment of the fire and heat. Massive log and timber beams provide excellent safety allowing ample time for people to vacate if there is a fire.
Log and timber beams can be cleaned and the char removed to the natural wood beneath. This has been proven not only in Pioneer houses, but also on ancient log and timber construction worldwide. See testimonial below.
My wife and I would like to send you this as a testimonial to our beautiful Pioneer Log Home.
In August 2005 you delivered our new log residence, it was the 5th log structure we had purchased from Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia since 1994. All of these buildings were very large in size for commercial use in our family’s business.
Our personal home came in 9 containers from Canada. We were interested in having an eco friendly home with as many natural materials as possible. Even the insulation is made from wood fibre in the roof system.
On December 30th 2006, I woke to the smell of smoke. I woke my father-in-law up and we managed to put the fire out with extinguishers and fire equipment, however it was very dangerous, we are thankful that we were not killed in the effort. Our German architect Ueli Ettle later said that if the home was constructed from any other material other than logs, we probably would have perished in the fire.
The heat temperature at the roof ridge was later measured at 700º Celsius. The windows were twin sealed glass but the fire was so hot that the inner panes of glass exploded with the extreme heat. Kitchen appliances and kitchen equipment were melted from the heat. The log ridges, log rafters and some log walls had 8mm (3/8”) of burned wood and charcoal on them. The interior frame walls, partitions and interior doors were burned and smoke damaged and some were completely destroyed.
The clean up by the insurance company consisted of spraying a latex eco friendly compound onto the logs, it even penetrated the cracks in the logs. It was sprayed on the log walls, log ridges, log purlins and log rafters. The latex was then peeled off, removing the charcoaled wood and destroyed fibre. 3 logs were so badly burned they had to be slicked and peeled. The miracle was the wood and remaining logs were still structurally stable and aesthetically pleasing. The overall damage to our home was in excess of 500,000.00 € ($750,000.00 CDN)
My entire family is very thankful that our home was a Pioneer Log Home. We believe Pioneer’s incredible construction and large logs saved my family from being hurt or killed in the fire.
Today our log home looks as beautiful as it did before the fire that December night!!
Thank you Pioneer,
For more information on BC Forest Facts click here.