‘Greenwashing’ is an unfortunate phenomenon people wishing to build an environmentally responsible home have to deal with these days. It’s hard enough dealing with all the many regular demands of building a home, let alone trying to verify the claims many so-called ‘green builders’ put out there about how their homes are ‘eco friendly’ or ‘green’ etc.. With the very real prospect of climate change and the plethora of existential crises which come with it (wildlife extinction, drought, famine, conflict to name a few) attempts to capitalise on it by building companies whose homes have little-to-no merit when it comes to carbon reduction is, in our view a very cynical approach to doing business. Being a profitable business is a wonderful thing, but it comes with responsibility.
Homes from our Solid Timber range are carbon negative. Which means that on completion, they have removed more carbon from the atmosphere than they have emitted. This is because the timber used in them stores carbon as they grow, and when they are felled, they are replaced by more carbon storing trees. So even though other aspects of the build will produce carbon – transport, the manufacture of appliances etc. The net emissions from those is less than the carbon captured by the timber. By comparison, a standard residential home in New Zealand emits more carbon into the atmosphere than a petrol fueled car would if driven over 1 million kilometres.
Homes from our Timbermode range, which includes the Alpine Range and Fraemohs First do not have the same carbon negative properties as our Solid Timber and Transportable ranges of homes. For the very simple fact that they are not made from sustainably grown local timber. There is no practical way of getting around this – if a home is made from synthetic, man-made materials and you are trying to building within a reasonable budget, then it will emit significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere through the manufacture of its parts as well as the construction process itself, despite whatever ‘eco friendly’ claims are being made by the builders trying to sell it. We do what we practically can to minimise the carbon output of our homes which aren’t built from Solid Timber, which includes using sustainably grown timber framing instead of steel, sourcing products from suppliers we know to be environmentally responsible, using local products when we can (which reduces carbon miles), and making it easy for our customers to make changes to their design by adding extra insulation etc. As with all our homes, we also employ Scandinavian design principles which maximises the sun’s energy thus minimising energy consumption in the daily operation of the home.
The beauty of using natural timber as a building material is that it can withstand almost anything that Mother Nature can throw at it. Timber’s ability to breathe and help regulate indoor moisture levels make it an ideal choice for humid and tropical climates. Meanwhile timber is also an excellent insulator, which is why log cabins have been used for centuries in cold, alpine environments trapping the heat inside and making the occupants cosy and warm despite the harsh, wintry conditions outside.
Countless studies have demonstrated that timber’s ability to flex make it the no-brainer option when building in earthquake-prone regions and exposed areas with high winds. Dozens of clients with existing Fraemohs Homes in areas hit by the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes have contacted us to tell us how well their homes have performed through multiple shakes, protecting their families and remaining intact while neighbouring homes have been torn apart.
You are the starting point for your home. Finding out what is important to you is our first job and once this discovery process is complete, our expertise will guide you to the optimal design solution for you. You will appreciate the careful thought that has gone into our architecturally-designed plans and may well find one of these is the perfect time-saving, cost effective option for you. If you like aspects of more than one design, we can often bring these together by customising one of our plans just for you. Creating your own design from scratch is an exciting process and that choice is one you can make with the technical experience of our architectural design team guiding you through the process.
Timber helps regulate indoor temperature and also has natural antimicrobial properties. These features of timber reduce the risk of dampness and mould growing in your home, even if you live in a humid climate. As damp, mouldy homes are known to contribute to respiratory illnesses and worsening allergy and asthma symptoms, it makes sense to choose a timber home for health reasons alone if you or your loved ones are affected by a respiratory condition.
Natural wood interiors are associated with feelings of warmth and relaxation and studies have shown natural wood interiors can promote wellbeing by lowering blood pressure and reducing heart rates.
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