We specialize in rural sustainable building. We live rurally. We understand rural lifestyles and strive to help people achieve their dreams, values and aspirations in the creation of their new homes.
Sustainable Building and Sustainable Design Process
Sustainable building starts with sustainable design. We work with you to design the most efficient, appropriate plan that meets your needs. We emphasize keeping size, or “footprint,” as small as possible.
Sustainable design involves the whole team – it is a holistic process. Our team is actively involved in the design work because we believe it takes a rigorous, interactive and collaborative process to create the best designs. Sustainable building is not merely about adding a few non-toxic materials or applying some technologies to an otherwise status quo building.
Designing an appropriate footprint is the first step in achieving energy efficiency, crucial in sustainable building. From here we work to establish the right combination of healthy building materials, layout, and energy efficient systems. For some, r-value is their most important value in design. For others, it is minimally processed products which have the least impact in their manufacture. We work to find the right balance for each situation.
Zirnhelt Timber Frames capitalizes on designing with nature as much as possible. We design to make the best use of daylight and use local appropriate heat sources – including passive solar energy and wood waste.
Bringing together the various components helps us to achieve affordability, another very important part of sustainable building. Efficient footprints, careful design, durability and energy efficiency are all key to making this happen.
Sustainable Building Construction Methods
We believe in using local materials that have the least negative environmental and greatest positive socio-economic impact. Our homes are made of local, ecologically harvested wood. Used properly, wood can be a very responsible, healthy choice as building material. We assume our homes will last for centuries if their occupants treat them with the same care as we build them. Our environmental impact is minimal and we strive to provide local livelihoods for the people we work with. Processing is minimal and local, and solid wood is extremely durable. Our timber homes are both functional and beautiful.
We strive to use the most responsible products we can from the forest (our key resource) to the most natural and healthy finishing products.
Zirnhelt Timber Frames believes sustainable building happens “in the shop” too. It means respecting the people who create sustainable homes. We offer flexibility in work schedules because we understand that people have busy, complicated lives outside of work. There is a strong emphasis on self management and communication. Recognizing people’s contributions, passions skills and values in the workplace is critical in the pursuit of quality and sustainability. Building with timber allows our team to express their practical and artistic strengths.
In our small shop, we are constantly working toward prefabricating components as much as possible. This helps in our efficiency, reduces on-site waste and maintains the high quality that is expected of us. Building with timber also provides an environment where our team members can express their practical and artistic strengths.