Innovation

air tight logs

Log homes are the whole foods of housing, an organic alternative to the overprocessed, off-gassing ingredients of modern construction. But log homes have health benefits most people don’t know about. That has inspired Pavel Denisov to design innovative homes with special logs from the Arctic Circle.

From the very beginning, we decided to create a completely different product that is distinctly modern but with rustic roots. We describe it as a Canadian West Coast style with contemporary design. The lines are clean and modern, but the exposed wood exterior gives his homes a natural, earthy look. The key to his builds are logs imported from Finland that are used for the load-bearing exterior walls where they can hold up the house up and face the elements, but he uses conventional stick-frame construction for the interior walls, lowering costs and simplifying the build for plumbing, ventilation, gas, and electrical systems.

Created by Finland-based Kontio, the world’s largest log house factory, these logs are engineered to be square-shaped and fit together in a tongue-and-groove cross-laminated system ideal for home building. These logs last longer and are easier to work with, but they still preserve that special attribute that makes log homes healthier than the typical stick-frame houses. Log homes breathe. That simple fact solves one of the most confounding problems of modern construction. Houses today are carefully engineered and tightly regulated to ensure that moisture-creating humans — with their foggy breath, showers, and dishwashers — don’t create tenacious fungal farms of toxic mould. When warm, moist air inside lands on cool walls, it condenses into water, which feeds bacteria and mould in hidden cracks, under carpets, and behind drywall. To solve this problem, modern houses are built on a principle of total environmental control. Layers of protection isolate the inside from the outside environment. Exterior barriers block any moisture from coming in, with multiple vapour barriers installed to keep inside moisture from getting out. But layers of vinyl, wood, fiberglass, plastic, and drywall cannot match the perfectly regulated moisture control and breathability of trees. Log houses are also warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer, with eight inches of solid pine wood insulating the home while also regulating the moisture.

Health is the key issue for this kind of house — no mould, no place for bacteria to hide. You breathe healthier, you sleep better, you live longer in this home!

innovative feature in bc home architecture

“Why Solid Wood?”

Because it is

  • Healthy — Organic materials are better for your body
  • Quick — Offsite manufacturing accelerates the build
  • Strong but flexible — Perfect for seismic areas like Vancouver
  • Cool — No need for air conditioning
  • Warm — Excellent air tightness, near Passive House standards
  • Breathable — Moisture managed without risk of mould
  • Sound proof — Excellent acoustic insulation
  • Authentic — No need to cover with siding or drywall to look good