Green Timber Frames Are Built From Unwanted Wood


Image Credit Lloyd Alter

Every year I cover the Cottage Life Show in Toronto, and every year there are yet more timber frame companies on display; you have to wonder if there are going to be any trees left to square. I often argue with a friend who builds these, suggesting that conventional building is greener, because it uses smaller pieces of wood more efficiently; Brad insists that timberframe is greener, because the wood lasts forever and can be reused.

Arborist Greg Hill of Maple Hill Tree Services resolves the problem nicely; he builds timber frames from salvaged wood.

Greg of Maple Hill from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

I interviewed Greg Hill at the Cottage Life Show; there was a chain saw demonstration a few booths away that almost drowns him out. He explains how he is dedicated to the preservation of trees, but when he has to take them down because of disease or development (which there is a lot of around Mississauga, Ontario). It used to go to landfill or for firewood, but his company takes trees down with the intention of using the wood for frames, furniture or cutting boards. Frames are erected nearby; Greg says "We like to think of ourselves as a "hundred mile company." All the wood is local "and isn't coming from Quebec or Haliburton or British Columbia, with no carbon footprint to speak of."

That is a timber frame that nobody could complain about. More at Maple Hill Tree Services.

Greg insisted that I have a look on his website for British artist Alex Metcalf, who has designed a special sound recording system, that amplifies the sounds of the tree moving, vibrating and even drinking water. It's fascinating.

More on Timber Frames:
Timber Houses Lead a Double Life. As Carbon Sinks. : TreeHugger
What is the Best Way To Build A Wall? Not A Simple Answer : TreeHugger

Tags: Green Building | Toronto

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