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Re: Green Building and Us #24840 12/07/10 01:37 AM
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house237 Offline
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hi....good day..have fun and enjoy..


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Re: Green Building and Us #24841 12/07/10 07:00 AM
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Re: Green Building and Us #24917 12/21/10 10:03 PM
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D L Bahler Offline
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There is a good thought here...

We build houses today that by a generous estimate will be totally unattractive to investors in 50 years. After 30 years, investors are not going to be willing to put forth anywhere near what they would have done at 20 years, same thing from twenty to 15, and 15 to ten.

Here an investor doesn't necessarily mean a lifetime real estate investor, but just about anyone who is going to buy a home, especially if that person seriously considers moving to a new house in ten or fifteen years, as so many people seem to do these days. 20 years in the same house is a good run it seems!

From a purely economical standpoint, wouldn't it make far more sense to make a house that is still going to be an attractive investment in twenty years? Especially if you indeed plan on moving in that time period. Wouldn't it be appealing to people to know that they are going to be able to get out of their house a significant portion of what they put into it?

From an environmental standpoint, this is a win-win scenario. The prevalence of a permanent house (instead of modern houses that I would qualify as semi-permanent) in our culture would mean less waste. IT would be an economic win, because modern houses are a terrible investment. The money you put into them will simply dissolve over time.

The key here as I see it is to make timber framing available to everyone, not just the wealthy or those who pretend they are wealthy. To me this means we need to totally rethink everything we are doing right now. We need to look at all the things before us, and decide what will move us toward this goal. SIP's are a terrible inefficiency from an economic standpoint. They inflate the cost of a frame by tens of thousands of dollars, and their prevalence severely limits the availability of timber framing.

Another thing to note, not every timber frame needs to be a grand, open hall. For the purposes of economy, they can be largely indistinguishable from other forms of buildings. Not every frame has to be a show of the fact that it is indeed a timber frame. Not that there is anything wrong with beautiful frames.

I had better stop now, my post is fast turning into a rant! But this is my vision, it is a major goal for me right now and I have put quite a bit of thought into opening up timber framing to everyone, like it used to be 200 years ago.

Maybe I will have to construct a detailed proposition and post it up on the forums some time!

Last edited by D L Bahler; 12/21/10 10:04 PM.

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Re: Green Building and Us #24945 12/24/10 04:23 AM
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Dave Shepard Offline
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Hi D L,

I don't think your post is a rant. I, too, would like to make timber framed homes more available. I think there is a common misconception that TF is only for the affluent. I started a thread a few years ago about TF philosophy. I'll reread it and see how mine may, or may not, have evolved over the last few years. I think periodic introspection is important.


http://www.tfguild.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2835#Post2835


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Re: Green Building and Us #24956 12/31/10 02:15 AM
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D L Bahler Offline
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well I have certainly developed a philosophy of my own! And surely it will evolve over time as well.

I think America is at an important point, and what we do right now will likely have significant effect on the course of our future. I think we are in desperate need of some cultural and economical introspection. We need to thoroughly review ourselves and look at what it is exactly we are doing wrong; I think we can all agree that we are indeed doing a lot of things wrong. I also think we as a people need to be willing to step up and take responsibility for our own mistakes, or else this current mess is just going to keep getting worse. We need to stop expecting everyone else (i.e. the government) to take care of our problems, but rather we need to step up and shoulder some responsibility.

I think that in any culture, including ours, home building is an effective microcosm of cultural values. What we value in our houses reflects what we value as a whole.

And what does our culture value in this regard? Fast, flashy homes that go up fast and start rotting away as soon as they are built. Houses built for the short term, with little concern as to what they will be 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. We prefer to build flashy houses for the wealthy, that in 30 years will have to be re purposed because no one with any money would want to live in it any more.

So that's a major part of my philosophy. We need to change.

But we can't expect that change to happen in the alternative remains so far out of reach.

By building timber frames to be showpieces,, to be 'works of art' we in the end are really just making ourselves a part of the problem. we so often are not selling people on quality and endurance, but rather on flash and pomp.

Perhaps we should step back and ponder, not every timber frame has to be a show piece. Maybe we shouldn't always be building a timber frame merely for the purpose of building a timber frame. We seem to have made it an end unto itself, and in so doing we have betrayed the heritage that we so cheerfully uphold.

