Modern construction methods are extremely efficient and safe. Many homeowners and renters enjoy the protection from the weather and the hazards that run through almost every home, with near complete immunity. The most frequent criticism of modern construction that many people have is that the materials and substances that go into creating the modern home are harmful to the environment, and sometimes the occupants.
There are many ways to limit the risk and harm that people can be exposed to with modern construction methods and one is to use ecologically friendly construction means, as called “green construction”. Green construction is essentially the endeavor to use material that will not emit chemicals or substances that are harmful to the environment or life. One of these green construction methods is called “cord wood” construction or stack wall construction.
Cord wood construction is basically using firewood that is cut to a specified dimension as fill for a mortar supported wall. Think of it like this, instead of using bricks, you use wood. Cord wood walls vary in thickness from 8 to about 16 inches depending on the weather conditions prevalent in the area. In colder areas, a thick wall wall insulates the cold, but where the cold is not as big a concern your resources can be used in a more frugal manner by making 8 inch walls.
The largest benefit of building a home out of cord wood construction is the price. Typically a 2000 square foot home can be built out of about 5 cords of firewood, which may cost less than $ 1000 depending on your location. When placed inside of a frame of post and beam structure the cord wood wall is one of the most beautiful and rustic looking forms of construction in the world.
The second largest benefit of cord wood construction is that it is something anyone can do with a little effort. It takes time to build a cord wood wall straight and true, but it is not that hard so any novice builder can have a decent home authentically secured. Since the mortar takes time to set up and harden you can only go at a certain pace of construction which allows you to rest and plan before getting too far ahead of yourself.
The most important benefit of cord wood construction is that you are creating a home which does not release toxic chemicals into the home environment. Once the mortar is discharged the home is done releasing any gases or chemicals, so you do not have to worry about your kids inhaling formaldehyde for 2 years afterward like you do in new construction. Keep in mind that it does take a deliberate effort on your part not to put in any chemicals as well. This can be avoided by choosing to decorate your home with something other than paint and glue down your rugs with a substance that does not emit formaldehyde.
With a little conscious planning and thought you can use green construction techniques to completely prevent a dangerous environment for your loved ones, and yourself.