Here are Mark & Chelsea in front of their cordwood home in Kenai, Alaska. The walls are 14″ spruce logs with foam insulation in the center cavity between the two 3″ mortar beads.
They used a log wizard to craft the beams, posts and rafters. Alaska provides ample solar time to work during the summer, but in the winter it can be a challenge.
New photos (2017) from Chelsea and Mark of their cordwood addition. Note the stone-fish and the Big Dipper in bottle bricks.
Chelsea and Mark recently completed a cordwood sauna (2017) with bottle ends and a huge moon shaped piece of pine.
Some folks have asked about how cordwood in Alaska holds up to EARTHQUAKES. Chelsea writes: “Our cordwood house in Kenai withstood the big Alaskan earthquake of January 24, 2016 (7.1 magnitude) like a champ! We sure felt it! It just so happened that we were finishing drywall and painting, so we had moved everything downstairs from the bedrooms and space was tight. We had stacked all of our mattresses downstairs and were perched on top of them like the “princess and the pea.” When it started shaking we were swaying back and forth. The pans were clanging in the hanging rack and the light fixtures were swinging. Our immediate concern was that the drywall lines would have cracked. So we ran upstairs after the shaking stopped and checked. Phew! Not a single crack. We also inspected the house and found no signs of damage. Our theory is that the post and beam frame and foam insulation really help during such seismic events.”
Here they proudly display their homegrown 24-hours-of-sunlight mega-Alaskan zucchini.
Chelsea wrote a detailed article about building this cordwood masterpiece for the Cordwood Conference Papers 2011, which was then shared at the Cordwood Conference in Winnipeg, Canada in June of 2011. The Papers are for sale as an ebook or a print version and the quality of information and the breadth of subject matter is outstanding.
Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the ONLINE BOOKSTORE to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format. If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes: Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005, 2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and have provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders. Cordwood Workshop Video, Cordwood Construction Best Practices (2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore. www.cordwoodconstruction.org Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.
For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org Below is the 30 item Video menu.