It’s hard to talk about contemporary residential log cabins and not address the material that it is ultimately made of – timber. Historically, timber is one of the most popular building material. It insulates well, decays slowly with good care and is very versatile. Plus, for a long time, it has been a great source of fuel, whether as raw material or charcoal. With significant advances in the material sciences, one would think that timber would fall out of use. However, log home manufacture still remains a strong industry, with glulam houses and log cabin homes retaining popularity. And yet, timber as a material faces intense scrutiny due to the phenomenon of deforestation, which is extremely harmful to the environment.
So, with all this history and potential harm that log cabin industry could be doing to the environment, how come it still stays so popular? The simple answer is reforestation. With efforts that are taking place globally and the extent to which countries take care to reforest their lands – especially in Europe – log cabin manufacturers have little to fear.
What is reforestation?
Reforestation is the process of replanting forest areas that have been destroyed or damaged for industrial benefits. The process can be called reforestation or afforestation – both terms share the same meaning i.e. afforestation is another name for reforestation. In some cases, forests have the capability to regenerate naturally, due to the types trees in its surroundings. Alternatively, they can regenerate due to the dispersion of seeds. However, forest lands that have degraded too much cannot be regenerated unless trees and other plants have been replanted by using native methods.
Replanting a forest takes a lang time and effort. Some trees take 10 to 15 years to reach maturity, so they can continue efficiently produce oxygen again. It also takes investment and labor, not to mention halt to industries that have relied on local supply of timber. For example, in 2019, Germany has announced its 800m EUR plan to replant its forests. It appears a large sum, however, the local Forestry Association argues still that the full 2.3b EUR package should be adopted to save the country’s forests. This proves two things. One: forests are clearly important to maintain, not just for industrial purposes, but to keep the heat and climate in check. Two: countries are willing to take on the challenge.
Why is reforestation important?
Forests play a major role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. Due to deforestation – the removal of vast areas of forest – serious issues have risen globally. Forests are home to a diverse range of animals and plants other than trees. They also play a vital role in maintaining the water cycle and stopping the soil from eroding. Most importantly, forests are responsible for maintaining the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen the in Earth’s atmosphere. Without forests, we risk experiencing the greenhouse effect, which happens due to excessive carbon compounds in the air. Therefore, reforestation in key in restoring the natural balance of plant life on the planet.
What does this mean for the log cabin industry?
Reforestation efforts are first and foremost an environmental question. There can be no doubt about the link between the health of the forest and the climate. Each industry that benefits from timber as a resource should be looking at the reforestation efforts as a chance to reduce their own production needs while still satisfying demand. That is why new material solutions, such as glue lamination, have come about. Using glue lamination – glulam – has been effective in reducing carbon emissions between 14-31% compared to other popular building materials, such as cement and steel. Also, glulam method doesn’t require deciduous trees – such as birch or oak, the main oxygen generators – to be cut down. Instead the use of evergreens is more than acceptable. Our experience proves it, as we are able to maintain high quality standards using only the Northern pine.
Overall, sustainability is the name of the game and at least in Europe – where we reside it’s one of the main focuses. We are happy to say that our log cabin production emits less CO2 than other construction industries and we are able to help people live more sustainably by choosing our log cabins and log homes.