May was Tree and Forest Month. And at Harkins, our world revolves around trees, from the forest to the log home. Here is our inspiration for the moment!
Did you know that in Quebec, forests account for half of our territory? This represents an area of 900 000 km²! Quebec forests represent 20% of Canadian forests, and this beautiful resource is one of the most important economic drivers in the Laurentides, where we operate.
ROUND WOOD: A RENEWABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY RESOURCE
We want to highlight the importance of trees, a renewable, local, and eco-friendly resource which helps store carbon, improving air quality.
The trees used in the construction of Harkins log cabins and homes are chosen in the Laurentides or Outaouais regions. We primarily use white pine for our projects, for its wonderful qualities: the mature trees are straight, pipe-like, which is excellent for the product created by our Scandinavian technique artisans.
SELECTING LOGS FOR A LOG HOME
The logs that will form the shell are evaluated one by one, to make sure a few key criteria are met:
- The diameter: this is measured to the height of the chest of the person selecting the logs. The diameter depends on the project, based on its style and engineering needs. The standard used at Harkins is 15” in diameter, but we sometimes work with logs up to 24” or 26” in diameter.
- The tree’s health: it’s important to take the time to check if there are any knots that may be a sign the tree is sick or rotten, and thus unusable.
- The creation of each home begins in the forest, before the first cut, and continues on the worksite! The choice is made one by one in the forest and requires experience and patience.
Once the trees make their way to our worksite, we get right to debarking them. Debarking must be done quickly in the spring as it’s very difficult to do in the winter. It’s very important not to delay in order to preserve the quality of the wood which is then ready to be used.
YOUR LOG HOME WILL DETERMINE THE CHOICE OF LOG!
Once the logs are ready to use, our team of experts chooses its logs based on the projects they have planned, to ensure that each tree used on the project is of similar circumference, and the right length for the architecture plans and technical needs.
Our qualified team will then work the wood with care, and with all the knowledge we’ve developed and grown over the years. Our technique showcases the beauty, eco-friendliness and robustness of the trees, our favourite material.
The solid wood homes we build require patience and knowledge, but knowing our homes positively contribute to our environment by limiting the use of polluting materials makes us very proud.
WOOD: THE ECO-FRIENDLY SOLUTION
Interesting facts to note: wood acts as a natural insulator, vapor barrier, interior and exterior finish! It’s the circumference of the wood that determines the level of insulation. The larger it is, the more energy efficient.
In addition to being a renewable, biodegradable and recyclable resource, wood has the ability to trap and store carbon. Throughout the growth of a tree, CO2 is captured, the “O,” oxygen released, and the “C” stays and becomes wood. The tree transforms a greenhouse gas into a solid: wood. This is a major win for the environment and an advantage in the fight against climate change. This will continue to occur if, when mature, the tree is transformed into material. The carbon will remain trapped in the wood, rather than being returned to the atmosphere or the ground.