Timber frame homes are beautiful, inspiring, charming, and all of the wonderful words that you can consider. And, when properly designed and constructed, they are also amazingly energy efficient. This doesn’t happen by accident, but with intentional design and construction.
Designing for not only beauty, but also for energy efficiency, should be goals from the start. You will need to consider size, style, orientation, daylighting, and all the other subtle ways that you can plan forward. Make it known early in your design meetings that you want your home to be sustainable and to minimize energy usage.
Plan forward for energy efficient fixtures and appliances and to use energy efficient bulbs. Don’t save money with inefficient appliances and windows. They will cost you daily.
Structural Insulated Panels are the enclosure of choice for many timber frame companies. Timber frame homes and hybrid homes work well with panel systems. A tight home and a well insulated home don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but a well installed panel system covers it all.
We not only promote energy efficiency, but we live it. Our own 1700 square foot timber frame home, with lots of windows and vaulted ceilings, uses only $2.34 per day ($835 for the year) in electricity. We heat and cool with a heat pump and don’t have a fireplace or any auxiliary heat source. We have an electric dryer and a dishwasher.
Last year our energy usage was $3.08 per day ($1,123 for the year). We had a much colder winter, but we also made some common sense changes. We don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full. We hang some clothes out to dry. Simple choices have saved us almost $300 per year.
So think forward. Plan your home to save those energy dollars and to be comfortable. Build a home you’ll love and whatever you do, Build Boldly!