Personally I have been in a number of old buildings -around here that would be church houses- that I did not realize were timber frames at all until perhaps I went into the basement. They were built that way because that was what worked, and then the frame was immediately plastered over, never to be seen again. Not to say we should plaster over our frames and hide them, just to illustrate that some times a timber frame is a thing of function first and foremost.

I have been working for some time to develop a system that fits my goals. I aim to create a system that can be affordable, be beautiful, adaptable, and efficient. I want a system that can work using natural materials, but also can make use of modern materials equally well. I have been trying to work around the inherent difficulties of a timber frame, such as thermal bridging of timbers. I have come up with a system, surely with flaws that need to be worked out (I am indebted to members of these boards who pointed me in the direction of the german clay walls systems, and plan to use the collected knowledge and wisdom here again!)

One major thing I did was to look at the frame itself, and how it is built. My system, as a result, is designed around a frame that has more in common with frames of the middle ages than with modern American timber framing. To further my research into this I plan on traveling to Germany and Switzerland to see the buildings themselves. I think we would do good to consider other forms of the timber frame. Many have done much work to introduce the Japanese frame, and I think the same should be done for the German frame. It I think it is an inherently far more adaptable and free form than bent framing, and I think if it were executed with local timbers its almost exclusive use of smaller timbers (both in cross section and length) and timbers with rectangular rather than square sections could potentially make it far cheaper, which is part of the reason it developed that way in the first place. Furthermore, I think this building style has effectively proven itself, with examples standing firm from the 1300's at least, some of which stood proud against the assault of 2 devastating world wars. (Ironically, the only major thing that has threatened these buildings has been the use of modern cements to repair the infills, which were incompatible with the original materials and caused frame damage and rotting)


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Re: Green Building and Us #24958 12/31/10 04:33 AM
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studio Offline
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I agree that the attitude we have towards building in the US needs to change. It is sad that the 30yr mortgage has become the measuring stick for a homes life. There is another important thing to factor in when looking at the centuries old buildings around the world. The fact that they are still standing is certainly a sign of the quality of their construction, but also a sign of the quality of their maintenance. Those building have been cared for throughout their lifetimes. Materials will inevitably weather and deteriorate over time. High quality craftsmanship goes a long way towards delaying that. However, the design and construction of a house needs to be such that it can be maintained (and materials replaced if necessary) as time takes its toll, which it will.


Steve Tracy
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Re: Green Building and Us #24959 12/31/10 05:05 AM
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D L Bahler Offline
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Good point you have there!

And that I have always thought is one of the biggest advantages of natural materials. While I am no environmentalist and I admit the word 'green' gives me a strange feeling (no offense to those who think otherwise intended) the idea of 'green' building has always made sense to me, largely for this reason. The materials involved are so easy to repair or replace.

But we need to cultivate an attitude of care. If you have a building that will stand up to that care, then that attitude will certainly be easier to get at.


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Re: Green Building and Us #24968 12/31/10 05:40 PM
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cedar Offline
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I have liked the concepts to do with natural building since the 1970's. The latest edition of Fine Homebuilding has an article in it about the history of homebuilding in the USA. It discusses how the industry got off track and possible solutions.
In Canada we have followed the building trends of our southern friends. It is sad to see unsustainable homes being built now. I hope to see more green building happening in the near future. Our Guild members have lots to contribute to green building and new trends in Timber Frame construction.

Re: Green Building and Us #24993 01/03/11 12:11 AM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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To go along with this thread, you can even find Will Beamer in there some where. A nice list of books.

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/natural_building.htm

I am looking forward to the latest issue of fine homebuilding to see their opinion of where it all went wrong.

I live in a remote section of the country and whenever I venture out into the more populated areas, southern New England- Boston and such, I get a harsh reminder of the hugh number of people really out there. And along with that reality check I often wonder if there really is a solution? We can do our small part, whatever the flavor.

Re: Green Building and Us [Re: TIMBEAL] #25016 01/04/11 05:12 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Hello,
there is one book that anyone concerned with building, and this so called green building in particular, should really be familiar with - A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander.


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