“Rather than chipping trees and re-forming the pieces with adhesive (like OSB), Roald Gundersen’s company, Whole Trees Architecture and Structures, has developed methods for using whole peeled logs for columns and trusses.
Speckled Wood is a roundwood timber-frame eco building. It was built in 2012, at Swan Barn Farm in Haslemere, on the borders of West Sussex and Surrey, by the National Trust’s Black Down countryside team and volunteers, led by Head Ranger David Elliott.
Many of those in need of housing have access to small-diameter trees in nearby forests. These trees can be used to produce materials that are ideal for building affordable homes. If used in conjunction with energy-efficient straw bale construction and other natural materials, small-diameter wood can be used to create a better home than most building systems, at lower cost.
“At last, I’m here to report that April and I accomplished building the round wood spiral staircase. Over the course of five days, literally up to the day before we left Dancing Rabbit, we installed the risers and treads. [Shock! They’re selling their home and moving to Berea, KY.]
“Round Timberframing. Harvesting trees from the site where we are building and using the trees as round structural members is ideal. Certainly this is time and labor intensive, although structurally, round timbers outperform milled timbers of the same dimension. This is because of the natural spiral form of the tree grain which is lost when the tree is milled. This spiral form is what allows tree branches of large girth to hang horizontally to limits that seem unbelievable.