Building Green in the Adirondacks

I’ve talked a bit about building green with my initial eco-cabin ideas and this week I’ll be attending the “Building A Greener Adirondacks” Conference at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY to get some more inspiration into what the key opinion leaders and professional builders are doing in and around the Park.

About the conference:

Almost 40 percent of all the energy used in the United States is used by buildings or by activities in those buildings. (Heat, lights, computers and the like.) The older housing stock and cold winters in the Adirondacks mean that even more energy is wasted in this region than in others. The Build a Greener Adirondacks (BAGA) conference and workshops provide information for local contractors, builders, code officers and others in the building trade to learn more about how new building technologies and ideas can erase energy waste for home owners and allow builders to offer real options for their clients.

Folks Building Green Around the Adirondacks

When we’ve driven around looking for land and farms for sale, I’ve seen more than few green buildings around the Adirondack Park. A few geodesic domes, some partly underground homes and even some with earthen roofs. I believe that @ShackValley in Bolton Landing has built a straw-bale home completely off the grid. I would love to visit his place someday and share notes.

I also know a gal in Essex who built her house very inexpensively using the cordwood masonry method taught at the Earthwood Building School. Using a timber frame as the load-bearing structure, this is where logs are laid up length-wise in masonry of sand, sawdust and portland cement. It’s a labor intensive method of in-filling between the timber frame structure, but very cost effective in materials and tools required. You also end up with both the interior and exterior surfaces completed in one step, which is nice.

building green stoneview

Rob Roy, who runs the Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, has been a mighty mentor in the area of teaching folks all over the world about cordwood masonry, earth roofs and what he calls “timber framing for the rest of us.” I took several of his hands-on classes years ago and I still turn to my notes and to his books as I formulate my own tiny eco house plans.

I’m looking forward to the conference and I’ll be pretty active on Twitter during the day. I’ll report back what transpires in a future blog post. If you know of other green homes and cabins in the Adirondacks, let me know. Hopefully I get to break ground on our future home site this year too!

Check out the Wild Center’s website for more information.

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