Is This Really The World's Largest TreeHouse? It Doesn't Actually Matter

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

When I posted a video the other day of an Ewok Village-style treehouse resort in Oregon, my traffic went a little nuts. It seems all of us—kids and adults alike—have a thing for treehouses. So as Fair Companies posted a follow up to that video, visiting "Treesort" creator Michael Garnier's own treehouse home, I figured we'd better post that here too.

True, we don't normally go for boasts about the size of homes. But at 1800 sq. feet this is a modest dwelling by modern American standards, even if its maker claims it is the world's largest treehouse.

Fair /Video screen capture

Now Garnier's claim should be taken with a pinch of salt, of course. Stephen has already written here on TreeHugger about "the world's largest treehouse" that stands at 10 storeys and 10,000 square feet in Tennessee (although there was some dispute in our comments about whether it was technically a treehouse), and even these kids' McMansion treehouse might give it a run for its money.

But either way, what is interesting about this video is not the size of the dwelling, but the case that Garnier makes for treehouses as a lower impact, responsible form of construction.

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

Build around a 300-year-old White Oak, Garnier says that the design uses the tree to provide its physical foundation, creating a resilient, flexible structure that can withstand heavy winds. By shoring up the roots of the tree with a shallow foundation, Garnier explains that he is able to leave the grove of trees in which it sits virtually untouched and perfectly healthy.

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

From the close appreciation of birds and nature to the shading in summer and sunlight in winter, there are plenty of other eco-boasts that could be made about this dwelling. Whether or not it is the "world's largest" treehouse seems besides the point. It's a carefully constructed home that takes into account its surroundings and tries to work with them, not against them. If only every house—treehouse or not—could say the same.

Tags: Architecture | Biodiversity | Conservation | Green Building | Oregon

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