Revolutionary troops stayed in them at Valley Forge; Abraham Lincoln was born in one; they’re the traditional dwelling of the American settler. The lowly log cabin, the very symbol of humble beginnings with no fewer than seven U.S. President's laying claim to having been born in one.
One of the most elemental building styles, dating back over 5,000 years to at least 3500 BC, it evolved in Scandinavia where the vast carnivorous forests provided ample material, the soft wood lending itself to fashioning with bronze age tools. The first Swedes arrived in the new world in the early 1600’s and found that the great forests of North America were ideal for a revival of the log cabin. By the time that William Penn arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682, the log cabin had become prevalent enough that he
and his English followers assumed them to be an indigenous style, and quickly adopted it. Quick and easy to assemble with materials at hand, it would carry generations of early Americans westward.
So it would seem that, outside of rustic vacation homes, they have no place in modern home construction. But the log cabin does have some inherent traits that make it an appealing construction technique. Log homes are typically 15-20% more energy efficient than conventionally constructed homes. And log homes are constructed primarily of natural and renewable materials.
Building own these basic strengths, and combining them with innovative engineering and computer aided design and production, Arborwall Solid Cedar Homes has developed an advanced building system for the 21st century.
With the foundation in place, a succession of flat bed tractor-trailer trucks arrive on site and off-load the home, stacked in pieces. The ‘logs’ for this home aren’t round, though, or even rough hewn. Nor are they of common pine or from straight old-growth trees. They are 6” x 6” milled solid Northern White Cedar ‘logs’, each one individually numbered and bar-coded, precisely cut to securely fit in it’s computer specified position.
Northern White Cedar is highly sustainable, harvested from responsibly managed forests in Maine's vast swathes of cedar forests. With its superior resistance to decay and insects, and naturally low moisture content, Northern White Cedar is one of the most stable, durable and long-lasting woods on earth, with the highest insulation value of any wood species.
Arborwall’s logs are pre-cut with interlocking corners and tongue-and-groove joinery like that found in fine woodworking. This construction creates a uninterrupted wall of solid cedar timbers around the entire perimeter of the home. The addition of rigid panel insulation applied to the interior forms continuously insulated mass walls, and creates an exceptionally tight energy envelope.
Tongue and groove cedar boards, shaped to mimic the flat interior profile of the wall timbers finish the interior. Alternatively, most any material can be used to give the interior what ever look is desired.
Construction is a relatively straight-forward process of stacking and securing logs as specified by computer printouts, much like a house-size puzzle. With the addition of a few easily learned techniques, an Arborwall home can be assembled by most any standard home builder. This proprietary building system has been in a constant state of refinement for over 40 years, and can easily be paired with many other types of conventional or unconventional construction techniques, materials and practices to create entirely unique, custom homes.
If you'd like more information on Arborwall Solid Cedar Homes, visit their web site at: www.arborwall.com/