Is Timber Framing your Green-Living Solution? Take the Quiz!

Timber frame homes have a romance about them—the warmth of natural wood plus the rustic-yet-refined elegance both on the exterior and interior of the home. And if design is leading your mountain home decision, also know that structurally, timber framing is one of  the most sturdy, dependable, and cost-effective building methods available on the market today—not to mention the green-living benefits. Curious as to how timber frame homes rank on the green living scale? 

Take this quiz to test your knowledge—what you learn may surprise you.

1. TRUE OR FALSE: Timber frame homes reduce your carbon footprint

1. Answer: TRUE! Actually, a wood framed home is considerably lower in gas emissions than their steel and concrete counterparts—by as much as 26 percent.  Wow!


2. TRUE OR FALSE: Timber frame homes are less energy efficient than other styles of homes. 

2. Answer: FALSE! Insulation efficiency is a big determining factor in energy efficiency, as you may have noticed in your own heating and cooling bills. Improved energy efficiency in timber framing is due to the timber structure being built on the interior of the home with the exterior walls, the insulation envelope, wrapping the outside of the entire timber frame, contributing to a tighter, better-performing structure.

(Most traditional homes are constructed through stick building, where the insulation sits between the framing of the walls. This leaves many gaps where your hot or cool air escapes, as well as low insulation values where the structural members are; timber framing minimizes this issue.)


3. TRUE OR FALSE: Timber frame homes use sustainably sourced materials.

3. Answer: Trick question! In general, yes, but be sure to ask where your timber is coming from. Canadian Douglas Fir, a wood of choice for many for its building flexibility and durability, is harvested so as to maintain more than 90 percent of the original forest area. Ready to start building yet?


4. TRUE OR FALSE: Timber frame homes do not utilize solar gain. 

4. Answer: FALSE! In fact, a well-designed timber frame home uses solar energy to its advantage, offsetting heating bills in the winter and cooling bills in the summer. The construction allows for large window walls, so you can capitalize on solar gain without the extra cost of solar panels. And not to mention more space to bring the outdoors in… the whole reason we live in the mountains, right?



1-2 right: You’re off to a good start—Sharpen your (wood) pencil as you continue in your mountain home research!

3 right: You are well on your way to becoming a timber expert!

4 right: Congrats!  You’re a timber frame ace!


Stephanie Bowes is the Executive Director at Canadian Timberframes, a British Columbia-based leading manufacturer and provider of timber frame solutions across North America. View their profile or contact Stephanie at 877-348-9924.

Content for this article provided by Canadian Timberframes Ltd.

Categories: Expert Advice, Rustic Homes