Log Home News: LEED Certificate Granted to Alta
Alta Log Homes Receives LEED for Homes Certificate

Halcottsville, NY: Alta Log Homes, a leading builder of "green" log homes for over 35 years has gone one shade greener with its elegant Greenbriar model, which has received the first U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Certification for Homes, under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes pilot program. Log homes have been the standard in "building green" for centuries.

Today’s log homes are a far cry from Abe Lincoln’s log cabin, offering all the amenities, elegance and open space demanded by 21st Century home buyers. Beginning with the logs, a naturally green product, Alta Log Homes’ LEED certified home offers a completely healthy environment inside and outside.

"Building green" has been the buzz word in the building industry for years, but just how green is green? As more and more new home buyers begin to understand what consequences their environmental footprint is having on the planet, they are moving towards "building green". However, those words have many shades of meaning and not all "green builders" are truly that. Only Alta Log Homes can claim the first LEED certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council for a log home.

Alta Log Homes, located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains of up-state New York has combined their specialty with "building green" to produce a modern, environmentally friendly log home.

According to Steven Winters, founder of Steven Winters Associates, leaders in Green Home Planning: "The benefits of living in a LEED for Homes certified home are endless: better indoor environmental quality, having more efficient mechanical equipment, appliances and lighting, having a tighter building envelope, therefore controlling outdoor pollutants from entering the home and lower energy bills, less impact on the environment through reduction of greenhouse gases escaping into the atmosphere, decreasing waste throughout the building process and incorporating more environmentally preferable products into the home. Alta is the first log home builder to receive the LEED for Homes certificate in the Country!" says Winter.

Already a leader in the design of "building green", Alta Log Homes has, for over three decades, been considered ahead of its time. The company’s logs come from renewable and sustainable forests. All Alta Log Homes are made from white pine or red cedar logs that have been air dried, thus eliminating toxins caused by the kiln drying process used by many other builders. Alta has gone one step further by building the Energy Star® Five Star Plus rated LEED certified home to ensure an environmentally sound dwelling to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a warm and elegant atmosphere.

From the choice of location–the home must fit well into its site–preferably facing southwest, Alta makes sure that every element of the construction process is environmentally sound. "While many people don’t think of their interior space as part of the environmental solution, Alta does. The home has many high Performance features that provide improved health, safety, comfort and lower operating costs," says David Mann, Vice President of Alta Log Homes. "The Humidex that exchanges the air in the home six to seven times a day, creates a very healthy interior space. Radon remediation built into the foundation helps protect from radon gas. Water efficient top of the line fixtures save not only money but conserve valuable water resources. Energy Star® appliances plus photo-voltaic panels are all part of the certification process that comprises a LEED certified home. Finishing touches such as Anderson® High-Performance Low-E4 windows and doors and Teragren® bamboo floors-also from sustainable forests-are an integral part of the finished product," explains Mann.

The warm, rich interior beckons with eco-friendly Sansin stains®. Passive solar energy light floods in from south-facing gabled windows on to polished durable Teragren Bamboo floors. The shining star of the home is an advanced Energy Star package (which includes a highly efficient heating system with attached water heater and lighting fixtures with fluorescent bulbs).

Unlike traditional stick built homes, there is no waste. Every part of each log is used. Any left-over materials become recycled into mulch for gardens and animal bedding on farms.

Energy savings is a major component of the LEED certification process. Alta’s log homes provide all the elegance and warmth of traditional houses and for the buyer, a big return on their investment, from 30 to 50% lower energy costs per year over traditional houses when solar panels are in place.