Faux Logs Kill Trees Too, Just Slowly and at a Distance

Janie Osborne for The New York Times

The New York Times says "No trees died in the building of this house"- the logs are made of precast concrete. They are wrong; trees die all the time as an externality of making concrete. A ton of carbon dioxide is released for every ton of concrete made, increasing climate change that is destroying forests across the west and north of the continent; the trucks carrying those logs spewed diesel fumes along their entire route.

Frank Lloyd Wright said "Each material has its own message"- what does a concrete log say?
closeup of everlog faux logs; Janie Osborne for The New York Times

Of course, FLW also said "I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters." So perhaps I should just keep quoting the New York Times:

"Architecture 101 says respect the integrity of the materials," said Joe Campeau, an architect in Helena, Mont., and a proponent of "architecture that represents Montana" and [architecture] "that says 'I belong here.' "

"Material should represent itself and not another material," Mr. Campeau said. "Simply put, they're fake."


Logs are not a particularly green way to build, using a lot of material from what are often first growth trees; there are a lot more efficient ways to build a wall. I have only said nice things about them once, because of the huge oversupply of pine-beetle damaged wood.

Faux logs of styrofoam

But styrofoam and concrete logs are not the alternative; good design is. The Times has shown so many lovely country homes that fit right in and use appropriate, indigenous materials. What can I say other than Say no to faux.
New York Times

Nice, small second homes in the New York Times made from appropriate materials:
Hermit Cabin By Mats Theselius and Arvesund
Unplugged: Scott Newkirk's Cabin
A Resort Cottage to Go

Tags: Housing Industry


treehugger slideshows