Using local lumber decreases the environmental impact of a building by reducing transportation costs.
On this page, we've compiled links to articles and other materials about the benefits of using local materials. Hailing from all corners of the world, these resources provide a glimpse into the diversity and pertinence of local initiatives. Please let us know if you come across other initiatives or information that could help us in our efforts to promote local building materials in this area.
- Green home builders Kelly and Rosana Hart provide an introduction to the use of local materials in sustainable construction projects.
- An article in the Seattle Times draws parallels between the local foods movement and the overall need to buy locally as a means to stimulate community economies.
The Economic Potential of Local Building Materials offers a response to the Sustainable Supply Chains that Support Local Economies (763KB PDF) report launched at the Built Environment's "Building a Green Economy" Conference. These documents collectively provide a glimpse into the capacity for low-energy design to foster sustainable manufacturing and local construction markets.
- Sarah Pinneo of the Boston Globe writes What I did for Local, which tells her story about joining the "Locatecture" movement while she renovates her home in New Hampshire.
Slow Design: 100-mile San Francisco Bathroom, an article from Remodelista details a bathroom renovation, which used locally manufactured products and vintage materials. There are also links to other similar articles at the bottom of the site.
Forget about flavour and paint the town beige voices the opinion of Elizabeth Farrelly of the Sydney Morning Herald, who cites the need for more "locatects", just as there are "locavores", to promote regional use of materials, in addition to incorporating climatic and cultural conditions in architecture.
- Straw bale builders from southern California recount their experiences conserving adobe structures in the southwest as an integration of green architecture and cultural preservation in Looking to the Past to Inform the Future.
At Play in the Product Sandbox is another article from Architect Magazine, which discusses the role of architects in product research and development.
- From Architect Magazine, If A Tree Falls is an article that discusses the need for local material use and perhaps narrower interpretation of "regional" standards.
Lumber from Local Woodlots (PDF) is an informative bulletin about the forest-to-floorboard process. It emphasizes specific tree species in the Northeast region, in addition to the respective management strategies that maximize production.
Last updated August 20, 2014