Today’s blog is all about energy efficiency, how R-values are determined, how a highly energy efficient home can save you money, and more. We talked to our energy efficient expert Eric Gibson from our North Carolina office. Eric is a certified energy efficiency instructor who has been selling log homes for years, and has now been with Timber Block for the past few years.

Timber Block homes are highly energy efficient. How do you achieve this?

“You can have the best insulated walls and ceiling, but until you seal the envelope of the home, you will be losing the air that you have paid to either cool or heat.  By sealing every area that you can, you can dramatically reduce the energy that you will lose.  This is what our system is designed to accomplish, and by sealing the envelope of your home, you will take full advantage of the insulation in your Timber Block energy efficient house.  It is like closing the lid on your expensive cooler.”

Timber Block offers R-30 to R-36 wall insulation. How is the R rating calculated?

“In a discussion about the energy efficiency of a home, the most common topic is the “R- Value of the insulation.  R-value is a measurement of the thermal resistance and measures the ability of heat to transfer from one side of an object to another.  Each insulating material has a different R-value. Wood logs have an R-value of approximately 1 per inch of thickness, giving an 8” thick log approximately an R–8 rating.  The foam that Timber Block using in their product has an R-value of approximately 6 per inch of thickness, giving our walls an R-30 for our standard walls and an R-36 for our optional walls.”

Does an energy efficient house really save money? Do you have an example?

“YES!!  If you compare the energy used to heat and cool your home to what a similar size Timber Block home requires, you might be shocked.  One of the families that I have built a Timber Block home recently reported to me that they have calculated their average cost to heat and cool their 2000 square foot home in western North Carolina to be $50.00 per month.  They were able to achieve this by use of a geothermal heat pump system and a wood stove in the basement.

The savings that each family will see will vary based on the location of the home and the type of heating and cooling they decide to use.”

Do your meet all building codes coast to coast?

“When we work with a family to design their Timber Block energy efficient house, one of the most important piece of information we need is the exact location of where the home will be built.  Building codes vary based on the location of the build site.  When we are designing a home for the mountains of California, the building codes may require a specific snow load, wind load and designed for seismic activity.  Changing the elevation on where the home can also dictate a change in engineering to meet the wind load requirements.

In the United States, Timber Block designs and engineers each home for the exact build site.  After we have engineered the home, we send the plans to an independent engineering firm for them to review and to “wet Stamp” their approval, of the design meeting all local building codes.”

What are the advantages of a panelized home building system, in relation to energy efficiency?

“Timber Block builds the panels in a factory with constant attention to quality.  The uniformity of the materials that we use along with the controlled conditions gives us a consistent product with exceptional insulating properties that is easy to install and seal to the environment.  Just what is takes to build an extremely energy efficient home!”

Can a Timber Block home achieve Energy Star status?

“Yes, Timber Block homes can achieve Energy Star status.  Timber Block’s package is a major component in building an Energy Star Home, but the builder and the HVAC installer are also critical to earning the Energy Star.  During the construction process there are specific techniques that must be used by the builder and attention to the types of appliances installed is also critical.  Once the home is complete, it is tested to insure that it meets Energy Star requirements.”

If an energy efficient house is what you are looking for, contact Eric Gibson directly at egibson@timberblock.com, or call 866-929-5647.

For general questions about Timber Block, call our head office at 866-929-5647 or email infonc@timberblock.com.

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