OAKFIELD, Maine — Katahdin Cedar Log Homes has a history of finding ways to become more energy-efficient at its Oakfield facility, whether by reducing waste, recycling or turning to alternative fuel sources.
Now the company has extended that practice by rolling out its new R-23 Energy Envelope System.
The insulation system increases the R-value of exterior cedar log walls by 156 percent, according to company President David Gordon. The system was developed to be able to meet or exceed new efficiency codes nationwide and qualify for green construction ratings without modifications. The Energy Envelope System creates a continuous insulation “envelope” that keeps warm air inside in the winter and outside during the summer, Gordon said.
Katahdin’s log homes are manufactured from northern white cedar, which naturally resists heat flow, referred to as the “R-value.” The higher the R-value number, the more resistant the material is to letting heat transfer through.
Gordon said the new insulation came in response to customer demand.
“Customers want better and better insulation all the time,” he said earlier this week. “And our employees are creative — they are always pushing the envelope.
“For many years, we have offered an insulation package that increased the R-value of their exterior walls by 56 percent, without losing the natural look and feel of a log wall,” he said. “The new R-23 Energy Envelope System increases the log wall R-value by 156 percent, providing immediate energy savings while maintaining the rustic log appearance.”
The R-23 Energy Envelope is constructed from the log wall exterior toward the interior. A 1½-inch layer of foil-faced rigid insulation is applied to the interior of the log wall. Then an insulating 3-quarter-inch layer of dead air space is created by applying thin strips of strapping to the inside surface of the rigid insulation. Then the interior tongue-and-groove cedar, shaped to either a flat or round profile, is applied.
“It has been selling very well, despite the fact that we just rolled it out and it is our newest developed product,” said Gordon.
Founded in 1973 by Foster Gordon and two associates, Katahdin Cedar Log Homes is one of the largest log home manufacturers in the U.S. and is the largest processor of northern white cedar in the world. Based in Oakfield, Katahdin Cedar Log Homes has more than 80 employees.