Timber frame houses have a very long history, dating back to Neolithic times and continuing all the way through the present. The craft has been refined over that time, but the principles are the same — using felled trees to their fullest potential to create homes that are durable, economical, sustainable, and beautiful. Unlike the conventional “stick frame” home of modern times, the timber frame is actually much more energy efficient than you might think! Best of all, a timber frame workshop promises to educate folks about how to build their own energy-efficient, natural house.
Using felled trees to their fullest potential, a timber frame home is naturally more economical, as there is much less waste in the production of the necessary elements of a frame — large posts, beams, etc. Not only that, but it is uncommon that large timbers are shipped over long distances due to the sheer size and weight, so timber frame construction actually encourages the use of local resources.
Timber Framing Supports Excellent Home Insulation
Timber frame homes are much more conducive to implementing high levels of insulation, as they allow for much more uninterrupted space between vertical members to wrap or fill with various types of insulation, including straw bales. On the other hand, stick frames have many vertical members that break up space and make it challenging to fill with insulative material, or worse, do not actually provide a full wrap of insulation. And, of course, adequate insulation is the key to an energy efficient home.
Learn Timber Frame Home Construction
Two natural building workshops are being offered in 2012 at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage to teach folks about how to build their own energy-efficient, natural homes. Check out these straw bale workshops and the timber framing workshop that promises people the chance to learn skills that are indispensable for creating energy-efficient homes.
Timber frame houses have a long history that will hopefully continue, as the method proves to be an important way to address energy efficiency in house construction.
Timber framing pictures via The Year of Mud (me)
I'm a 26-year-old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, an intentional community devoted to sustainable living and culture change. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply. You can read about my on-going natural building projects at: http://www.small-scale.net/yearofmud